Okay, I’ll admit it. I’m a modern woman. Email, telephones, the microwave—what’s a girl to do without them?
During the snow and ice storms that hit not only my hometown but all the eastern United States, I found out pretty fast. We were stranded. My two children ages five and seven, myself and a husband who lives for his electronic gadgets. Can we say cabin fever? I wondered if Post Traumatic Stress Disorder included snowstorms.
Yes, I’m exaggerating. It wasn’t so bad.
The first couple days.
Being snowbound was quaint. Old fashioned like those episodes of Little House on the Prairie I watched as a kid. It could even be described as romantic and I’m the romantic type. My young family and I bonded quite well for pity’s sake–sorta like Norman Rockwell’s pictures once you removed the bloodcurdling screams and tears of frustration.
Okay, so I should’ve behaved better.
All I can say is that the dry cereal and bologna we were forced to eat thanks to the power outage were taking their toll. We were going stir crazy. Me more so than my husband since he was lucky enough to have to brave the roads and report to work, leaving me alone with two very energetic and terminally bored children.
I know, I know, we were safe and sound, had gas heat and were very fortunate. I realize that and am grateful. I promise.
But the modern girl inside me was losing it fast. No computer? What would I do without that wonderfully chipper voice telling me, “You’ve got mail!”? No television? What about Jax and Brenda—did they get married?
To give myself some credit, I do know how to entertain myself quite well. As a writer I plotted, wrote out scene cards and character sketches. Wrote chapter two of my current work in progress. I even wrote a bio for the website I splurged on hoping I’m published soon. I cleaned, I paced—and I played referee to no end of battles when my darling monsters realized it was kind of funny to watch their reasonably sane mom get so rattled she fought for more than her share of the ice cream soup from the rapidly defrosting freezer.
Candy Land, Monopoly and Uno. I could play them while sleeping—-not that I got any sleep since my son doesn’t like the dark and my daughter fearless when it came to tormenting her brother.
Would it ever stop snowing? I didn’t think so. Swiping away tears of frustration and eating everything in sight while my children screamed, “But we’re bored!” I realized I had the ultimate of reinforcements when it came to saving my sanity—my favorite books. Oh, a girl’s best friends in times of troubles and in this case, days of electrical withdrawal. Read-worn pages I knew by heart comforted me when I needed them most.
They kept me company and helped me deal with the frowning faces of the devilish spawns to which I’d given birth. I sat in front of the fire dressed like a kid on A Christmas Story when his mom sent him out into the cold to play. But strangely enough I wasn’t cold anymore. I’d escaped the snow and the ice and found myself in the Scottish Highlands, in England with a Bow Street Runner, and then in a small Kentucky town in the middle of a heat drenched summer with a hero making my toes curl inside two pairs of socks, slippers, a blanket and—oh, you get the picture.
In that moment I realized once again how important it is to me that I’m eventually published. Not only because publishing will be a dream come true, but because it may help keep other snow-bound moms like myself from going postal.
In those quiet few seconds between screams, I realized I’ve progressed drastically since I began writing five years ago. And one of these days, like my favorite authors, I’ll make it. Perseverance means something in the publishing world and I’m a survivor…I’ve proven that by sticking with my writing after receiving too many rejections to count and progressing from form letters to very specific revision letters. I’ve hung in there and I’ll make it—just like I’ll make it through this horrible storm.
All I have to do is pick another book out of the stack next to me and—-figure out how to pop popcorn by candle flame.