What a difference a day makes. Tuesday my son gamely suggested we take a blowtorch to our fatigued gutters lest they collapse under their frozen burden, but by the next day those ice dams were but a distant memory.
You know that feeling you get when you’re cold and tired and dig around in your bag, hoping against hope that you’ll find a teabag there – and you actually do? That’s how I felt Wednesday morning, when I realized how warm it had become. I even put sunscreen on my face, because after a few moments of basking on my back porch steps, I wasn’t prepared to give it up. I sat there with my big red dog, watched the progress of a box elder bug and sipped my tea. I fired up my laptop. I would do my work right there in the sun, I decided.
Finally warm, in only a long T-shirt and a cardigan, there was no doubt I’d found heaven. I almost dragged my lawn chair out of the garage. Instead, I leaned back, closed my eyes and took in the sweet sounds of birds chirping, the distant beep, beep, beep of Batavia’s street department trucks clearing sewer drains of snow and the drip, drip, drip of melting ice.
I knew that by Thursday everything could change, as the earth is too frozen to soak up the melting snow and forecast rain. I didn’t let my wondering – about how many of those lilting drips might wend their way into my aging basement, spoil my Wednesday, however.
Instead, I soaked up every bit of sunny pleasantness I could, like money in the bank for a rainy day. And it’s a good thing, too. Because before dawn the next morning the thunder rolled, rousting me from my sleep.
I hadn’t even peed yet, by the time Holly bounced into my room and asked me to braid her hair. I sat up in bed and did as I was told. But I didn’t move fast enough, apparently.
“With speed!” my dear daughter implored. I could barely open my eyes, let alone braid quickly. Why was she so perky? Didn’t she hear that thunder?
“If you’d ever let me practice, lo, these many years, I might have it down,” I quipped. Holly’s hair is beautiful. She’s never been a big fan of having her hair done, though. She becomes a teenager soon, so I was glad for the chance.
“Can’t you go any faster?” I was blowing it.
“Get me a brush, will you? That’ll help,” I said. She ran off to get one as I willed myself to wake up. When she tossed the brush I wasn’t exactly on my game. I rubbed my arm.
“You’re such an antique,” she said, and leaned over to kiss the spot where the brush had landed. Oh, but this kid cracks me up.
“Don’t make me laugh. Have I mentioned I haven’t even peed, yet?”
She sighed. I got back to work. Man, but that braid turned out nice.
“Best braid I’ve ever done,” I pronounced triumphantly.
“I changed my mind,” she said, apparently unimpressed, and yanked it out on her way down the stairs. The thunder rolled. What’s a mom to do? I rubbed the sleep out of my eyes, laughed again, and headed down to inspect the basement. That’s what.
• Jennifer DuBose lives in Batavia with her husband, Todd, and their two children, Noah and Holly. Contact her at email@example.com.