Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Weather Confined

Our backyard
I cannot decide whether the best part or the worst part about being housebound is staying indoors and eating. Of course we do not have to eat (a lot), but that is what people do when hanging around the house all day. Why else does everyone jam the roads driving to the nearest supermarket as soon as meteorologists broadcast a bread and milk alert – a.k.a. a snowstorm or hurricane? I doubt any of the people clogging the roads have bare cupboards and an empty refrigerator.

Folks I know alter the bread and milk mantra somewhat. One friend buys ice cream – a perfect food when cocooning, watching old movies and reading. Another’s favorite storm foods are wine and chocolate. I lean towards ingredients for good, old-fashioned comfort dishes, another term for yummy, calorie-ridden, high-cholesterol, high-carb food.

Yesterday hub made guacamole, one of his specialties. That served as our afternoon snack/appetizer. For dinner, wineglass filled and close by, I prepared a seafood casserole. When a kid, decades ago in a previous century, it was better known as tuna-noodle casserole. My up-dated version boasts seafood besides tuna, usually whatever is on sale. Last night’s dish included scallops.

And – not to feel totally guilty - I went to zumba and yoga in the morning, burning calories and attempting to get back in exercise shape, the first classes attended in over a month...

Our house is warm. We are splurging a bit by keeping the heat at a very comfortable temperature. Housebound requires, in addition to comfort food, warmth.

The blizzard of a century, breaking all records, turned out to be a bust in our neck of the woods. A few inches of snow, enough to make everything look pretty in the early morning light, and that was it. No high winds, no power outages…

I am not complaining. We have experienced our share of storm disasters and damage. But I believe 24/7 news hype – in this case about the impending storm – creates unnecessary anxiety. We were prepared – flashlights and batteries available, water bottles filled, electronics fully charged. But I wonder how many people ignore warnings when forecasts and the resulting buildup, almost hysteria, prove incorrect.

A couple of boys knocked on our door this morning offering to shovel our walkway, and I hired them. I admired their drive and entrepreneurship, and like encouraging young people. I am sure their parents were thrilled the kids were not home creating chaos.

I think the best part of staying indoors, remaining inside because outdoor conditions are bleak, cold, windy, rainy and/or snowy, icy, etc. – are –

- the warmth,
- pursuing activities not usually part of a busy, daily routine, and
- cooking and enjoying comfort food or whatever your stomach desires.

Once in a while, our world slows down. Do you think people years ago - before everyone jumped in their car every day to go to work or wherever, when life was not so dependent on moving from one place to another not within walking distance – lives were so disrupted by a storm?