If you are not friends with me on FB or don’t follow me on Instagram, you may not know here in the Northeast we have just experienced a doozy of a winter storm. Inside of 24 hours we received something like 24 inches of snow. Which, because of wind and other sciency sort of things, conspired to create drifts of amazing magnitude in yards like mine.
There was snow close to 30 inches deep on our deck, to which the dogs said “Uh, NO” and “You expect us to poop where?”
The front yard, after several passes of the snow plow and The Bob’s snow throwing efforts, was even deeper. Behold the front walk to our house:
For reference, Cooper is 48 and 3/4 inches tall. I know because he was measured at the doctors office this week.
Which brings me to my story. If you have ever walked through snow that is more than knee deep, you know the challenge this presents. You are working hard to either push the snow out of the way, or you are lifting your legs up and down against the snow. In the back yard it was pretty light and fluffy, so while it was work it was still manageable work. The front yard was a different story. My darling child, all 56 lbs of him, decided he would crawl out on top of the snow in the front yard, which was pretty well packed down from the throwing of the snow by plows and The Bob. He was able to crawl without falling down into the snow almost the whole way to our neighbors yard. At which point he did break through. So he began walking. Now if you have ever walked through this kind of snow, or perhaps deep mud in boots, you know one of the risks is your boot coming off. Which Coopers did.
Our front yard is maybe 25 feet across. It is not a large yard. But when your child is 20 feet away from you, with his foot clad in nothing but a sock, waiving in 20 degree air, with the wind whipping around, you think “Well, I guess I need to get over there before frost bite sets in” and getting over there involves moving through snow that is slightly deeper than 4 feet and is pretty dense, it feels like you are about to cross the Arctic Circle. I pushed my way into the yard, heaving and hoeing, and then I thought “Maybe I can crawl or slide on my belly across the top like Cooper did, because that would be faster.” Because you know, that made sense and the fact I weigh significantly more than Cooper was of no matter at all. So I laid myself down on the snow and began sliding, and about 4 seconds later, sunk into the snow like Tarzan into quicksand.
Imagine if you will, me, in all my snow gear, sunk, face down, about 5 inches into the very dense snow, with another 40 inches of snow below me. I pushed down with my hands, which served only to push my hands into the snow, finding no resistance whatsoever. I couldn’t roll over, I couldn’t stand up. Every movement only succeeded in sinking me further down. And all of this is taking place 20 feet or so from my neighbor Scott, who is shoveling his cars out, and 20 feet in the other direction from The Bob who is slaving away at shoveling our cars out. Neither of whom can really see me. My neighbors across the street cannot see me because I am below the top of the drifts at the front edge of the yard. My son is 10 feet from me, howling that his foot “…IS FREEZING! MY BOOOOOOT…WHERE’S MY BOOOOOOT…”
And it occurs to me, I could die here. This is it. I am going to sink into the snow, until the wind covers me up, and no one will know I am here until March when the snow melts. Maybe later, because the front yard gets very little sun and the snow always hangs on there longer than anywhere else in the yard. It might be early APRIL before anyone finds my thawing remains. And me with no makeup on.
It is the thought of Cooper having to have his frostbitten toes cut off on top of losing his mother in the front yard to the Blizzard of 2013, that brings me back into the moment, and after flopping about like Tim Conway in the Novocaine episode on the Carol Burnett show, I manage to finally flop onto my back. This gives me a bit more leverage to get my feet under me, and finally one time I push into the snow, it gives me enough resistance to get back upright. I forge ahead, get over to Cooper, yank his boot out of the snow, slap it back on and tell him in no uncertain terms “We are going in the house. Now. We are NOT doing this again.”
Is it too early to have a glass of wine?