Snow Days
20 January, 2011
Snow Days

I had been living in my castle of solitude for a month now, working on a book and I failed to hear or notice any talks of the incoming snowstorm. Turns out I should have had my ears cleaned, because the snow came and it stayed for a lot longer than a day.

In fact it stayed for weeks. This would not have been unusual since it is January, middle of winter, except that I live in Atlanta. For

the residents of the Southwestern part of the US, this was an occurrence on par with Armageddon. One would think that the snow brought a deadly disease and not ice. Except for a few residents who seemed to be ready for the snow and used it as an excuse to play around like children, most people seemed to be terrified of the white substance that covered the earth up to four inches.
The night it snowed was my grandmother’s birthday. She turned eighty-five, a very young eighty-five, and no snowstorm was going to keep us away. On our way back from her house we drove as slow as turtles, if turtles drove Japanese made cars. The roads were covered in snow, and the wind kept throwing more in our direction. Lanes were gone, bad drivers surrounded us, but having driven his fare share in Tbilisi, my father got us out of near scrapes effortlessly. Other drivers seemed to have given up. We saw quite a few stopped cars. Closer we got to our house, the more abandoned cars we saw, just parked on the side of the road.
The next day school was canceled. Work was canceled. Grocery stores were closed. So we did the only natural thing we could think of. First we built a giant snowman and then we pelted each other with snowballs. We had to be careful not to throw ice (my mother got too enthusiastic about it and nearly split my head into two with a giant block of ice masquerading as a fluffy snowball). We got cold and bored in a few hours. We built fire, drank hot tea and cocoa and watched movies. As for food, we decided to go on a much needed post-holiday celebrations diet. Outside our house it was eerie quiet. There was not one car that passed on our street that day.
We thought the snow would melt by the next morning. We were wrong. Instead of melting it covered itself in a thick sheet of ice. There was no getting out of our driveway. My sister, who is an elementary school teacher, and my brother who is in high school both high-fived each other for yet another unscheduled day off. She caught up on her work, and he played video games all day.
Day three, they both did a little happy dance for another day off. They seemed to be the only people happy about being marooned in the house. It was starting to get to my mother. She started super gluing every broken thing in the house. My dad stayed cool, until the next day when I found him in front of the TV rooting for Tottenham instead of Manchester United. By that time the food was running low, and we were okay with it, but Motik the cat was not. So my sister and I ventured out to find a store that was open. The things we do for our pets. Two miles down the road we spotted an open supermarket and it wasn’t completely deserted. People were starting to appear in the streets, and that was a good sign.
On the last day of our captivity I found my brother sitting by the window watching for any car to slide by on the iced road. My sister was having a teacher’s withdrawal and tried to teach me (I ran away before she could), and my mother, having run out of superglue, was arguing with the computer about her new zodiac sign. She was born a Virgo and a Virgo she was going to stay, thank you very much.
When finally we were able to walk down to the street without breaking our bones on the ice, we breathed in that sweet air of freedom we had been longing for, and then promptly ran back inside the house. It was freezing, for Christ’s sake.

 

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