Long before Blizzard 1996 hit, some of us were talking about winter weather. Our middle son spoke with confidence, “Nostradamus predicts we’ll have the worst winter weather in history!”
“Nostradamus who? And who would name their kid Nostradamus anyway?” I asked.
I knew Nostradamus was a 16th century prophet, but he didn’t write in English which means whatever he said has been translated over and over and then translated again by this so-called newspaper. That was that, for a little while.
Then the wind blew and the snow flew, and flew, and flew.
When it stopped, temporarily, it looked beautiful. Of course, I could enjoy it from inside a warm house.
Bill, my husband, decided it was time to use a toy he bought over a year ago—the snow blower.
Once he got it going and found the sidewalk, he looked like he was enjoying moving the machine over and under the snow. “Sure beats shoveling,” was his decision.
While he played with his snow blower I began to catch up on my reading—all those books I bought because I wanted to read them, but never seemed to have time.
The next day I thought about cleaning house, but managed to overcome the notion. Instead we watched the birds and squirrels empty the birdfeeder several times. Charlie, the almost tame squirrel who considers our feeder a 4-star establishment even brought some friends to dine.
Before Christmas we bought peanuts for Charlie, hoping to keep him off the birdfeeder. Instead, the blue jays stole the nuts from Charlie. After Christmas we ran out of peanuts so we put some peanut brittle out for Charlie. For that he fought off the blue jays.
We keep buying the seeds because Charlie entertains us with his antics, and we know the birds will reward us by making numerous deposits on our vehicles.
Several days later as the snow emergency level went up and down the scale from one to three, and back again, we made necessary forays to the stores for supplies, ate, talked on the phone, slept, read or blew snow, then slept, turned on the TV, then slept, I reached the point where I even slept through the screaming on the talk shows. It was times to shake the lethargy!
We took down the Christmas decorations and discovered an advantage of the snow. January was a dangerous month for the budget because when the bright Christmas decorations came down I became aware that we needed some new interior decorations.
This year, with all the snow and activity outside, along with listening when the scanner squawked, reading, eating, sleeping, and fighting the occasional urges to clean the house, I haven’t noticed whether our interior needs new decorations. But I am beginning to understand how animals can enjoy hibernation.
A few days ago the newspaper with Nostradamus’ predictions resurfaced in my reading stack. This time I read the article. For North America he saw January temperatures with highs of 0 to 5 degrees and lows between 20 and 60 below. He didn’t mention record breaking snow until February. And he promised a record deep freeze until May. He didn’t specify what part of North America.
Before you run out to buy more long underwear you should know this “newspaper” also featured an article on how to tell if your friend or neighbor is a werewolf, and an advice columnist who addresses a reader complaint that his bride-to-be is a beautiful woman who always picks her nose, and a health and beauty tip that suggests you ask your dentist about a product that will help you like artificial saliva.
I think I’ll go back to reading my books.
AUTHOR’S NOTE: This column was first published in the Daily Advocate Jan. 17,1996.
Kathleen Floyd is a volunteer citizen columnist, who serves The Daily Advocate readers weekly with her column Back Around the House II. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Viewpoints expressed in the article are the work of the author. The Daily Advocate does not endorse these viewpoints or the independent activities of the author.