A much-desired, long-awaited snow day fell into my lap last night. I promptly celebrated by falling asleep in my basement recliner after The Pony and I watched Survivor.
This morning, the trusty meteorologists on all channels kindly informed me that I was safe until 9:00 a.m. At that point, Backroads would be beset by sleet with a little snow mixed in. Because, you know, our area was only getting mostly sleet and maybe some freezing rain and high winds in the afternoon. With this forecast fresh in my mind, I went about my business.
By 7:45, I was ready to head to town for some chili fixin's and a sausage biscuit for Genius. And, you see, I figured I might as well pop in to pick up a 44 oz. Diet Coke for myself. What with being in town and all. Okay. As you might surmise, most people rush out for milk and bread. Val rushes out for a 44 oz. Diet Coke.
The trip to town was uneventful. Temperature hovering at 24. Roads clear. Sky overcast. The main county road, marked with a letter, had been spritzed with saline and beet juice for two days. Our blacktop county road had received no such tender loving care. Had I slid off into a ditch, I could have laid there like Ray Brower knocked out of his Keds picking blueberries along Back Harlow Road until Gordie, Chris, Teddy and Vern showed up to discover the body.
I pulled into Save A Lot on schedule and grabbed my items. At the checkout, a worker moaned, "Here it comes." She was not delivering a baby. The sleet sluiced down outside the front wall of windows. I paid and boxed. My mom called to see if I was home yet. Nope. I carted and loaded and took off across the road for my precious. My 44 oz. Diet Coke. I had to hold onto the Tahoe's body to walk on the sidewalk and parking lot.
I thought about going directly home. If the sausage biscuit had been for The Pony, I would have had no qualms. But it was for Genius, a surly morning person who would make me rue the day I returned without his sausage biscuit and hash rounds. The Pony had rejected such a fine repast three times before I left. I decided that since I was there anyway, I would have one as well. They had two for $1.87. Far be it from Val to pass up a bargain. I ordered Genius's hash rounds, and threw in one of those for me, too. I went inside to order because the drive-thru was backed up. It did not save me any time. Ten minutes later, I was gingerly traipsing through the bushes alongside Hardee's, not wanting to chance their concrete ramp down to the parking lot. I grabbed the Tahoe's trusty hood and stepped down. Lucky for me, ice had not yet built up on the running board.
On the way out of town, I spied a county road truck. He wasn't spraying. Just driving my way. And because Val is a hometown celebrity, that big orange dump truck with a plow on the front and special tubing on the back set his gravel-sprinkling lever as he turned onto that unloved county road. I had an escort in front of me dropping black pebbles like rose petals in front of a blushing bride. Black gravel. The lesser, cinnamon babka of highway department road treatments. I tried to take a picture through the windshield, but the camera had disappeared from my phone. Good thing a meteor didn't streak across the sky in front of me.
As I turned onto our gravel road, my little Pony called to see if I was okay. He was worried that I had been gone too long. Besides, his grandma had called badgering him about my whereabouts. He came out to help me unload my purchases. As I set the Hardee's bag on the counter, I said, "Would you like a sausage biscuit and hash rounds?"
"Yeah! That sounds good. But where are Genius's?"
"Um. There is one of each for him in that bag."
Darn! All that way, all that stress, all that salivating over how good those ketchup-dipped hash rounds were going to taste with my crisp 44 oz. Diet Coke...all for naught. You can be sure I did not offer him my soda.
Here was the concrete behind the garage when I arrived home at 8:50 a.m.
Juno had to get into the act. (She looks a bit misshapen because Genius used his wide-angle lens). Juno's a curious one. Or just happy to be released from her unfortunate BARn incarceration. This was the beginning of our storm. So far, we still have power, though my mom's was knocked out for forty-five minutes.
School has just been cancelled for Friday. I hope I can make it to town tomorrow for a 44 oz. Diet Coke.