Yesterday we were hit by snow storm Nika. Nika…sigh. Is it necessary to name every weather pattern that comes through?
The snow has been on everybody’s minds. Two days ago on Nika Eve, I was at the dentist and caused the following awkward exchange:
Dentist: Are you ready for all the snow?
Me: I am! They even told us at work today that we don’t have to come in if we don’t want to.
She looks at Dentist hopefully.
Dentist: Ahem. I hate to close the office in case nothing happens.
Hygienist: Oh, yes, of course.
Dentist: I mean, if you can’t make it in, that’s fine. I’ve got things to work on even if no patients show up.
Hygienist: No, I’m going to drive my truck in. I’ve got all this paperwork I can catch up on. (To me) I get behind because there are always other things to do.
Me: I know how that goes, ha ha.
Hygienist: I shouldn’t let it pile up the way I do, though.
Dentist: Maybe tomorrow I could get my teeth cleaned.
Although it might sound like the Dentist and the Hygienist were being snippy with each other, that was not the case. This was a normal bumbling conversation between two nice, non-confrontational types. In other words, my peeps. I really like both of them and the entire staff and this was just another reason to feel that we were all meant to be. However, if I was a geisha, I would have had the social skills to gently steer the conversation to more comfortable territory. But I was not geisha-like. I was just me, in a dentist chair wearing a bib and sunglasses.
Fast forward a day later and I am snug on the love seat, typing away. I’ve got my legwarmers on and am surrounded by little creatures.
Right next me, the Swooze. Serving as my second pair of leg warmers, Ebby. To the left of Ebby: Alf doll.
To my right, Baby MertMert.
Further right, a Labrador and Shih Tzu.
Yes, that’s right, I’ve got five dogs up in this crib. We are pet-sitting Sally (left) and Emma. Sally is not supposed to get on the furniture at her home so we really shouldn’t let her up on the couch here, but our floors are cold. Sally needs the couch.
It snowed the entire day and the town pretty much shut down. I left work early and probably won’t make it in tomorrow. Brent had to go into work tonight because he is considered essential personnel. Here is a blurry picture of him wiping snow off the car. You can’t tell, but he’s using a broom.
And here is a picture of me taking pictures of myself while Brent sweeps the car.
I never imagined I would feel this way, but I am not hating winter this year. To put this into perspective: I dread winter. Winter makes me feel muted, by the bleached out grass and leaveless trees. The mud, the gray skies, the depression. Waiting out the cold is such a desolate, stranded sort of feeling. Like being poor Artax in the Swamp of Sadness.
But this winter I am feeling an absence of Swamp-of-Sadnessness. Hanging out on the loveseat with Brent and our three dogs, all of us covered in blankets, is such a cozy, warm feeling. I made stew on an especially cold day and we ate it while playing the video game Kill Many Robots and taking turns on the crossword. It was like a winter heaven. Brent would probably agree, especially if his idea of winter heaven is me fishing for stew compliments.
I can’t say that I suddenly find the winter landscape beautiful, but I have noticed that bare branches against a foggy sky is spooky-pretty, bringing to mind haunted houses and wailing winds and stern governesses who may or may not be ghosts. Basically, it makes me feel like I’m in a Gothic ghost story. Then my followup feeling is relief that I’m not actually in a ghost story, because ghosts are scary.
I’m also experiencing gratitude at being protected against the elements. I appreciate the walls and roof around me that keeps out the cold. And this is no lie: my warm, waterproof snow boots make my heart go pitter-pat. I have a good jacket that my mother-in-law got me, long underwear from my mom, and a scarf and wrist warmers made by Samaria. Sometimes I steal Brent’s mega-toasty leather/wool hat he got at the Renaissance Festival and then I’m really set to face the cold.
I’m not sure what brought on this change of heart about winter. Cyndi, who lives in a faraway state, sent me a VeraLight a couple years ago, and I think this little light has helped turn my Seasonal Affective Disorder frown upside down. Just seeing the VeraLight on my desk is like getting a comforting hug from Cyndi. Now if only the VeraLight could do Cyndi’s impression of the crazy zookeeper lady we once saw on The Tonight Show, it would be absolutely perfect.
Another reason for not hating this winter might have something to do with spending a good amount of time outside in the sun last spring and summer, riding my bike, swimming, and surreptitiously taking pictures of peoples’ gardens. For the first time in years, I didn’t feel like I wasted the warmer seasons. And while I can’t wait to do that all again come Spring, this winter’s hibernation feels natural.
Bottom line, I don’t mind this winter. There have even been times where not hating winter has made me giddy. Like when a friend was complaining about the endless cold and I said in the same kind of tone I would have used in middle school to admit that I had a crush on so-and-so, “You know what’s crazy? I kind of like this winter! Tee hee!” The response I got from my friend was, “Ugh. Shut the fuck up.”
Now today is special because 1) it’s a snow day and 2) I am participating in my very first blog link up! My friend Haley at Truth Be Told is hosting a linkup where the topic is…
So in connection with all this cold weather talk, I must mention
Brent’s Crone Claws
This is referring to the talons affixed to my dearest’s toes. That is a mouthful to pronounce so sometimes in the heat of the moment they get called Clone’s Craws.
Here is the deal. I like to wear socks to bed. Brent does not like socks anywhere near the bed. He has good reason – if I wear the same socks to bed that I’ve been wearing all day, dirt and dust gets tracked into the bed. We have hardwood floors, shedding dogs and a penchant for not sweeping – dirt happens. Whenever I’d wear socks to bed Brent would raise a fuss and I would in turn raise a fuss about my feet being cold. Brent eventually came up with creative solution to his problem: instead of arguing with me, he would silently go to work removing my socks with his toes. His long, finger-like toes with toenails that he probably files into sharp points.
Imagine if you will, laying in your bed, about to fall asleep, and then feeling sharp serrated toenail talons slowly rake down your shin, dig into your ankle, and scrape against your heel. Imagine Nosferatu under the covers, grabbing at your feet. That’s what I’m dealing with.
I have mentioned before that Brent is the most hygienic person I’ve ever known and visually speaking, there is nothing wrong or gross about his toenails. But under the cover of night they turn into…Crone’s Claws.
Sometimes I’ll kick his Crone’s Claws away. Or I might shout, “Leave me alone, these are fresh socks!” Other times I’ll say, “Get your damned Crone’s Claws off my feet!” in the same tone that George McFly used on Biff.
But just like a horror movie villain, the Crone’s Claws return. I’m afraid that the Crone’s Claws are going to take over more and more facets of his life and we’ll get to the point where everything he does is both evil and accomplished by using his toes instead of fingers.
In the spirit of fairness, I gave Brent the opportunity for rebuttal but he had no response. Maybe he is saving his energy for a forthcoming pedicure/exorcism?