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We Interrupt Vermontian Content to Bring You: SNOWPOCALYPSE!

My house looks like a Christmas card!

Mir is calling Georgia’s immersion in the white stuff this word, and so did my husband, and so did my pharmacist who I managed to get on the phone yesterday, so apparently it is a Zeitgeist term that is being randomly adopted? I accept it, because I am sitting in the middle of it.

Check the snow on my roof! I am tempted to think I am STILL in Vermont, but luckily my whole family and house and all my possessions are there with me.

Snow came, Snow saw, Snow Conquered. The governor has declared a state of emergency. 90% of yesterday’s flights were cancelled. 90% of everything is closed. School is out for the third day in a row.

Atlanta snapped shut quicker than a modest freshwater Georgia mussel who has been caught peeking its lone foot out. Perhaps it was attempting to show LEG, in the hopes of catching a road SOUTHer on a passing fish.

Alas, poor mussel, you have no leg to show. Only a solitary pokey foot. I know, because I suddenly understood my new main character’s profession, and it is forcing me to research Mollusks. I would rather research, say, Vodka. Hands on style. Or perhaps Mollusks in relation to a hot curry broth?

No. I need to understand their life cycle. Dernit. Honestly, the things one does for love. And I am falling in love with William, this fellow who has long been lurking around in the back of my head, only now he is getting all mouthy and demanding.

William wants me to write a book about him, NOW PLEASE, like a stronger and stronger throat clearing happening in my OWN traitorous brain parts, AHEM AHEM. I tell him to suck it, I am NOT writing. I am ON A BREAK to let the deep black soils of my mental illness fields still their churned up surface and lie fallow. I have been plowing and tilling that mud pretty hard to dig the last five books out. It is time to rest those fields for a season. To teach a little. To blog. To snoogle the old cat I love and stick my tongue out that at the awful cat I tolerate, to make dewey-eyed spider cupcakes for Maisy’s class for arachnid day, should school ever start back and should that glorious many-legged day ever come.

Isolated by snow, the neighbor children banded together, Lord of the Flies style, to make this strange deity

William is not interested in the state of my mental illness fields’s soil. He is not interested in cat snoogling or legs made from red licorice. He is interested in…endangered Mollusks. Yeah. But William MUST hush, because…

I have 47 emails about scheduling that piled up while I teaching at the Residency. I cannot answer them until I FIND MY CALENDAR. These emails all want to schedule or confirm or shift previously scheduled things, and I have NO idea what days are free. I feel turtle-on-its- back-helpless….

All of Atlanta has shut down! Even so? Yesterday I wobbled out in the snow on my balding summer tires and skidded down the highway to a clot of strip malls in a nearby town. Every store had pretty much closed down except Wal-Mart (Lord HELP ME) but I had to buy a new calendar. I am trying to rebuild the Sacred Paper Calendar by sorting through my 4,867 deleted emails.


This is the actual number of deleted emails I have. Granted, most of them are about my penis and the fine medications it needs. Or they are from Yasser Afafats (sic) widow, wanting me to help her confidentially move a crap-ton of money from where ever she is to my bank account. Mrs. “Afafat” is all nice to me like that. Still, I have to sort THROUGH all these gems, and as I do, I am slowwwwwly unearthing bits of useful information about who I have promised to be where when.

If you read this blog and know of a book club call or appearance or a social function or a child activity or an obligation I have taken on in 2011, please e-mail me. I wish I was kidding.

I feel strongly that I am supposed to be somewhere THIS WEEK. I have no idea where or what. I am greatful I have snow to blame for the moment when I do not show…Maybe no one will show. Maybe they are all home, making snowbeasts. And, maybe, JUUUUST maybe, the SINGLE SACRED PAPER CALENDAR TRACKING MY WHOLE LIFE—which seemed so SIMPLE and GENIUS when I started it 7 or 8 years ago—-was not that great an idea, after all.

I have this VAGUE idea that my Sacred Paper Calendar MAY be at a tapas restaurant where I last met my writing group. Like, this sort of HOPEFUL and irrational feeling, that MAYBE, this ONE TIME for no discernable reason and contrary to my entire life plan, MAYBEJUSTMAYBE I took the sacred paper calendar out to eat? Maybe I felt it needed a Sangria? But I can’t call the restaurant because…SNOWPOCOLYPSE! Yeah. It is my lat, my only hope, and I am glad to have it, I tell you.

Little Southern Children do not understand snow. Here is my beautiful, bare-ankled darling, braving the outdoors in her thin, spring cardigan. Does improper winter gear cause happiness, or merely a wildly grinning form of dementia?

While I wait for Atlanta to unclench and have restaurants again, I am keeping myself busy with calendar reconstruction and watching Maisy Jane and Sam joyously take on our cul-de-sac’s lone tiny hillock in a sled-esque object constructed from plastic sheeting and a laundry basket.

IN OTHER NEWS: There are times—-rereading THE SOLACE OF LEAVING EARLY in particular, or when again trying to unravel my way through the stacked complexities of the gorgeous IODINE—-when I think, “OH, you can’t possibly love Haven Kimmel any more. You must stop. You will end up squatting in a bush outside her home with her name engraved via jailhouse tattoo all over your face, and you will forget to pick the kids up at school.”

Then on facebook, I find links to interviews like this one, about writing and working with editors and our place in the tottering industry, and I reach for a mostly sterile needle and some ballpoint ink in spite of my very best intentions.

20 comments to We Interrupt Vermontian Content to Bring You: SNOWPOCALYPSE!

  • Mir

    Whoa. Miss Maisy Jane is looking VERY grown-up in that picture! STOP IT IMMEDIATELY!

    I know, darling, that you are going to balk at this because you have a deep love for the paper calendar… but… you need to use Google Calendar as well. As a back-up. So that you don’t need to reconstruct via Yassar Arafat’s widow next time. Just sayin’.

  • Haley

    Everyone on the news has been using the term Snowpocalypse. I first heard this term about a year ago during the gigantic snowstorms that overtook the country in early 2010, so I think it may have originated then.

    School where I live is canceled again tomorrow. I am amazed at your neighbor children’s snowman, because I attempted to make one and failed because the snow does not seem like the right texture. So tell them that they have the magic touch.

    And put some socks on that child!!! My ankles are cold just thinking about it.

  • …I think the Lord of the Flies children made Jabba the Hutt. Or Slimer. You have old school neighborhood kids.

  • rams

    Maisie needs pink socks. Send mailing address. And be of good cheer (though I am not) that you are not due at the Calvin Festival of Faith and Writing because the next one isn’t due until 2012, by which time you will be running both virtual and paper calendars. At least.

  • I am highly annoyed that school is being cancelled yet again! 4 days in a row. I think that must be some sort of record. And we spent most of an hour trying to de-ice our driveway this afternoon in anticipation of school tomorrow. Note – hoes, pointy shovels and rakes do not do a particularly good job of removing ice. It is a slow and tedious process.

  • Jess (of the formerly blue hair)

    I recommend setting up a Google Calendar account– it’s how I keep myself from losing everything I’ve ever agreed to do!

  • Brigitte

    I suspect the old calendar will wait until your reconstruction is as complete as it will ever be, and one or two appointments have passed . . then it will show up somewhere you looked 1,000 times already, taunting you.

  • Two things: You have a LOVELY house. and you call that a state of emergency? *shakes head* We had more than that with a two-hour delay! *G* (Philly here.)

    Also – don’t fret Maisie Jane. My hubs wears shorts no matter how much snow we have. You’ll be fine.

    The way you talk about William just makes me laugh and laugh. I know I’m a baby writer but it’s JUST LIKE THAT. You SWEAR you’re taking a break and the stories just will not let you.

  • Kitty

    Oh my gosh – I just took a good long look at that picture and realized it appears that Maisy is sledding in a laundry basket protected by a large garbage bag. Love it! That’s creativity. I suppose they don’t even sell sleds down where you live. Up here in Minne-soooo-ta, there are sleds a-plenty but I am becoming so grumpy about the over-abundance of snow this year that I refuse to even go outside and play in it with my children. I may have some denial issues.

  • Aimee

    Snowpocalypse, schmopocalypse. Let’s talk Haven Kimmel. Loved that interview. Love HER. Maybe I’ll tattoo myself, too.

  • Your kids got fancy with the sled. When we would get “enough” snow in northeastern Louisiana to “sled”, we’d just use cardboard boxes. We ended up with very wet hineys. And in the photo of Maisy, the first thing I noticed were her feet. . .if she grows into those things, you will have a SUPER MODEL on your hands.

  • The spider cupcakes look more like a Muppet cupcake to me….

  • Jennifer in NC

    Only a Southern child knows how to improvise and make a sled out of a laundry basket! Reminds me of my college days in Raleigh, NC and on the rare occasion of snow, we would go “traying”. The cafeteria trays made great sleds. Better for sledding than for eating turkey tetrazzini…

  • Mr. Husband

    Why snowpocalypse? Because it sounds better than snowmageddon.

    It makes sense to me.

  • Em

    I am actually going to make a calendar recommendation, even though people don’t make calendar recommendations. It’s stupid. But here goes anyway… The busy body book. It is BIGish so you won’t lose it. It has columns to keep up with kid activities or diets or bills or deadlines or whatever. It has very cool covers which lead strangers to the obvious conclusion that I am super awesome in every way and not the type of nerd to offer calendar recommendations.

    I am trying very hard not to be that northern type person but dude, I can still see your bushes.

  • Michelle-who-is-Shelley

    First, I LOVE Maisy’s cardigan and jeans and I am once again wishing that I were young again so that I could wear cute jeans like that.
    Second, Loved the article by Haven Kimmel. The Festival of Faith and Writing has asked for requests for the next conference and I am going to request that both you AND Haven Kimmel come again.
    Third, there are two kinds of little Northern children: a) the kind who’s mothers dress them in so many layers before they leave the house that school is almost over by the time they get them all off. . . .and b) the children whose mothers have given up that battle because so much of the clothing is left behind at school and let their kids wear shorts, no socks, no hat, or whatever they want to school even in the snow.

  • Michelle-who-is-Shelley

    of COURSE I didn’t mean to type “who’s”, because that would make the sentence “the kind who is mothers dress them”. . . .

    What I meant to type was “whose” 🙂

  • JMixx

    !. I love the spider cupcakes. Makes eating a cupcake that looks like (what I think of as) a “bug” seem like a wonderful idea. Otherwise, that idea is ew ew EW! And yes, I know they’re not bugs, not even insects, but what would YOU call them? Octilegged Pest Control Creatures?

    @. The first thing I thought of when I saw that snow-monster was “Jabba the Hutt!” Bring me Solo…and a cookie.

    #. Beautiful Maisy is how many now??? She does look grown-up. And joyful. And maybe just a touch snow-manic.

    $. I have begun to do something with my email, and I am not saying you should do it too; I merely offer it as an example of my desperate struggle to organize life in some understandable manner. I have a separate folder in my email box for important emails; it is called “Keepers” and includes such vital email communication as the bank’s acknowledgement that I have paid a certain bill, and similar CYA sorts of things. A folder for emails called, say, “Appointments” or “Scheduling” would enable one to keep emails that are vital to one’s daily LIFE separate from the myriad pleas to “Keap Ur Wimmin Happy in B3d!” or “Plz Halp Me Smuggle My Millions.” It’s easy enough to delete the emails after the appointment/engagement has been kept, canceled, or rescheduled for Snowpocalypse.

    %. I have decided that “numbering” lists with the little symbols above the numbers is more entertaining, especially when the list is of my relatively insignificant blithering.

    ^. As a lifelong steamed-quahog-drenched-in-butter consumer, and a reader, I can hardly wait to meet William! (I ate quahogs starting at about age 6 or 7, even though they used to make me break out in the most itchy rash around my mouth. Apparently I was allergic. I ate them anyway.)

    &. After living in Vermont and Minnesota, I realized that the different responses to snow had less to do with the intestinal fortitude of the people and more to do with the state’s supply of plows and salt/sand mixture. When Vermont had the roads plowed and sanded by 7 am, it was easy to get to work/school. In Virginia, which until recently had, I think, six miniature plows (not even plows, really,just pickup trucks with plow accessories stapled to the front bumper and Jedediah sitting in the bed tossing sand like he was chumming for clams) for the entire majestic Commonwealth, of course it took longer to get back to business!

  • You are supposed to be at my house on the 23rd. In the afternoon. Just sayin.’

  • Leigh

    No Jessica, she is supposed to be at MY house on the 23rd, but in the morning, and staying for the next 3 days, so that pink sock stories can be finished and chocolate and fine port can be imbibed. But Jessica, you can come too.