The Winter Chores Never Take a Sick Day

At 8:00 last night, Hubs made the dramatic announcement that he wasn’t feeling very well, and by that he meant that he was a bit queasy in the stomach and also shivery.  I countered by suggesting that he crawl into bed early, and he parried with WHY WOULD I DO THAT WHEN THE AVALANCHE ARE PLAYING SOME INCREDIBLE HOCKEY, AS WE SPEAK, ON THE BIG SCREEN DOWNSTAIRS?

Hubs will completely sacrifice his entire wellness program in order to support the Colorado Avalanche.

Knowing that the game would be going on for quite some time, which effectively ruined any and all hopes that I had for watching the evening’s HGTV lineup, I went to bed with the latest Nicholas Sparks book, and I think we can all agree that the ending was doomed from page one, because Nick is always hard-pressed to give his readers happiness on a silver platter.  I knew that the abusive husband was going to find his wife, who had managed to escape him and was living happily in a town far, far away, and I’d been putting off the inevitable by DELIBERATELY NOT finishing the book, on account of STRESS!  Hubs suggested that I simply put the book in the freezer for a while and revisit it later, as he was quite certain that what worked for Joey Tribbiani would also work for me.  But, with the Avalanche skating hard and swinging their sticks even harder, and the little boy already sound asleep, I took the bull by the horns and finished the book, and then I fell into a sleep that only Rip Van Winkle before me has experienced.

At midnight, I was jerked out of my slumber, because PUKE!  PUKE!  PUKE!  Hubs was in the bathroom, clearing the lasagna we’d had for dinner out of his stomach, and he seemed destined to participate in this act every thirty minutes for the rest of the night.  He alternated between soaking in the tub to take the shivers away, and scrambling out of the tub because PUKE!  PUKE!  PUKE!  Had our bathtub been a HOT TUB, Hubs could have pretended that he was still in college.

With all of the commotion going on in the bathroom, I was hard-pressed to get much sleep, because how CAN you sleep when someone is tossing vital organs out of his body with a noise that closely resembles a Yeti’s war cry?

Suffice it to say that when the alarm went off this morning, I was not in the best of moods, and that’s when I realized that a blizzard had attacked us at some point in the middle of the night, as there were six brand new inches of snow outside.  Of course I smiled at this, because our driveway is shaped like a bobsled run and about as long as Route 66, which meant that I was on shoveling duty alone, on account of the small fact that Hubs has purposed in his heart that we are still young enough to apply our backs to snow removal instead of spending our hard-earned, backed-with-gold American dollars on a snow blower.

And, as luck would have it, last night was the only night in the history of living in this house that Hubs chose to park his truck in the driveway, directly behind my Suburban.

As I was shoveling, I did my best to look pathetic, so that our neighbor with the snow blower would eventually migrate in my direction and start at the bottom of our enormous driveway, while I continued to shovel from the top.  I think that looking pathetic was easily achieved when I first slid four feet down our driveway and clumsily caught myself on the snow shovel, which prevented me from actually achieving a full-out fall.  Regardless of the fact that I nearly separated my right leg from the rest of my body and am still feeling the scream of those muscles, I did indeed pride myself on the fact that I managed to remain upright.  Somewhat.

Of course, two minutes later, I hit a second patch of hidden ice beneath the new snow, and after skidding approximately eight feet and spinning my arms around like a windmill powered by crack, I connected with the driveway.  At my age, as I laid there, all I could think was, “I’ve shattered my hips into bone fragments and I think my femoral vein just burst.  I’m about to bleed out.”  I may have jumped the gun just a titch, because it didn’t take me long to realize that both of my hips were still in fine working order, and that only the rats with antlers (the deer) had been a witness to my action-packed, comical fall.

Eventually the driveway was cleared and I backed Hubs’ truck up into the cul de sac, where I proceeded to get it completely stuck.  I rocked it back and forth, and back and forth, as anyone knows you’re supposed to do, before I finally grit my teeth and taught myself how to work the man’s four-wheel drive.  For some reason, though, I missed achieving a state of four-wheel drive euphoria when I shifted it, and it was stuck somewhere in no-man’s-land, where the truck did nothing but spin its tires.  I continued my back and forth rocking and my tire spinning for what seemed like hours, while I’m sure every neighbor in our cul de sac was gazing out their windows, exclaiming loudly to one another, “Who on earth taught that girl to drive?”  There may or may not have been tears involved, until I gave the four-wheel drive shifter a solid kick, and it popped right in.

And I parked the truck.

And I got the Suburban  out.

And I took my boy to school.

And then I came home and finished shoveling our patio, because Hubs prides himself on the amount of concrete we have at the Jedi Manor.  His motto is, “Go huge or go home,” and we went huge with the driveway and the front patio, because we pride ourselves on  having more concrete than Phoenix, Arizona has.

Of course, we regret that decision every single time it snows.

I was supposed to meet a friend for coffee this morning, but by the time all of Laura Ingalls’ winter chores were done, I was soaked from the knees down, my mascara was running down my cheeks, and my mood could only be described as completely grumbly, so I called her and said, “Listen.  I’ve just single-handedly plowed us out from the raging blizzard that has trapped young school children in the one-house school building in Walnut Grove, and I’m suffering from frostbite and grumpiness, and now I have to pour a couple gallons of straight Clorox around the bathroom, and I was wondering if we could just reschedule our coffee date for later today, and if we might be able to just turn it into an Everclear-on-Ice date.”

The only real problem in my morning line-up of chores was simply that I wanted to don my HazMat suit and get the scouring of the bathroom over with, but Hubs had decided that, WHAT THE HECK?  He still had an appendix inside of him somewhere, and he might as well flop himself over the toilet and rid himself of it, so I deliberately stayed away from the bathroom with all the DNA spewed everywhere.

Instead, I made myself a piping-hot mug of chai tea, and I sat down to do my Bible study homework, which effectively changed my mood.

Leave it to Jesus to rip you out of your grumpies, when you had already decided in the core of your innermost being that you actually preferred to be grumpy all day.

By the time I left to teach PE this morning, I was riding my usual happiness high, and I wasn’t even overly concerned with the fact that my 4th graders were cheating like rotten prison inmates at the game we played.  I also had a good solid giggle when one of my first graders told me, “You know, this isn’t my favorite game ever.  Could we play poker next, because I really want to learn to play poker, so I can sit at the table and eat peanuts with my dad and his friends when they play.”

That may have been a little more than Miss Beadle taught in that one-room school house in Walnut Grove, but I wouldn’t have put it past her to teach the kids stud poker while they were stranded in the school house during the blizzard, just to pass the time.

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