13 February 2010

Dispatches from the snowy south

I saw asphalt on my street today. That might not sound like a big deal, but I live a few miles south of Washington, DC, the city that hijacked all the snow they needed for the Vancouver Olympics.

Seriously. Yesterday one of the county snowplows got stuck in front of our house. Of course, there was a little (ahem) car-ma involved. The driver had been trying to bury a neighbor’s car which was parked, quite legally, on the street. It was intensely satisfying to see the driver forced to free the car in order to free his plow. When you’re snowbound, you take your jollies where you find them.

I suppose a more diligent person would’ve used the occasion to write until her fingers bled. My local Romance Writers of America chapter seemed to think this was the perfect snow activity. The chapter president issued a writing challenge when last weekend’s meeting was called on account of snow. I didn’t participate, not because I didn’t write—I did—but because snowstorms don’t inspire my writing muse. They bring out my inner Betty Crocker.

Or maybe it’s the other way around. Greg, aka The Spouse Person, swears our December blizzard didn’t kick into high gear until I started baking six different kinds of holiday cookies. Our second-to-last storm didn’t turn into a record breaker until I made brownies, and this time… This time I made spaghetti sauce from tomatoes I froze last summer.

It’s all my fault!

Not.

Much as I’d like to see myself as some kind post-modern domestic goddess weather witch, putting the finishing touches on the perfect cassoulet as the first snowflakes begin to fall, I suspect it's only the wan remains of the nesting instinct that afflicts all professionals from time to time. Which isn’t to say the impulse isn’t dangerous. Remember, I’m the daughter of the woman who created post-nuclear spare ribs and imploded turkeys. Most of my recipes aren’t quite that bad, but Greg did need to have a crown reattached after attacking my last batch of Jelly Belly Blondies.

I blush to say, I laughed. Like I said, you take your jollies where you find them.

What about you? Does your lizard brain react to extreme weather with a frenzy of domesticity? Do you write away the white-out hours, or does a heavy snowfall simply make you itch to escape the prison your house has become? Nosy—er, inquiring minds want to know.

Regardless of your reaction, I hope the snow found you safe and warm and left you that way. Also hope you enjoy a splendid Valentine’s Day tomorrow, but if you find yourself in dire need of holiday reading material, there’s always You Know What.

Cheers and winter smiles, Jean Marie
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