by Maria Schulz
The last few days around here were filled with dire warnings about the blizzard that was on its way. The meteorologists got so excited, they even gave it a name: Blizzard Juno. I don’t remember anything but hurricanes getting names when I was a kid. My how times have changed. I would’ve loved that a hundred years ago! Believe it or not there was a time when I thought that there was nothing better than a blizzard. That was back in the day when I could look forward to things like:
- No School: who doesn’t like a snow day when they’re a kid? I loved being able to sleep late, watch The Gong Show at 12:30 pm, and not even have to run back to class before I found out who won the “unusual prize” of $516.32
- Making a snowman. My kids had a snow man kit that they loved that included a corn cob pipe, top hat, jaunty scarf, coal eyes and a fake carrot nose. We made a game of finding sticks that could double as arms, preferably with twigs that resembled fingers. Of course, when I was young, no one that I knew had any such kit, so our snow men usually wore whatever hat we could lay our hands on, a bubble pipe, button eyes if we could in fact find any, and any old rag that could double as a scarf. We couldn’t even find sticks that resembled arms, much less ones with twig fingers
- Sleigh riding, minus the sleigh. We barely had a hat for our snow man, much less a real, unbroken sled. Garbage lids worked well, and so did the broken sled that you couldn’t steer or stop in any way. What were those cars doing out anyway?
- Bumper jumping: since I’m a good girl, I will say that I never, ever went bumper jumping. That’s mainly because my mother filled my head with lots of stories about those “bad” kids who latched onto a bumper and promptly got trapped under the back of the car, only to meet their sad, sorry deaths. When I was young, I bought this, because I believed everything my mother told me. However, as I got older, I realized there were lots of stories about girls being dragged to their deaths whenever they were doing something my mother didn’t want me to do, including riding a motorcycle, roller skating while tethered to the back of my brother’s bikes, or bumper jumping. But there was a “bad girl” in the grade below me that wrote dirty poems on the bathroom stalls, mouthed off to the nuns, and was a champion bumper jumper. Kathy H, you live on in my memory for your incredible bumper jumping skills and your suicidal tendencies when it came to the nuns. Brava!
- Touch football, or on really icy days, full contact football. My favorite games had rosters that included Jude, Cindy, Louie, Paul, Joey, Chris, me, and our next door neighbor, Anthony. No one expected me to be any good, because after all, I was short, fat, and a girl. Cindy got a pass because she was pretty. I shocked everyone because I could catch and run…especially since I was the only one smart enough to wear snow boots. My legendary touchdown run from the corner of 214th street to the lamppost in front of Mrs. McG’s house still makes me wonder why my football days are over
- Snow Angels: watch me! Watch me! I can lay on this here cold, freezing snow, wave my arms like a lunatic, and when I get up, it will look just like the Archangel Gabriel (there’s a little Catholic schoolgirl humor for you). Which, by the way, was my second miracle! Could sainthood be far off for me? For those of you who read this blog (besides my father), you may recall that my first miracle was surviving Catholic school to begin with. And by that, I mean mainly not getting decapitated by the nuns with their samurai swords, err, yardsticks
- Watching out the window for the first snowflakes to fall, singing: Let it snow! Let it snow! Let it snow!
- Hanging out in my Mick Jagger loving friend’s room, listening to Sympathy for the Devil. Or Mother’s Little Helper. Or 19th Nervous Breakdown. Or Brown Sugar! At other friends’ houses, it might be Jessie’s Girl, Church of the Poison Mind, or Time Warp from Rocky Horror Motion Picture Show. We had to stay inside because we were too old to make snow angels or go bumper jumping…even though that’s what we would’ve really liked to do
Unfortunately, my last few days passed in a “The Blizzard is Coming! The Blizzard is Coming”-induced coma that included:
- A raging head cold, body aches, fever, and nausea that made me really cranky and in no mood whatsoever for bumper jumping
- Eye-balling all the trees in my yard, and praying that none of them would make a midnight visit upon my head while I slept thanks to the predicted 50 mile per hour winds
- Snow that managed to be powdery AND weigh about a ton when you had to shovel it Also great for walking your dog in case you want to lose him/her in a snow bank
- Visions of no electricity for another 3 weeks dancing in my head
- Fears of ending up stranded in my car on the side of the LIE under an avalanche of snow when my office refused to close early and I had to drive home in white out conditions
- Days and days of gearing up for the HISTORIC SNOWSTORM that necessitated getting all of the milk, bread and eggs we could stuff into our carts…because, as my husband said, we desperately need it for our Emergency French Toast
- Standing by the window saying, “Blizzard Juno, Blizzard Juno…wherefore art thou, Blizzard Juno?” I have to tell you, it’s loads of fun living with an English major
- Cabin fever/real fever dreams that had me dancing to Mother’s Little Helper, Church of the Poison Mind, and Jessie’s Girl. Hey, some things never change.
RECIPE: EMERGENCY FRENCH TOAST!
Actually, this is just a simple French toast recipe from Robert Irvine that I found on Food Network, but I thought my husband’s suggestion was a great one. Use the eggs, milk, and bread you’ve got to make any snow day fun again.
FYI: Snowmageddon has come and gone, and we are all safe and sound. Here’s a big shout out to my DH (darling husband, not designated hitter) and my DD (darling daughters) for taking care of me while I was sick. Now that I’m better, I just want to say: I’ll be outside with my football and snow boots, if anyone wants to play.
So, Hungry Lifers…what’s your favorite snow day memory? How much snow did you get? Did you have your Emergency French Toast? Please leave a comment and let us all know. Thanks!