Surviving An Ice Storm – Groundhog Style

Busy preparing for round 2 of the Colossal Midwestern Storm (according to MSN). Zamboni rented to clean up dog messes in backyard and for running errands-check; Legs shaved and hair styled in case cute electric company workers or EMT’s cross my path-check; Banana muffins baked and beef vegetable soup cooking b/c you can’t have a truly enjoyable Armageddon without great food-check.  –Facebook Status Update, February 1, 2011, 9:06 a.m.


“I-C-E  S-T-O-R-M.”  The phrase alone invokes panic and dread.  Images of downed power lines, cars careening off the road and enormous, jagged icicles hanging off roof tops immediately come to mind.  Last week, when the national weather service predicted the worst ice storm since 1988, this Winter Stormophobic went into panic mode.  Yes, I have turned into my mother.  I refuse to drive in inclement weather if I don’t have to.  There I said it.  I’m gonna burrow in – groundhog style – until Spring.

I wasn’t always a Winter Stormophobic.  During the ice storm of 1988, I drove my younger sister (The Last Pancake) and her friend to see the 80’s hair bands, Great White and Whitesnake in concert.  To this day, I can’t believe my Dodge Colt made the trek unscathed.  I don’t know if the bigger feat was surviving the drive downtown to the concert and back in the Colt, or living through one of the last festival-seating rock concerts.  My only disappointment was not seeing Tawny Kitaen hanging all over David Coverdale during their popular rendition of “Here I Go Again.”  Perhaps she was frozen to the hood of his Jaguar in the parking lot and couldn’t make it on stage.

That was then, this is now and I knew there was no way in hell I was leaving my house for at least the next 4 days.  As soon as the storm warnings were issued, I began preparing my den.  I methodically prepared a menu for the week and darted to the grocery store among the masses.  I washed load after load of laundry in preparation for a possible power outage.  No, this family was not going to spend the week wearing the same pair of underwear and eating weird-ass casseroles.  We were going to be trapped in style!  Between loads of laundry, I was a cooking machine.  Chuck roast, beef vegetable soup, banana muffins, twice baked potatoes, oatmeal chocolate chip cookies…just to name a few of the homemade rations I prepared.

I actually made sure I showered, styled my hair and shaved my legs because you never know what hot EMT’s or news media you may encounter during an emergency.  I didn’t want to be one of those people you see on the news in their house coat wearing no make-up during the, “I’m shocked!  He seemed real normal,” interview.  The ice began pelting our roof top at the end of the day, the den was fully prepared and I was exhausted.

Ice Storm Day 1 – Good Food, Indoor Forts and Big Fun

The roads were a sheet of ice and school was cancelled.  My husband put on his “Super Minnesotan” cape and skated into work.  As he left to fight the elements, he declared, “I don’t let weather rule my life.”  I retorted, “I don’t let weather rule my life either, I just let it guide my life.”  My daughter and I had some big fun on our day off.  She built a fort inside the family room and we treated ourselves to television, Wii games and good food all day.  This sure beat hours of playing Pong and watching game shows like snow days back in the 70’s.  Ya gotta love cable and modern gaming technology.  This ice storm stuff wasn’t so bad after all.

Ice Storm Day 2 – Singing, Dancing, Princess Cake and a Smidge of Cabin Fever

School was called off again.   Super Minnesotan skated off to work.  There was a High School Musical marathon on the Disney Channel.  Hot Damn!  How can I possibly do any housework when there is dancing and singing to be done with Troy and Gabriella? Besides, we also had a pink princess cake to make today inspired by the Pinkalicious books.  Although we enjoyed our day, my daughter was starting to get a smidge of cabin fever.  I believe the phrase was, “There’s nothing to do in this boring, lame house!”   Easily cured with a little walk around the neighborhood with her father after work.

Ice Storm Day 3 – Starting to Tire

School was cancelled again.  “Super Minnesotan” skated off to work.  By now, I’m starting to feel a little bloated from all the tasty rations.  My daughter had to drag me out of bed to make her breakfast.  Holy hell, I’m starting to hear the Wii Fit theme song in my sleep.  If I have to watch “The Suite Life On Deck-Wizard of Oz” episode one more time, I’m going to hurt someone.  Fellow Facebook Moms are starting to post profanities over a potential fourth day of school closings.  I’m just glad I didn’t have fighting siblings to contend with.  I’m lucky to have a daughter who still enjoys being home with her mother.

Ice Storm Day 4 – Call the EMT’s

A 2-hour School Delay.  Super Minnesotan skates into work.  I wake up with a migraine induced by consuming too much princess cake and watching too much television.  I am praying I don’t have to call the hot EMT’s because I smell like puke, I look like death and my legs are unshaven.  As I leave the den, like Punxsutawney Phil, I had a little extra weight on me and I didn’t see my shadow either – only because the sun was burning out my corneas after spending 3 days in my dark den.  The children fell on the ice like dominos at the bus stop.  I counted the days until Spring as I downed a bottle of Advil, nursed a can of Ginger Ale and put a warm cloth over my forehead.

The next day as my daughter and I were sledding down the icy luge in our backyard, I asked her, “Doesn’t it feel good to be outside?”  She looked at me and said, “Well yeah, I’ve been trapped in that shitbox for the last 4 days.”  I took a deep breath of fresh air and said, “I have to agree.  But, do you really think our house is a shitbox?”  Then I asked her where she heard that word.  She said “Hannah Montana” with a guilty grin.  Giving her the benefit of the doubt, she must have said, “shoebox.”   I had a sneaking suspicion where she really heard that word.  Surely, it wasn’t in our den over the last 4 days.  I’ll bet it was that damn Zack and Cody!  Regardless, here’s to surviving the storm!


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