As I write, the unexpected five-day weekend is nearing a close and all five members of the Holt family are present and accounted for.
Before the forecast of ALL THE ICE AND SNOW, our plan was to leave Friday afternoon to drive home to West Tennessee to celebrate my stepdad’s birthday. Then Carol called on Thursday afternoon and I ran down to Walmart to fist fight an elderly man over a loaf of Bunny bread and the last gallon of milk. Then I realized that I didn’t even need those items because we would be gone all weekend, but it’s good to stay on top of your grocery store brawling game.
We hurried to load the kids, dog, snow gear, birthday party supplies, snacks, pillows, electronics and sedatives in the van and got out of town ahead of the weather. We arrived late on Thursday night and woke up to a winter wonderland on Friday. The kids were thrilled and we watched the radar all day to see the snow dome take effect and crush our Middle Tennessee friends’ dreams of a real snow day.
The ensuing cycle of “get bundled up, play outside for an hour, strip off all the layers, come inside and drink hot chocolate, watch a movie, repeat” was the name of the game Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The birthday party was cancelled, everyone stayed home, and even church was called off.
It was wonderful, and it was disorienting. It was that same feeling I had between Christmas and New Year’s that I had no purpose other than holding down the end of the couch and finding out how many days one can wear the same pajamas.
I had been eager to get back to a routine and feel like a useful human being when the kids got back in school, yet here I am again, purposeless and perpetually pajama’ed. My theory that “laziness begets laziness” has held true — the longer I lounge, the less likely I am to be interested in movement.
I did, however, find two exciting new exercises that can be done while wearing pajamas, even when conditions outdoors are treacherous.
I had to take our 95-pound dog for a walk on the icy driveway. I kept her on the leash so she wouldn’t run onto the nearby highway where every person who owns a gigantic farm truck was driving 80 mph on the ice en route to their very urgent tasks of proving they can drive in the snow and surveilling the town’s roadways. (“Yep. Pretty bad out there. Y’all better stay home.”)
If you don’t spend much time with year-old Labradors, you might not know that they have the energy level of ten preschoolers on Pixy Stix. I slid on my furry boots and put my coat on over my PJs, which is important, because if you are going to participate in the winter equivalent of water skiing, you should wear slick-soled shoes and clothing that would immediately soak through in the event of a fall.
All you have to do is clip the dog to the leash and let her out of the house for the first time in hours. She will take off like Usain Bolt at the Olympics and drag you behind her, flailing and cursing, trying to stay upright. You will strategize on how best to gain your footing before you reach the road, then drag the dog back to the house, continuing to curse between ragged gulps of icy air.
If you’d prefer to get your exercise indoors, all you’ll need is a weirdo four-year-old and some agility. There may be only one four-year-old on planet Earth that can assist you in this exercise, and he happens to be the one I birthed. He is exactly butt height and his hobby is sneaking up behind you and just sticking his face right in your butt.
The exercise comes in the form of avoiding him and sensing his presence in time to turn your body around and lean against furniture until he finds another victim. It’s like being stalked by a predator, it will really get your heart rate up. The child is small and sneaky and absolutely determined to find all the butts.
If you’re interested in this form of exercise, kindly contact me and I’ll negotiate a rate for him to come terrorize you. I’ll arrive via snow dog waterski.
Overheard at the salon: If your neighbor won’t bring you toilet paper in your time of need, is she really your neighbor?