Snowpocalypse, Day 2

By Mir
January 11, 2011

Everything is still at a complete standstill, as local authorities puzzle over that odd, frozen substance coating everything. Could it perhaps be resolved with a judicious application of… grits? Alas, it cannot. (The husband and I are enjoying endless jokes about how this storm wouldn’t have even merited a one-hour school delay up in New England, yet here it’s on its way to a week-long shutdown.)

I am weary and overwhelmed and some decisions have been made but the bottom line is that I am perversely grateful for this break from reality for a few days. It’s easier to blame these feelings of isolation on the weather—which has everyone stuck at home—than to acknowledge how many have quietly turned away from us.

How about a break from The Heavy? It turns out that Licorice is not a fan of the white stuff. Otto told her to man up when she kept glaring at him, but after a short movie, he picked her up and carried her back in because it was just too pitiful.

Poor baby keeps falling through the crust. I know just how she feels, but she’s a lot more fun to watch, I suspect.


  1. Katherine

    My cats, too, are not fans of that thick white stuff. Ours isn’t as thick as yours, but 3″ is still way too deep in their opinion. The ice layer on top is getting thick enough that they don’t always break through now, which they appreciate.

    And, please no, please don’t let it be a week long break! Yesterday was lots of fun, but today is just stuck in the houseness. And if it continues it will deteriorate. Plus we have no snow days built in the calendar anymore, so who knows when/how/whether they will make up the days.

  2. Leandra

    But please also know how many HAVE NOT turned away from you and are here ready to help in any way we can.

    And again, away from the heavy — Toby is severely concerned about where he is going to go to the bathroom. He makes it plain that he goes only under duress and that he is not happy about it. Also, he seeks out even the tiniest pieces of grass or tree sticking out of the snow as his “chosen place.” It’d be pretty funny if I weren’t on the other end of the leash freezing my you-know-what off.

  3. navhelowife

    Oh yes, we too are in a state that is totally perplexed by the fact that it is winter. And there is this awful stuff on the ground. So, after this, do you think they will invest more in snow/ice clearing equipment? Nope.
    So we are on our second day of no school. Our puppies are alternately annoyed, overjoyed, and confused by the snow. They jumped like young deer in the snow yesterday. Now they carefully pick their way like little old men on the ice.
    I *should* have gotten a ton of stuff done yesterday. Didn’t happen though. So today I have purpose…not quite clean *all* the things, but getting there.
    People will turn away. And new people will pop up. You are never alone, and you are not expected to bear the entire burden alone. Let both your online and in person friends help you to plow through the sludge, to bear the heavy burdens with you in prayer and in person.

  4. Sheila

    “What the…? What (crunch) IS this stuff (crunch- hey! That hurt!) Maybe if I just make my way (ow!) to the (crunch, ow!) tree over there, it will be easier to (crunch) (yeowch!) stand- oh, no, here too? How about over that way, by (ow!) (dammit!) The Guy- he seems to be (crunch) doing OK (crunch) (ow!). WHY WON’T HE (crunch) HELP ME??? How’s a (crunch) dog supposed to (ow!) (crunch) do her thing out here? WHERE IS MY PERSON?!? I know SHE will (crunch) (arrgh!) rescue me! WHAT IS HAPPENING HERE???


  5. Jean

    Portland Oregon also has similar issues with snow. In spite of the fact that they get snow nearly every January, a few inches that stick around a few days. Not only do the schools close, they do 24 hour coverage–of snow falling. Not unlike watching the grass grow or the light change down at the corner. “Jennifer, what’s happening where you are?” “Snow is falling here (camera pans out to show the snow falling). You can see it coming down no matter which way you look. How is it where you are, Eric?” “Yep, look at that, it’s coming down over here too.” Etc. For 24-48 hours. One can only hope that parents have an ample collection of activities to occupy their kids, because the TV sure won’t do it :-)

  6. Ani

    LOL…I used to have a schnauzer who would do that. In 2-3 FEET of snow he would disappear completely then hop like a rabbit. He hated it but I could not stop laughing.

    The people that stay when the going gets rough, that’s when you know who the true friends are. Often they are not who you thought they’d be.

  7. Ani

    Oh, and FWIW I’m in Ohio and the kids are out of school today…even though the snow hasn’t even STARTED yet. Seriously?

  8. Ann from St. Peter MN

    We just got another six inches of snow last night, bringing our total to around 40 inches. Yeah – we are running out of places to put it. However, we DO shovel a few paths for the dog to make it easier for her to go potty. It comes in handy that she is a long legged black lab, who actually loves the snow. It is sad, though, that the snow is so deep she no longer has to squat to pee – she is always belly deep anyway!

    Enjoy your snow days and cocooning with your family! Do you have any idea how bad it would have to be here for me to get a day off? I am jealous!

  9. Erin J

    Mir, I’ve been following you for the past three and a half years, through the birth of a child, a career change, and the trauma of my divorce and subsequent attempt to pull my life together…although you don’t know me and I’ve only posted one other time here, through your honesty and openness here you’ve been one of my only “connections” to another person (can that possibly make sense?) At times your writing has given me hope (a lot of times) and plenty of other times through your writing I’ve seen other valuables – mercy, compassion, and always love. I am so grateful that you are there, willing to share so much of yourself (with everybody, your loved ones, us here on the interwebs, everyone :-) I think sometimes it helps just to know, although some people may be turning away, that there are people out there that do care. At least, that was/is true for me. Even if you don’t know me, even if we never talk, I am out there, caring, sometimes thinking of you and your family and your problems, and hoping and wishing for a good outcome and crossing my fingers for you and yours.

  10. Nelson's Mama

    I’ve had no pieces of insight nor wisdom to offer, but have been keeping you in my prayers.

    We’re snowed in too and I’m loving it. Nelson however does not – he slips out the cat door when no one is looking and does his business in the garage! Pretty smart, huh?

  11. bj

    Little doggie snowshoes? There must be something like that, no?

  12. Randi

    Ha ha ha!! I need to get video of my three monsters plowing through it – they literally plow through the snow like it’s not even there. SO much fun to watch!

  13. Headless Mom

    I know that I’m not the first to say it, and there will be dozens after me, but you’re not alone. We’re all listening, and I know that you have Otto, and your parents, and irl friends that are willing to help. I’m sure that it must feel so overwhelming and frustrating. I don’t have any answers, only ((hugs)). You guys will make it, I just know it.

  14. Rachel

    Hugs to you, and you can keep the snow down there in GA. We have enough here in ND, but we are equiped to handle it so no snow days off.

  15. Aimee

    The best advice I can give is to focus on the people who haven’t turned away. And if all else fails, put the dog out in the snow and point at her and laugh. ;)

  16. JennyM

    You’re not alone…. I know you don’t know me and I have absolutely nothing to offer except that I’m here, reading and caring. I wish I was a doctor (a magical doctor with all the answers) and could tell you what to do and make things all better.

    And: my dog seems to think I personally turned the lovely fluffy white stuff into jagged shards of Not Fun purely to annoy her. If looks could kill….

  17. KarenP

    Hugs from me too, Mir. Thinking of you often.

    Here in Olympia they do the snow panic on the tv. Even the threat of one inch is endlessly talked about. Snow, where it is falling, and how much is on the ground. We don’t have a lot of snow equipment on the western side of the state. Plus a lot of hills.

  18. Megan

    Okay, now I feel slightly guilty for having spent the last two weeks whining about having no snow days. Actually, I felt guilty about it before… either that or just terrified that the rest of the nation would come thumping down on me if I went ‘whyyyyyyy do i have no snoooooow?’ one more time.

    More seriously – as said again and again above we’re here. We (me, I) may not always know what to say, may spend a while dithering over the keyboard before just giving up and not commenting for fear of saying something, anything that would make things worse – but that doesn’t mean we’re not here, not caring, not worrying and hoping, not wishing that there was some way to help.

  19. Lucinda

    Lol@ Jean because that’s exactly how it is! However, since I’ve lived in Oregon my whole life, I am used to the coverage. I just ignore it although I do confess to getting a little crazy about checking the weather when snow is predicted.

    Mir-still praying for all of you. We are having drama with my daughter for going on 2 weeks now that has left me exhausted and it isn’t half as serious as what you have been facing for quite some time. I can only imagine where it is leaving you when I know how depleted I am feeling right now. Hugs to you always.

  20. Heide

    Welcome to the “Secret Society of Moms with Special needs Kids”. We UNDERSTAND. It doesn’t matter the issue, physical, mental, Chronic, we understand that many people will give lip service and gossip, but the rare friend/family member will be one of the few that will step up and stand by your side when the going is rough/complex/uncomfortable.

    Once upon a time (9 Years ago). I was a mom of three beautiful healthy daughters. I was living the dream. Happy marriage, happy life. Then in a period of three months, two of my daughters were diagnosed with a Chronic debilitating hard to explain, hard to understand disease. At first we were surrounded by get well balloons and “Anything you need..just call”. As it became clear that there were not enough balloons in the world to make them well, and the things we needed were things that weren’t always easy/pretty………[crickets].

    We experienced a paradoxical shift in our support system. Before Diagnosis I would have told you that I had a close circle of supportive family and friends -my go to circle. I also had a larger circle of acquaintances and lesser friends surrounding that inner circle. I was golden. After diagnosis there is only one very small, very passionate circle. They would die for me and I for them. This new circle is surprisingly made of people once considered mere acquaintances and lesser friends from the older larger circle.

    In the beginning of our journey I was so battered and I felt so betrayed by the absence of my dear friends. Why had they abandoned me when I most needed them? I have over time, come to forgive thier weakness. Watching others cry, grieve, talk about medical procedures, vent anger and frustration…well that is not for everyone. It takes a strength of character that not everyone possesses. Then there are the people that are just shallow, and you just didn’t realize it, these are the people who back away because your child’s disability/non perfectness may somehow embarrass/reflect badly on them. These people are dumb-asses and forgiveness is not needed, because thier absences is a blessing.

    Nine years later we have settled into a new life. It is not pretty or normal, but it is happy. We have a close circle of support and we are strong.

    You will slowly come to recognize the other Mom’s in the Secret society. We are everywhere. We have your back.

  21. laura

    I’ve watched several people surveying the falling snow today. Here on the OH/IN line we do have snow….all the time…but it’s so easy to get caught up in the SNOWDRAMA that even the lightly falling snow today makes us all wish we were home for a snow day.

    My big, burly, he-man husband keeps a path shoveled for our little princess lest she have to trod through snow (or do her business on the porch steps!)

    Enjoy your day, get in some snuggle time, maybe some snow ice cream.

  22. RuthM

    I echo all the comments above – we’re here, we care, you are not alone. I’ve been reading for awhile, but have never commented because I feel like I have no better words of wisdom to offer than what’s already been said.

    P.S. Here in central WI, we’ve had no significant snow for at least a week. No snow days, alas. One cat doesn’t mind the snow and cold, the other thinks it a personal affront that she can’t find grass to chew. It’s a long winter for her.

  23. Mary

    We’re expecting 12″-18″ in New England (Massachusetts) tomorrow and, naturally, the worst will be during the morning commute. I am really thankful that working from home is an option (though not necessarily one that the boss prefers, but, hey!?!?!?) Course, if they just close the ‘tute, that’d be really cool!

    I’m sorry that you feel that people are turning away from you and I’m sorry that I don’t have any answers for you, but as I’ve said before, whether you realize you’re doing good in your writing or not, you have made me a better person by making me aware of the issues that come along with Asperger’s and hopefully, better educated ignoramuses like me might make things just a tad bit easier for the likes of you that are living it! (Darn, I hope that makes sense!)

    Happy New Year, Mir! Stay strong!

  24. laura

    Amen Heide.

  25. Jenna

    It’s possible that the people you perceive as turning away may be reluctant to say things that might be wrong. Or right, but upsetting. The things that are going on with both Monkey and Chickadee seem so complicated and so open to communication missteps that it may be hard for people to know how to react. I know that I’ve thought about posting in response to a number of things that you’ve said in the last few weeks, but I’ve held back each time because I haven’t been sure that anything I might say would actually be helpful. Maybe some of the people you know in real life who know what’s going on are feeling the same way.

  26. Jen

    My husband thought it would fun to introduce our dog to snow over the holiday. Our dog, who finds it to be too cold to go outside at home in SAN DIEGO. For some reason, he thought she’d like it (she doesn’t like water either – rain, or even wet grass, is reason for her to refuse to go outside). Once she was off the road and into the snow, she refused to move any further, and stood there making sad doggy faces while my husband took pictures of her. My 12 year old, who refused to take a jacket to the snow because HE WAS NOT GOING TO GET COLD, MOM!, was making similar sad-faces, because, you know, he was really cold, and no one (read: Mom) would give him their jacket. After about 10 minutes of forced not-playing in the snow, dad let everyone back into the car and we went home. Certainly worth the 45 minutes worth of driving to get there.
    My husband and I have discussed what would happen in San Diego if there were a freak snow storm. As people here can’t even figure out what to do when it rains, I would imagine it would be similar to what you’re experiencing.

  27. Heidi

    Days where you feel like you keep falling into the crust? Yeah, been there.

  28. Another Dawn

    Ah, the culling of the “friends” has begun, has it? Consider it a boon. Who needs fair-weather friends?

    Also, what Heide said, so much more eloquently than I ever could.

  29. s

    even in New England, the impending storm has folks calling off activities and school already and its 8 hours plus out…things have changed since we had to walk both ways uphill to school through a blizzard!

    I’m sorry that folks are turning away from you and I just wonder how I’d feel if you were one of our “friends” – would I be strong enough to hang in there? Would I know what to say, what not to say, when to say something? I struggle so much with that in so many circumstances…you have so much on your plate, but thanks so much for sharing because hopefully you can educate those of us who don’t WANT to turn away but find ourselves doing it out of awkwardness and frankly cowardice if I am totally truthfull!

  30. Brandi

    They call salt “grit” here in the UK :)

  31. Karen

    I was going to say, when you were up north here, there wouldn’t have been a school delay, let alone a town shut down. But school is cancelled here tomorrow because of the supposed 16-18 inches coming our way. You know how everyone is frantic at the grocery store, even though by tomorrow night they will have plowed roads and they’ll be BACK at the grocery store? It’s really silly.

    We shovel a path for the dogs so there is NO EXCUSE not to do their business outside. I bet you have a problem with snowballs on licorices’ feet and legs too – hate that!

  32. Lara

    Licorice is adorable! I’m sorry to hear about the deafening silence. Unfortunately so many people when they don’t know what to say, don’t say anything at all which ironically is probably harder to take than the ones that put their foot in their mouth. I know from my neighbour’s experience (lost her baby in the 9th month of pregnancy), that it can be quite surprising which friends are true and much heartache in the ones that disappoint. Hang on tight to the good ones :) Hugs!

  33. paige

    I echo Heide’s comment: I was surprised at how many of our “friends” backed away hard and fast when not one but TWO of our kids were diagnosed; one with moderate depression and one with severe “double depression”. Nothing like reaching out for help when your kid is hallucinating demons and being told “Um. Well. Hope that works out for you.”

    One the plus side, our school’s curriculum director/head of English dept./guidance counselor (it’s a small school) told me when my oldest was FINALLY stabilized on meds “Wow. I guess there is something to medication. I thought all these ‘depressed’ kids were just lazy and had lazy parents’.” Yes, she said that to my face. And she thought she was being, uh, comforting? conciliatory?

    At least she takes mental illness a little more seriously now. Also a plus is that my kids are very open about their struggles and as a result, more parents and more struggling kids are opening up and the school can’t ignore it anymore. IEP’s are being honored, kids are being treated with dignity and the negative comments about mental health issues are at a minimum. Also wonderful is that our family did, indeed, find a core group of family and friends who would drop everything and help us, no matter what.

    Your core group will come.

  34. Tracy

    What I wouldn’t do for a snow day???? Enjoy the time! At least you still have power! That’s always a good thing. Licorice’s feet are cold! (they look cold anyway) ;o)

  35. Tracy

    Oh and I want to say exactly what Erin J said. You don’t know me but I’m here praying for you and your family. If we lived closer –like neighbors, we’d be best friends. ;o)

  36. Katie in MA

    Excellent! When it thins out just a little bit more, we can break out the good stuff. :-) You know, for us die-hards left in the trenches.

  37. Ingrid

    Been thinking about you guys a lot. I’m here if you ever need to chat (or vent, or scream in frustration, or write a snarky note about your German teacher). Love ya! :)

  38. Debra

    A little snow in GA is a lot more serious than a lot in Montana. I loved winter in MT… everyone had block heaters and chains or snow tires. There were snow plows and salt/sand trucks and we didn’t stop for anything. And everyone knew HOW TO DRIVE ON THE ICE! I loved it and so did my Cocker Spaniel. She would hop through the snow and bury her face in it and burrow through jumping up showering snow all over the place.

    That’s the biggest problem here. No one knows how to drive on ice. We didn’t have as much snow as you got. Ours is melted away and now I have to go to work tomorrow.

    Enjoy this time. Maybe Fate brought just for you.

  39. BethRD

    The snow melt formula my husband was using yesterday was making his hands smell oddly tasty, so he checked the ingredients and it contains molasses! Maybe grits would work better than you think.

  40. Mare Martell

    Here in TN they just called school off for the third day in a row. I hate our superintendent. :-D But not because he keeps the kids out of school, simply because when I was young I had to walk to school in three feet of snow in my bare feet uphill both ways and I didn’t complain. We’re raising wimps!

    Happy Snowpocalypse!

  41. getsheila

    Hang in there, Mir. Your trials and tribulations make me laugh and cry and appreciate being alive. I know you’re talking about actual flesh and blood friends that have let you down and an Internet friend isn’t quite the same thing, but we’re here for you, toots. Hang in there.

  42. Sheppitsgal

    If they’re not there for you, you don’t need ’em!

    I am a fan of the snow, but not the ice then slush it leaves behind.

    Hugs x

  43. g~

    We are currently snowed in about an hour northwest of you (if I am figuring your location correctly).

    I just went back to teaching after 7 years at home with my kids. During my “at home” time, my son was also diagnosed with a spectrum disorder. He’s younger than monkey but I can look down our road and see so many potential pitfalls. When I taught before, I never “got it”, that we do all that paperwork and individualize educational plans for a reason…because kids like my boy and yours are entitled to what other kids get (a solid, successful educational experience–even if they themselves try to make it impossible).
    You’re not alone. Even if it feels like you are. I can understand and empathize through the filtered lens of my experiences. Before we realized my son has this issue, I never would have “gotten” a kid like monkey–oh, sure, I would have been kind and respectful but it’s like becoming a mom–no one can truly understand it until it happens.
    Good luck sifting through your support network.

  44. myboyzach

    Catching up…Licorice did better than Zach. We didn’t have much snow, just a dusting, but ice on top of it. He had nothing to fall into, so he just slid across. The looks were priceless, tho, should have taken a picture or two.
    Our winter crap is gone? You realize that the Boston area got 20″ or so and went back to school the next day, but they have 4000+ plows, Atlanta has 11.

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