El Nino

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El Nino has arrived just like a boy, slamming into a place, not wiping his feet, blustering about, throwing hats and scarves before crashing onto the closest soft surface.  We have had our share of snow this winter.  A 26″ snowfall in late December, another 12″ last weekend and now, another 30″ expected tomorrow and Saturday.  We don’t know how to act around here.  The local stores are completely sold out of snow shovels, ice-melt and milk.  Roads home tonight were more like ribbons or red light as far as I could see. The goal for most is to find a safe, warm place and hibernate the weather away.

Everything is closed tomorrow, all schools, courthouses, doctor’s offices, stores, landmarks, everything, except the nursing homes and hospitals.  I requested the day off weeks ago for Bruce’s birthday weekend and Ben’s first homecoming since he went back to school.  I may be called in to work depending on the availability of the workforce.  I live with Grizzly Adams, so I can get there, even if it is by four-wheel drive tractor. (I told him we didn’t need it. He didn’t listen.)

Grizz is prepared.  The generator on the back of the Ford is gassed up and covered with a tarp, the tractor likewise.  We have filled every available clean container with fresh water.  The wood pile is stacked, covered and waiting. The woodstove in the garage is cleaned out and filled with dry locust, ready to light.  A crock pot is simmering in the kitchen with a ham hock and pinto beans. Grandma’s cornbread recipe is on the table and the ingredients are within reach.  The birdfeeders are filled with black oil sunflower seeds, and suet.  Ben left college twenty minutes ago and will arrive just like El Nino, in two hours and ten minutes. I finally found a pair of rubber boots big enough for his size 15 feet at Southern States today on my lunch break.

Heavy snow with feet of accumulation, high winds, drifts and power outages are all expected.  If you don’t hear from me for awhile, just imagine me holed up in the garage, sitting next to the woodstove, reading a book and drinking a mug of hot chocolate…or scurrying the halls of the nursing home, sitting at a bedside, singing the praises of a bowl of oatmeal to get one more bite into a tiny little woman with an even tinier appetite. Either way, I will be happy.

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One Response to “El Nino”

  1. Gaboo Says:

    Spring will come. Thank you for the imagery.

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