Skip to main content

How to enjoy a snowstorm

Here in Delaware (and all up the East Coast) we've been socked by what's now been dubbed The Blizzard of '09. (Why don't we give blizzards names like we do hurricanes? Isn't it essentially the same kind of weather event?) Between late Friday and early Sunday, almost 20" of snow fell on my house...and my driveway...and my deck...and my sidewalks...and my poor little Japanese maple tree.

Because I'm entering my third trimester, I had a perfect excuse to not even open the front door, other than to look out and say "oh my!" While the rest of the world freaked out over missing the last shopping weekend before Christmas, I discovered the perfect recipe for a great snow-bound day:
1) Send your husband and child away the night before to visit relatives in a non-snowy location. (This is a crucial step, people.)
2) Wake up to a quiet, peaceful house. Put on your favorite set of pajamas and fuzzy slippers, and turn on the radio to the all-Christmas-song station.
3) Bake all your favorite cookies, sampling dough as often as you need to. Call your besties while the cookies are in the oven, so it's almost like you're together, if only briefly.
5) Pull all the gifts out of their hiding places and set up wrap-shop in the family room, in front of the giant TV. Spread out your bags, paper, tape, etc. all over the room if you need to -- go ahead, there's no one else there, and you don't have to clean up until tomorrow!
6) Watch as many cheesy rom-coms as necessary while you wrap gifts. These include favorites such as Love Actually (one of my recent faves), Say Anything (one of my teenage faves), and Mamma Mia (don't was a snow day...)
7) Call your husband and child periodically to update them of the big storm, to ask how they're doing, and to remind yourself that the alone-ness is temporary.
8) Optional activities include, napping, reading, writing letters, yoga, playing solitaire, snuggling with your cats, and staring at your beautiful Christmas tree while sipping hot chocolate.

Although it's important to stay as busy as possible on these home-alone snow-bound days so you don't feel lonely or stir crazy, be sure all your activities are relaxing. The following is a list of things you must not do:
  • Vacuuming, dusting, scrubbing bathrooms, or any other type of cleaning
  • Laundry (this includes folding and putting away laundry, too)
  • Checking work e-mail or trying to get a jump on deadlines you're worried about
  • Talking on the phone to any relative who will heap their stress on you
  • Paying bills or balancing the checkbook
  • Any type of sweaty exercise
And, most importantly, be sure to prepare a nice little gift for your neighbors who not only have shoveled and plowed out your driveway and sidewalk three times, but also have called to check on you periodically.

Be sure, too, to enjoy the gorgeous sunrise when the snow finally stops falling the next morning.


  1. Your version of a snowbound day is much better than mine. Mine consisted of two little boys begging to go out in the snow (no way) while it was still coming down heavily and a beleaguered husband who still owned only a shovel. Super, duper cabin fever set in, and Sunday was not much better. I'm thinking of living with my MIL for the winters. Seriously.

  2. Cool beans! Snow in Philly was actually much more fun than I thought it would be. Much more fresh snow, much less yellow snow, and just as little plowing as I expected. So I cleaned my house, walked to a friend's, met up with people I haven't seen in a while, ate lots of food and drank hot toddies, and played in a park that the police had ever-so-nicely blocked off with caution tape so we were the first people to "illegally" play in it. Then, I helped a West African taxi driver navigate out of a snowdrift he'd driven himself into when I realized he'd obviously never driven in snow before. I have skills. Awesooooome.



Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Boardwalk ghosts

“Imagine this, buddy, in the middle of summer, especially near the Fourth of July. Wall to wall people, just sort of moving in and out of each other. Flashing lights. Loud music. Screams from Morey’s Pier, laughter on the swirly rides. Oh...and the cream, funnel cake, fudge, cheese steaks, pizza, fries...the smells alone would drive you nuts!” 
It’s 5:00 on the evening before his Nana’s funeral, and we’re standing in a windy drizzle on an empty Wildwood boardwalk. My mind has flashed back to the summer of 1991, when I spent a week here with my best friend. Wicked sunburn. Tandem bike adventures. Water slides. Thrill rides. A ground-shaking thunderstorm. Friendship bracelets. College guys taking showers outside. Ice cream and VCR movies every night.

Back in the here-and-now I’m trying to explain to Zippy what this place is like when it’s not October. He’s been to Rehoboth and Ocean City and Old Orchard Beach, but none of those come anywhere close to Wildwood in peak season.…


Zippy and I hiked in the woods the other day, following the icy trails around Evergreen Cemetery. The cold air stung our eyes but the sun shone warm and bright, and it felt great to breathe fresh air. As he skipped and hopped and twirled beside, in front, and around me, I felt peaceful, happy, content. Until I realized the Womens' March is in a few days, I am going, and I don't know what to expect. I've never done anything like this, except for a few years ago at Occupy Philly, which was nothing compared to the numbers they're anticipating this weekend. The Women's March will be a peaceful protest, yes, but 200,000 is an awful lot of people in highly charged city during turbulent times. I felt anxiety creeping into my chest.

"So you know I'm going away this weekend, right? To Washington, D.C. For just two sleeps. Do you know why I'm going?" I asked Zippy.
"Because you don't like Donald Trump and he's going to be the President."

Look up

I walk a lot. Walking is one of the pieces of my Portland lifestyle that I value most, in fact: countless trails, parks, paths, and sidewalks that not only get me where I need to be, but also show me woods and sea and proud old homes and all sorts of loveliness. (I also walk past a lot of not-so-lovely in this town each day, but we'll save that for another post.) Sometimes when I walk through a quiet neighborhood, like the one over here along Clifton Street in Back Cove, I feel envious of single-family homes and yards and kid-friends playing together in the driveway. Other times in these same neighborhoods, I feel grateful for the ample parking and snow removal of our rental home, as well as for landscapers who cut the grass and landlords who come to fix the kitchen lights or replace the dryer when it punks out. When I walk through Evergreen Cemetery, often I feel contemplative, peaceful; its consecrated ground and hundreds of years of history soothes me. Other times I feel sad an…