Tuesday, January 11, 2011
Tiny Snowflakes and Quilted Goodness
Southern Snow! Nothing is more exciting than the possibility of snow in the southern Delta. Moms race to the grocery store to stock up on bread and milk so they are prepared should the seventh seal be opened or we are snowed in for more than a few hours. It's not like we don't already have enough groceries on hand to sustain a small army, but you never know when one might need some fresh guacamole and home-made salsa to fight off the cold. I stand ready to meet these needs. Kids begin mining for hats and gloves and full Arctic expedition gear in case we get that 1 - 3 inches of snow that will stop everything in its tracks. The news anchors report about being prepared and sheltering in place. That particular term, "Shelter In Place" makes me think of a concrete bunker, cans of tuna and bottles of water. My children understand that to mean that we have raced to the video store and have half a dozen of the latest movies, we have ice cream in an assortment of flavors, frozen pizzas are readily accessible at all times and someone actually knows where the TV remote is located. There is a community pulse that beats faster and faster as the weathermen show digital forecasts of what may be coming our way. The kids pace back and forth watching for the first hint of snow, sleet, or any other frozen precipitation. When that first tiny snowflake falls, there is an immediate flurry of messages on Facebook announcing that the storm has arrived. Shelter in Place! Cook those pizzas! No matter what the time of day or night, kids who normally never venture past the boundaries of their wifi connections come outdoors in groves. They are dressed in fully Arctic gear, each with a personal all-terrain vehicle and make-shift sled. As I write, we have passed through several phases of fun involving sledding, 4-wheeling, building snowmen with giant sparkler arms, chasing the dog who stole the boot, fishing the youngest child out of the muddy hole of water in the back yard and much more. Each of these children is now passed out asleep across my living room. Their snow gear sits in a pile on my laundry room floor slowly depositing melting snow everywhere. (Note... I have true respect for the moms of the north who do this on a daily basis) Abandoned cups of hot chocolate and slices of pizza are left near each exhausted child as they rest from the fun they have had. But I realize a terribly important thing as I sit here taking it all in. We have plenty of food, drink and dry clothes to accommodate every person in this house and I can take comfort knowing we will successfully make it through this snowstorm. However, we are down to one roll of toilet paper! What was I thinking?!? I thought I was prepared to survive even the Apocalypse, but something as simple as toilet paper, or the lack of, can bring a household to its knees. It no longer matters if we have food, heat or water.... toilet paper is now the founding support of our hierarchy of needs. Somewhere between basic needs and self-actualization, I forgot about the importance of two-ply softness. Someone is going to be traipsing through the snow for this precious commodity before the night is over. While the roads are ice covered and all signs say "Shelter in Place", the call of Charmin will drag us out into this winter wonderland to forage for rolls of quilted goodness. Surely, somewhere out there is a 24 hour gas station providing respite for weary travelers and moms who forgot about about the strength and softness delivered by toilet paper in the middle of a southern winter storm.