I’m sitting here writing this on Sunday afternoon, checking the weather reports and watching the radar online. We may be in for a bit of a bumpy ride by the time press day rolls around for the L-V.
All systems are pretty much “go” here at Chez Native, barring one last supply run to the supermarket and the dollar store for French toast ingredients. I never really got the whole mystique behind French toast as winter survival food, but it is a real thing apparently.
I don’t remember having any winter apocalypse menus when we were growing up, unless it was oatmeal with raisins, followed by a filled cookie-baking orgy after the sidewalks were shoveled.
We were young enough to actually enjoy going out and doing battle with several inches of snow. That was a very good thing, because that was back in the days when 18 inches of the white stuff was memorable but not especially frightening.
Back when my dad and uncles were out hunting deer, they always welcomed a few inches of new snow.
”It makes it easier to drag one out of the woods,” they said. “Plus, it’s easier to track them.”
Me, I think that they were overgrown boys who just liked playing in the snow and used deer hunting as an excuse to go out and do it. My grandsons are teenagers now, and I can see that same odd light glowing in their eyes during deer season.
Now, people didn’t get too excited about winter storm warnings, barring the large percentage of the population who were Baby Boomers. When you are a school child, a snow day is a snow day, nearly as good as your birthday.
Really, the only creature living under my parents’ roof that had an odd light in its eyes was the dog, Chi-Chi. Half beagle, half Boston terrier, it could be said that the mold was broken while she was being made, not after. Her canine brain worked differently, too.
She was the great escape artist. We like to think of dogs as being uncomplicated and loyal companions. I think that Chi-Chi missed the memo on that.
Small and thin of coat, my dad always took pity on her in the winter months, bringing her inside when bad weather threatened. While I am sure she appreciated the warmth all the time, and our companionship whenever it suited her, Chi-Chi just couldn’t wait to play in the snow with us.
You have seen those videos of dogs romping in the snow with their human families. Those are Hallmark moments in which a dog joins in the fun. Chi-Chi was like that, hopping a ride on a sled now and then.
But what she really, really waited for was when we all went outside to shovel the walks. She gamboled like a puppy, she frolicked like a Hallmark dog, she clowned for us. And then she took off like a bullet once the walks were cleared, roaming wild and free until she was caught.
On the other hand, you would never catch my brother’s black Lab, Kallie, behaving in such an uncivilized way. The Big Black Doggy likes her comforts. Snowy days are best spent lying in front of the propane heater, getting up occasionally for a bit of a nosh on whatever is in her food bowl, thanks.
Come to think of it, that works pretty well for people if you don’t have to go anywhere.
While you could nearly hear the gears turning in Chi-Chi’s brain as she plotted her escape, Kallie wheedles and cozens until she gets a belly rub. “Why leave heaven and take it on the lam?” she thinks.
We have all had dogs, most of whom agree with Kallie. But every once in a while, they will take it into their doggy brains that running free to get in touch with their inner beast is a very good thing, at least until it’s time to eat. Food, to dogs and kids, trumps everything else.
Come to think of it, that state of affairs works for adults, too.
There is nothing like a big pot of homemade vegetable soup or chili bubbling away on the stove when there’s a snowstorm raging outside. I don’t know why that is, but I feel connected with generations of women who have done exactly the same thing through the ages.
All’s well with the world if there is plenty of hot coffee, a pot of something good on the stove, movies to watch and books to read. Unless you happen to be a dog. You can skip everything but the something good on the stove.