Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Sturm und Eis

The ice storm isn't nearly as bad as they were saying it was going to be, but it's plenty bad enough for my Southern-belle sensibilities. Last night the radio report was that we should prepare to be without power for as much as a week, and for driving to be unsafe for about the same length of time. Now how do you prepare for that, for heaven's sake?

I charged my cell phone. I made a big pot of soup and some bread. I made sure there was water in the fridge. I found the flashlight, some books, and a bottle of Scotch. What else can you do? I should have bought sand or salt for the walks, but I didn't think of that in time.

I am finding that my attitude towards some of these home-ownership issues is changing. Again, refer back to the Southern belle sensibilities. I fondly imagine (although aggrieved parties would probably disagree) that I have pulled my weight in the home-making department. But by and large, I have chosen to do that with the tasks that are typical for my gender. I cook. I clean (under duress, but I do it). I do the laundry and make the bread and bake and ... you get the idea. Mowing the grass, shoveling the snow, fixing the leaks, moving the furniture.... those tasks were for someone else.

Even last year, when I was alone, I resented and under-performed on those tasks. I felt like the person whose tasks they were was going to come home and assume responsibility for them again. (Silly me.) So I just had to mark time, get by, and all would be well soon enough.

Now, though, there is really no one else. While it is perfectly acceptable, in my world view, to accept help or to contract out for tasks that I simply can't do (e.g. anything that involves electricity would be a bad idea for me to undertake, I think), there's something empowering about doing some of this stuff. I don't particularly like being out there in the cold, scraping what felt like several tons of ice off the driveway. But I like having done it. I like the fact that my driveway and sidewalks look like a good neighbor lives here. I like tackling something I thought I couldn't do.

Shoveling slush is hardly rocket science. But it's something I thought I couldn't do. It's something I thought I wouldn't do, avoidance being one of my preferred coping strategies. But I am doing it. I have done it. If nothing else happens today, the driveway is shoveled and that feels good.

7 comments:

Renee said...

Whoo hoo!

dew on the morning grass said...

As God is my witness, your driveway will never be icy again! I'm drinking scotch in your honor.

Andrea Rusin said...

I'm laughing out loud! Scarlett O'Hara meets snow shovel!!

Barbara said...

Go, you!

These are significant accomplishments. Be proud!

Kimberly said...

Man, if you can find life lessons in scraping ice, you are well on the road to enlightenment! That, or there might be an issue with the Scotch. :)

Lisa :-] said...

You are woman...

I can hear you roaring all the way out here in Orygun... :D

Elizabeth said...

Every winter I promise myself I will put together an emergency package... every year I sit with my one flashlight reading the only book left in the house that I haven't read yet, eating stale pretzels and cursing the darkness.