by Maria Schulz
NEWS FLASH: Here in the Northeast, it actually SNOWS IN WINTER!!!
Here’s what you must do prior to any snowstorm:
1. Run to the supermarket
2. Clear the shelves of every jug of water
3. Elbow your way to the dairy aisle and take every gallon of milk
4. Buy enough eggs to feed a battalion
5. Stock up on Twizzlers and Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups
6. Buy a bag of ice
7. Get 10 cans of Chef Boyardee spaghetti and meatballs
8. Don’t forget the Italian Meatball soup in a can
Here’s what you will probably forget, and really do need:
1. Bags of ice melt
2. A shovel
3. Candles, matches, flash lights in case of a power outage
4. That snow brush/ice scraper for your car
5. Gas for your car and/or portable generator
7. Kitty litter because all of the stores are out of ice melt
8. Regular food so you can cook while you’re home
I remember when snow was fun. Do you? A snow day was filled with endless possibilities. Maybe we would make a snowman. Maybe there would be snowball fights with the neighbors. Maybe we’d even find a sled that wasn’t broken or cracked, and ride it all the way down our hill. Maybe there would even be so much snow that there would be no need to fear getting run over at the end of your street because no cars would be on the road.
A snow day meant looking out your window and seeing a world that was quiet and pristine. It meant bundling up in your feetie pajamas and going back to bed. It meant a break from the endless chaos that was school. It meant no Sister Felicity.
So what does snow mean to me now? It means waking up at 5 am and waiting for a call that says I don’t have to risk my life to get to work or school. It means shoveling for hours so I can pull my car out to the curb. It means willing the snowplow to show up eventually. It means dreaming of a future spent on a beach somewhere, smiling when I see that the Northeast is going to be buried in a foot of snow.
I guess the thing I enjoy most about the snow is HOW FREAKING CRAZY EVERYONE AROUND ME GETS. For days leading up to the snowstorm, people are running around like it’s 1940 and we’re in London during the blitz. You can almost hear the constant “WHIRRR WHIRRR” of the warning siren in the distance when they talk. The conversations always go like this:
“Did you hear we’re getting snow?”
“Yes. Yes I did.”
“Are you ready for it?”
“Oh, are we having snow?”
“Yes! We’re having snow. The forecasters say it’s going to be at least a foot!”
I’m not stupid or cursed with short-term memory loss. I just enjoy watching people whip themselves up into a frenzy of anticipation. It’s the same in the summer, except then we’re bracing ourselves for a hurricane.
It’s fun living in the Northeast.
In other news…
The other day, while I was busy stocking up on canned spaghetti and meatballs (because you can’t just whip that up easily), my daughter innocently asked, “What was The Partridge Family?”
Now here was a question that I was actually equipped to answer. I started to tell her about Shirley, Keith, Laurie, Danny and those other two kids who weren’t really all that amusing, and about Reuben Kincaid. I explained that they drove around in a psychedelic bus and did concerts, singing songs like “I Think I Love You,” and “Come on Get Happy.” That’s when my girl told me something that made me reel:
“Reuben Kincaid is dead.”
WHAT? Reuben Kincaid was a character that I loved, especially because he embraced that “I hate kids” sentiment that seemed so prevalent at the time. Adults didn’t coddle or encourage us; in fact, they seemed to despise us. I could totally understand why just by watching Reuben interact with Danny, the little kid who wouldn’t take no for an answer when it came to having Reuben as the manager of his family’s rock-n-roll band.
My husband and I barely had time to register this incredible turn of events when Maddie also asked: “What was Gilligan’s Island?”
Since I’m slow, I started to tell her about the 3-Hour tour, and how 7 very unlikely small boat patrons ended up stranded on a desert island. Once I’d launched into stories about Gilligan, The Skipper, Mr. & Mrs. Howell, Ginger, Mary Anne and The Professor, she leveled me with:
“Oh. The Professor died too.”
WHAT? This really was a tough day for 1960’s & 1970’s sitcom actors. I have to admit, I never thought much about the Professor, at least not in the way that boys from that era fought over Ginger vs. Mary Anne.
To me, the Professor was kind of an idiot, as was everyone else on that island. Even 6-year-old me couldn’t get through a single episode without coming up with half a dozen burning questions:
1. Why the hell didn’t Thurston and Lovey take a ride on their own yacht? They were rich—why would they get on the S.S. Minnow?
2. How come Ginger had a few ball gowns with her? And why on earth would she get on the S.S. Minnow?
3. Why would anyone go anywhere with Gilligan or The Skipper?
4. So, Mary Anne finally gets a day off from the farm, and she proceeds to go to California to…ride the S.S. Minnow?
5. How come everyone brings trunks of clothing FOR A 3 HOUR TOUR?
6. If the professor is so smart, WHY THE HELL CAN’T HE BUILD A CANOE OR RAFT THAT GETS THEM OFF THE ISLAND? He invents all that other stuff. Maybe he’s just a show-off and finally has a crowd who can worship him as a Super Genius.
I expected the series to eventually bring the Professor and Mary Anne together. Ginger would probably end up being Mrs. Thurston Howell 3rd’s second wife, while Lovey was sent off to live (or not) with the headhunters from the other side of the island. Or, possibly, the other six inhabitants would turn on Gilligan, and NOT save him from the headhunters when they showed up in the first place.
Still, somewhere in my addled head, these sitcom characters go on and on. It’s like I can hear Celine Dion singing that song from The Titanic:
“Every night I see you…I touch you…I feel you. That is how I know that you go on.”
Except it’s not every night. Just when my daughter asks me who these people are in the first place. Personally, I didn’t even realize they were still alive.
There was one more bit of news that was sad and not exactly unexpected: one of the last munchkins from The Wizard of Oz has passed on.
I think the real news is that she was still alive—The Wizard of Oz was released in 1939. That’s 75 years ago! Nobody splashes headlines across the front pages that say: “Cast member from Gone With The Wind Dies.” And why would they? Those people were all old in 1939. Just because they’re little people doesn’t mean they live forever. Of course, if I was the last Munchkin still standing (it’s reported to be one of the representatives of the Lollipop Kids), I might start worrying.
And finally, on a non-someone just died note, the Academy Award nominations are in….
Some people get upset because their favorite stars don’t get nominations (Tom Hanks in “Captain Phillips”) or because a movie or star doesn’t get nominated (“Saving Mrs. Banks” with Emma Thompson), but everybody can’t get nominated. With the abundance of awards shows out there, come to think of it, maybe everyone can.
As for me, I’m hoping for a slow news day filled with more riveting snowfall measurements, explanations about the cold air, and hour upon hour of shoveling. I hope my 60’s and 70’s television heroes get a day to relax, and my daughter doesn’t say something like: “What was The Rockford Files?”
Wake Up Casserole
This looks like a hearty breakfast/brunch/or “binner” dish (breakfast for dinner). I think you have to be open to substitutions if you don’t have everything on hand. For instance, I don’t have the hash browns, but one of the reviewers suggested tator tots instead. I would suggest potatoes o’brien (check your frozen food section) or line the bottom of the pan with some roasted potatoes that you’ve chopped up and cooked with some red and green peppers, onions, etc. Enjoy!
So, Hungry Lifers: are you snowed in? What news story have you heard that caught your attention? Would you have boarded the S.S. Minnow or agreed to help Danny get his rock-n-roll band off the ground? Please leave a comment and let us all know. Thanks for dropping by.