Friday, January 22, 2016

Record High, Record Low

Cocooning goes against my nature. Who do I talk to if I'm home alone for days?

What I mean is, I woke up knowing that I was going to start my walk by heading to Kroger, not because I was in dire need of anything - although I did have a craving for waffles and I'm out of blackberry jam - but because I knew it would be an experience. Hell, earlier this week I got asked out just walking out of Kroger.

Trudging up Clay Street, I saw a girl headed back, toting two heavy-looking  Kroger bags. How bad is it, I wanted to know. "Really, really busy," she said with a smile. "Crazy busy."

Perfect, company!

I was amazed that they still had bananas, but not a single egg or rasher of bacon. "No eggs, what's wrong with these people?" a man asked me, shaking his head in disgust. The number of people clutching frozen pizzas was ridiculous.

Walking home with my jam, I passed half a dozen people making the trek toward Kroger and every single one of them spoke to me.

One girl wanted to know how bad it was and whether she had a chance in hell of getting what she needed for lasagna and baking cookies. One guy just rolled his eyes and told me without provocation that yea, he knew he was nuts for going today. Further up, a guy shoveling his walk invited me back for a chili party. An older woman wished me "happy snow day."

Snow makes everyone so friendly.

I detoured by Nick's Market where there was zero sandwich business, but several neighbors busy picking up groceries rather than facing the chaos of Kroger. While I was paying, they got a call from a Baltimore supplier saying they wouldn't be coming on Monday to make deliveries.

First world snow problems.

When I got home, I did the least logical thing: I cleared the snow off my car and shoveled the sidewalk and walkway, not because there was any point in it, but because of my Scottish girlfriend Irene's cardinal rule. She says if you're cold, get up and vacuum and you'll be warm in no time. Snow shoveling is the outdoor equivalent.

Back inside, I was trying to decide between reading and my to-do list when I saw a friend's post.

"I can now spend the rest of the weekend on the couch, as I organized my spice/baking cabinet. I have a WHOLE ROW of extract that is not vanilla."

Her friend responded, "Have thoughts of cleaning out my dining room hutch, but just in the thought stage right now. Maybe if I am bored tomorrow."

"Do it! It's so satisfying!" my friend goaded her. So, yes, I succumbed to that inexplicable urge that hits some women on snow days and got busy hanging pictures in the hallway and making phone calls I'd been putting off. Scrubbing the bathroom top to bottom, including the floor on my hands and knees.

She'd been right. It was incredibly satisfying, I immediately sat down and read two days' worth of the Washington Post, both of which had been delivered today. Snow news dominated.

Looking out the window, I saw that my car and walkway were again covered. Time to fetch the umbrella (ignoring the Canadian who'd told me back in the big 2009 snow that it was silly to carry an umbrella in the snow), go for another walk and see what was happening in the Ward.

In the hallway, I inhaled the heady scent of baking bread, alerting me to how my neighbor was passing her afternoon.

Once on the street, you know what I found happening in J-Ward? Pretty much the same stuff that happens here any other time.

A guy stuck his head out the door of his English basement to pour out the remains of a friend's PBR and we got to talking (he's given up drinking). Clutches of people were gathered on porches, drinking and talking. From inside a house, I heard a band practicing. A guy complimented my umbrella. GWAR Bar was just getting going.

Downtown was a ghost town except for people getting on and off buses. Vagabond had a sign saying they were closed tonight- "sorry for the inconvenience" - making me wonder why they didn't just acknowledge they'd be closed Saturday night, too. Surely another 24 hours of this weather all but guarantees they won't be open tomorrow, either.

Passing a guy with just a jacket on and no hat or umbrella, I was tickled when he smiled and asked if I was enjoying this wonderful weather.

Sure am. My only regret is that my beagle's not here because he adored the snow, so we'd walk five or six times on a day like this, his tail up and nose down sniffing in the snow.

Back home, I  busied myself clearing my car and shoveling the sidewalk, not that it'll make any difference besides momentary warmth and personal satisfaction.

And since I'm also not lowering my blinds today - it's far too charming a view not to enjoy all evening - I can watch my hard work undone by Mother Nature.

My work is finished, but tonight's Fretful Porcupine show has been canceled. Time to least until it isn't. Cocooning is hard for some of us.

No comments:

Post a Comment