Thursday, January 29, 2009

Snow Daze

We live in the foothills of the Allegheny Mountains. Thusly, you would expect two things.

One, that we would get more snow. (But apparently, we're too far in the southern foothills for that.)

Two, that we would know how to handle snow.

Given that our snow accumulation for the SEASON has been less than four inches, obviously we do not get lots of snow, and nor does the area know how to handle it.

We woke on Tuesday to find that we had maybe 3/4" of snow on the ground. Now, granted, we did have this marvelous ice/snow/wintry mix storm system barreling down on us. But there was less than an inch. If you're generous with your measurements, then we had an inch. A whole inch. Whoopty-do.

But knowing my little burg, I check the online version of the local paper. It doesn't list school closings. (Because Large Fry has speech therapy on Tuesdays at one of the local school affiliates, I have to keep an eye on these things. If school's canceled, so is speech.) Our local paper has an article predicting up to six inches of ice and snow by the time it's all done. (Stay tuned.) I find a list of school closings on the website of the NBC station out of Hagerstown, and discover that school has been canceled.


Well, that frees me up to go grocery shopping. The state of staples here is pretty desperate.

Wednesday. There's maybe an inch or so of ice on top of our (generously) two inches of snow (There's not enough to warrant even looking for a plastic sled or two to take the Fries sledding. Grass is still poking through in spots.) Despite the fact that I have seen more snow plows and salt trucks come rumbling through my neighborhood in two years here than I ever saw in Columbus, the local roads are still pretty awful, but the main roads aren't too bad. But knowing that we have mountainous terrain, this time I'm not surprised that the schools are closed again. Hubby canceled youth group for the evening,given that the church is at a higher elevation and requires some pretty curvy roads to get up the mountain just to get there. He also decided to just take the day off.

After a short debate, we folk from the snow/ice belt, who are not afraid of a little snow and ice (I'm more afraid of the road conditions and inexperienced drivers), decide to pack up the Fries and head to the mall. Uncle Hubby needs new black dress shoes for church. I need boots before we go to Big MAC Ski Attack. The kids...they just plain need new shoes. And here at the house, I do not want to be messing around with laces. I want velcro-strap shoes.

I've not had breakfast (unlike the rest of the crew), so our first priority is making Auntie Jlwrites a bit more human by getting her some food.

Despite the "attraction" the highway signs proclaim our illustrious mall to be, it doesn't have a food court. (I know. It boggles the mind.) There's a Subway, an Auntie Anne's pretzel place, a candy shop, a pizza place, and a Bonanza restaurant. I suggest the pizza place, because I know the girls love that. However, when we find out that the kids' buffet at Bonanza is free for ages 3 and under, we decide that's too good a deal to pass up, and we go there.

Thankfully, it's not crowded, mostly due to it being midweek and mid-inclement-weather. We settle in, Hubby gets food for the Fries, and then we take turns filling our own plates. (He lets me go first. I think I might've been snarling.)

The Fries eat remarkably well for being out and not having the usual fare from home. We're closing in on the end of our meal when an older couple passes by our table on their way out of the restaurant and back into the mall. They pause, and the woman says, "You have very well-behaved children."

Hubby snorts. I smile and thank them. We know their better behavior is because we're not at home (around our small little round table, where they can pester each other and drive me nuts), and we say so.

"No, seriously, you do. How old are they?"

I gesture to Medium and Small. "They're twins; they just turned two right after Thanksgiving." I indicate Large Fry, who is on the other side of Hubby. "She'll be four in July."

Again, the couple expresses how well-behaved the Fries are. The woman smiles and says that her daughter-in-law is expecting twins. "So I can tell her it can be done, going out with twins."

I smile and thank them again, and Hubby and I look at each other as they walk away. "I guess we're doing good, then," he says. "Most people will stop to complain before they stop to compliment."

We must be doing something right.

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