Blizzard, not just a sick treat from Dairy Queen. A gift from Mother Nature.

If you're in my part of the world, I'm sure you're saying..."Umm..gift? Really?".

Minneapolis was hit with a pretty impressive blizzard that started Friday night and continued all the way through Saturday evening. For a little while the "we're not going to let a little snow stop us" mentality reigned, but by mid-afternoon on Saturday we all collectively waved the white flag. Not that a white flag was visible, but we waved it anyway.

Buses stopped running, the airport closed, businesses closed up shop...it was official. We were snowbound.

I was all set to host a birthday party for one of my newest and bestest friends. She wanted a mellow night, featuring lounge attire and John Hughes movies. We had a nice little group arranged, a mutual friend baked a pumpkin cheesecake for us. It was going to be fabulous.

And then the blizzard hit. We didn't officially give up until just a couple of hours before it was due to start, even though my front door was (and at this moment, still is) blocked by a 5 foot tall snowdrift. One particularly hardy chick claimed she needed to get out so badly that she'd hoof it over to my pad. But it had gotten to the point where it wasn't just foolish to head out, it was downright dangerous.

Which left me snowbound. Alone. With my dog, my television. And with an entire pumpkin cheesecake.

To be honest with you, I'm not sure what scared me more: being alone with my thoughts, or with that damn cheesecake.

In the end, both of them got the best of me.

As the snow fell and the wind blew, I started to feel a wee bit sorry for myself. And that's allowed, you know? I firmly believe that our feelings are all valid, no matter what. Even self-pity. Because without self pity we wouldn't get to the point that we are so freaking sick of hearing our own whiny voice that we tell ourselves to snap out of it.

I was sad because the kids were with Big Daddy. Or rather, it was his weekend. At least two of them had been on sleepovers, but the point is, they weren't with me. This was a momentous occasion here in the Northland, where we pride ourselves on being so tough, so resilient, so damned Minnesotan. It takes a lot for us to hunker down and wait it out, apparently around 20" of snow.

It's something that they will remember forever. I wanted to be part of it with them, wanted to be the one in the kitchen with them, making cookies and bars and all kinds of comfort foods. I wanted to be on the couch with them, huddled up under a blanket while we watched Christmas shows and cheesy movies. I wanted to see their faces when we opened the front door and our eyes fell upon the crazy snowglobe world we'd landed in.

I wanted to experience it with them.

So I gave myself about an hour to mope, cry a few bitter, angry tears. And then got over it.

Which led to the first "sampling" of the pumpkin cheesecake. Followed soon after by the second sampling. And it was good. Like lick-the-fork good.

Thank God for facebook, too, I was able to communicate with my other stranded friends. I played Scrabble, chatted with a few homies, you know the drill. One friend invited me over, and even though she lives just a few blocks away I decided to stay put. It just seemed like a night to be home. Even home alone.

Eventually I gave in to the reality of my situation, and made the best of it. I wrote, I finally got around to watching the season finale of "Sons of Anarchy" (and what is wrong with me that I actually teared up a little bit when that FBI bitch got her comeuppance???). I did laundry, answered emails and made a fabulous giant salad. I took Walter outside and laughed out loud at my big sweet dog bounding through the snow like a porpoise. I gabbed on the phone with friends and had a couple glasses of some really good red wine.

I enjoyed this gift of solitude from Mother Nature.

I got to thinking...we all believe that we're in control of our lives. We schedule stuff, make plans, dream (or fret) about the future...but we're not really the ones in control.

We are like the people on the moving sidewalks at the airport. Blithely moving forward, confident that at some point we'll reach our destinations.

But things happen sometimes, things that remind us of how little we actually control.

Blizzards. Illness. Bad economies. Bad spouses.

We need that, sometimes. We need the little "ahem" from whom-or whatever it is that really does call the shots. We need to be made aware that life can change at any time.

We need a blizzard now and then. Like a giant mommy giving us a time out, that blizzard showed up and sent us all to our rooms. Some of us had our families to keep us company, some had friends, some had nothing.

I had my dog, my thoughts. And a cheesecake.

And it was fine.

Time for me to go dig out now. Enjoy your blizzards, my friends.


  1. I was THIS close to coming over last night. Our plans were, of course, cancelled. I was not in a hunker-down mood! Plus I was out of booze.

  2. Dammit Danielle. You should have! I still have all the liquid refreshments left over from the Gathering. Including your blueberry vodka! You don't know how fortunate it is that I didn't have any sort of mix in the house yesterday.

  3. Great post. If it's any comfort, Grace did not appreciate the historical nature of the situation AT ALL. She loved the snow, but was frustrated that we couldn't go anywhere and kept complaining that she was bored. So, although disappointing, maybe your blizzard without your angels was better than the real thing : )


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