Wednesday, January 29, 2014

A Snowy Day

A good snow is a rare thing where I grew up in Burlington, NC.  A good snow is an even rarer thing in the Sandhills of NC where I live now.  When I was younger, snow was pure goodness.  It meant not going to school and playing outside with my brother, sister, and neighbors until we couldn't feel our extremities, and then coming inside for hot chocolate and time by the fire.  Now that I'm a bona fide adult, snow days aren't quite as simple.  Although I do still admittedly get excited about snow, there is more stress to come with winter weather now.  Grown ups have to worry about finding out whether or not they're going to have to use their vacation hours to take the day off work, whether there's enough food in the kitchen, and how to drive on hazardous roads that we're definitely not used to down in this neck of the woods.  But I do still usually love snow... except for the snow that fell last night.  I hate this snow day.

I hate this snow day because the Mister was supposed to be home Monday, and then he was supposed to be home yesterday, and then he was supposed to be home today, and now he may or may not be home on Friday - thank you Southern snow storm.  He's been gone over 20 days now with no communication other than infrequent texts. I wouldn't be as upset about it if I had always thought he wouldn't be home till Friday - it's just the getting my hopes up about him coming home each day only to find out he won't be that is a little perturbing.  But I'm trying to keep it all in perspective and this is the most I'll whine about it because firstly, I know the Mister is just as, if not more, frustrated than I am.  I'm not the one who has been sleeping in a tent and eating MREs.  While I'm just missing him, he's missing me plus wanting to sleep in his own bed and eat a home-cooked meal.  Secondly, I am lucky enough to have someone who loves me and wants nothing more than to be at home with me eating potato soup and watching Redbox movies, and that's nothing to complain about.  So, I'm trying to remember to find the beauty in this snow day.

The puppy dogs and I went for a walk right after we woke up this morning.  That way, we got to see the snow when it was still untouched and almost perfect.  It was lovely to see all the families around the neighborhood playing in their front yards bright and early.  One little girl, probably around four years old, said hello as I walked by, and I asked her if she was going to build a snow man.  She told me she hadn't yet because her hands were too cold and that she needed "socks for her hands."  Her mom came out the door right at that moment and said, "Not socks for your hands, they're called gloves."  That gave me a good chuckle.

Two side notes about this picture: 1) It's amazing how a dog who is usually white and seemed pretty clean from his last bath can suddenly turn a dirty shade of yellow when walking in the snow.  2) Our dogs wear Haltis for walks.  We used to use a pinch collar on Hank, but we signed a contract saying we would use no type of pain for training when we adopted Luellen.  We now swear by Haltis; walking two hyper dogs without them would be nearly impossible.

One family was driving their snow mobile around the neighborhood all day.  At first I thought it was a little strange, but it just goes to show that people in military towns come from all over.  I guess if you move from Alaska or Colorado to Fort Bragg you might as well bring your snow mobile for the occasional deep snow that occurs every two to three winters here. 

I'm not sure if Luellen had ever seen snow before we adopted her, but I know for a fact Hank has never been in a snow as deep as the 4-5 inches we had today.  He loves cold weather, so he loves the snow. He has bounded and leapt and dug.  He seemed surprised to find his regular backyard under the snow while he was digging around.  I guess he thought it had disappeared forever to be replaced with marshmallow land.  Lulu, on the other hand, is not fond of the snow.  She only goes outside when she has to tinkle and, when she does, she walks like a cat with tape on its feet, then runs inside as soon as she's finished doing her business.

After our walk, I changed from my wet jeans back into my pajamas and they've been on ever since because that's allowed when you're stuck in the house all day.  It's also a well known fact that socks don't have to match on snow days.

I even did my yoga in my jammies!  I tried a new yoga app called Pocket Yoga.  There aren't any yoga studios near where I live, and I like iPhone apps better than yoga DVDs.  Yoga DVDs usually cost $10-$30 and have 3-5 practices on them, whereas apps typically have tons of practices from which to choose and are free or only a few dollars.  Up until now, I've been using a free app called Yoga Studio that I really like.  It has a wide variety of practices, but I've done all of them and I'm not into repetition.  Pocket Yoga cost $2.99, and I was a little let down by it.  It only has three practices, but you can choose the length (30, 60, or 90 minutes) and difficulty level (Beginner, Intermediate, or Expert).  The visual demonstrations for the poses were just still images instead of the visual for the whole practice being more like a video as it is in Yoga Studio. An important part of yoga is the flow, moving from pose to pose, and that's lacking in this app.  The narration is very choppy and not very instructive.  I wouldn't suggest this app to a beginner because it moves quickly and the details for each pose are not described.  Another small pet peeve about it is that the narrator calls "tabletop pose" "your box."  The pose was used a lot in the practice I did today (Beginner "Ocean" - the cardio practice), and the narrator kept saying "return to your box" and "go back into your box."  It just sounded strange.  It was a good workout though and, even though I wasn't completely pleased with my purchase, I will probably continue to use Pocket Yoga since I paid for it and I need the variety.


So that's how I've tried to make the best of this beautiful but disappointing snow day.  The highlight was that Chris got to call today and I heard his VOICE for the first time in almost a month.  Even better, he's going to try to call again tonight when we can talk a little longer.  I'm going to go warm up some soup and settle in for a night of TV watching and cross stitching.  Luellen keeps hitting my arm while I'm trying to type - must be time for her to eat too.  Cross your fingers for me and lots of other folks around here that the sun comes out and the roads between the base where Chris and his pals are stuck in Mississippi and Fort Bragg become safe to travel soon!   I'm sure there are people all over this part of the country who have loved ones displaced due to the weather.  Good luck to everyone stranded and to their families waiting for them at home.  Stay warm!

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