On Friday night, as I sat down to write this, I got an email.
“Looking forward to reading about your family’s experience in the snow,” wrote the reader, a local elementary school principal.
So I guess I’ll write about my family’s experience in the snow on Wednesday. It wasn’t much.
My 15-year-old son woke me up at 7 a.m. He had prepared and eaten scrambled eggs, sausage and toast. He’d even made a pot of coffee, which was great because he likes his coffee strong.
On any other day off from school, that boy would wake up at noon. But he was up at the crack of dawn. He even put on his boots and went out in the winter wonderland to get firewood.
“I guess you just need a reason to wake up, don’t you?” I said.
He shrugged. He guessed so.
Then my 17-year-old woke up. That’s when Bess passed out the snow pants, still wrapped in plastic.
Several years ago, before we took a train to Montreal and then spent Christmas with my brother’s family in the Adirondacks, we ordered a bunch of snow pants from a Walmart in Minnesota. For 10 bucks a pair, they were really nice snow pants, but it didn’t snow in Canada and then New York was warmer on December 25th than it was that same year on July Fourth.
So we didn’t even unwrap the snow pants.
But on Tuesday, we finally did. We had plenty to go around because my daughter and oldest son were in Athens.
But like I said, our snow day wasn’t much to write about. We put on the snow pants and we stayed warm and dry.
We trekked up a hill with the two perfectly good wood sleds that Bess and I had fetched from the trash in our German neighborhood in 1991, and then we sledded down.
It was tough sledding, as they say, but better if you stayed in the one side of the lone set of car tracks, which had pressed down to the ice.
I took one trip and called it quits. It was a fun ride, but I have a friend my age who’s in better shape than me who threw out his back putting on a shirt, and I kept thinking about that while I bumped across the snow and ice.
We went back and fixed bacon and eggs, which gave my 15-year-old a chance to eat a second breakfast and grow another 2 inches. Then I drove downtown to work, where I reaffirmed my notion that nobody in the South knows how to drive in the snow.
That was my family’s “experience in the snow.”
I’d also like to mention a voice mail I received this week. Zelma James, 78, said, “I appreciate you writing about your family and how much you love them.”
She also said she hoped I would write about what happened when she fell in the Publix at Cross Country Plaza, and how the people there rushed to help her out.
So I called her to get the details. She said there was a lady and her two daughters, and two older men, and some others. “I didn’t get their names because I was so embarrassed,” she said.
She also seemed embarrassed to point out that none of the people were “her race.” But she felt like she needed to say it because, she said, “you hear all this stuff about race.”
“I watch a lot of cable news,” she said, “to know what the government is doing. I think they take the worst part. There are some mean people, but the good people outweigh the bad people.”
She sad she doesn’t encounter meanness, because she doesn’t go anywhere but Columbus.
“There are good people here,” she said.
I’ll second that. Just stay off the road when they’re driving.