Christmas was a wee bit different at our house this year. I jokingly said this was our Grinch Christmas. (Actually, not even the Grinch can take the true Christmas away from us, for we celebrate Christ wherever we are.)
First of all, I didn't feel well on Wednesday. Perhaps it was the raw cookie dough I ate the day before. My Ohio email buddy (whose hubby has pediatrician credentials) told me that salmonella can produce symptoms that range from mild to severe. And that's what I had...mild annoying nausea...until I went to bed Wednesday night and then it was annoying pain in my abdomen...which to an ovarian cancer patient is reason for mildly great anxiety...my fears were telling me perhaps it was a bowel perforation (a possible side effect of one of my meds) and I was so afraid I would have to get up during the night, in the middle of a blizzard, and have to call the ambulance (the pain was a bit more than mild) to get to the hospital which is only two blocks away but our streets were snow filled and we could not have gotten our cars out. And we had already cried at our house about my having cancer and I was so afraid I would make this the worst Christmas of all time for my family.
But I finally fell asleep about 3 am and the next day I felt fine and the next night as well. So perhaps my Ohio friend was right and I should never eat raw cookie dough again!
But I started talking about Christmas. Our daughter and grandson arrived Wednesday safely from Minnesota, a five-hour drive for her in her new little car. We had been watching road and weather reports and knew the roads would be bad. So we were greatly relieved that they made it here okay.
Christmas Eve we were all snowed in. The service at church was cancelled. Gramma was stranded at her house across town. My brother at his house on the edge of town. And we at our house. In the middle of a blizzard. Which continued on during Christmas Day. The city crews were not even out...it was pointless...the snow was blowing and the streets would have drifted in right behind them.
Early Christmas Day we did manage to get our driveways clean because a young man down the street came by with his Deere. He got stuck when his tires left our concrete drive and and the front tires slid down onto the neighbor's lawn. Getting out was difficult and he set the blade heavily and bitingly into the neighbor's lawn to give him extra oomph in backing up onto the concrete. I think we will have to help the neighbor rake and re-seed his lawn in the spring. But our neighbor doesn't know that yet because fresh snow covered up the evidence. The young man had to have his Deere pulled out by a pickup with a chain. He was slightly embarrassed about having gotten stuck but he had done a good job of cleaning the drive for us. We have a small snow blower but this storm was heavy-duty. And it needed heavy-duty machinery. We were glad he helped us out and he refused payment, saying, "It's Christmas."
It continued to snow last night so today we had to do our driveways all over again. But this time Hubby was able to clean them with his little snow plow. Our nice young man came by again and cleaned out the huge stack of snow at the end of the drive left by the city crew when they bladed the street. Again he refused payment.
(If someone wants to make a fortune this year, go invent a snow plow which has a handy-dandy lever they can push that will avoid dropping snow in driveways while cleaning the streets. It could shoot the snow at the end of the driveways up onto the lawn instead. So go invent a machine to do that and sell one to our town, please. Maybe one has already been invented. Maybe it is too expensive for our small town budget. So if that is true, invent a cheaper model, please.)
This morning Daughter and Grandson and I and two Great-Grandsons (who had walked a mile to our house to come play with Grandson) piled into the Kia with snow shovels and drove/slid to Gramma's house. We weren't certain just how we would get to her house once we got there for she has a longish driveway.
Her street was only partially cleared. But there were two Bobcats in the drive next door. I asked one of them if he could clean her drive. And he did. And I paid him and asked for a business card because Gramma will need to call him again if we have more of this wintery snow.
The three boys worked to clear Gramma's back step so we could get into the house. Then they scooped a path to her mailbox so the mailman will stop. And when they came in the house we had milk and cookies and doughnuts waiting for them. And Gramma paid them $5 each for scooping her snow. Then they rested by playing cards while Gramma opened a couple presents and while we chatted. One GGS tried to impress the other two boys with his bubble gum blowing ability. One was not impressed.
Then we came back to our house and they went down the street thinking they could make some more money by offering to scoop sidewalks. I told them they wouldn't be able to do driveways...it was toooooo much snow. They came home with $49 in their pockets which they needed to split three ways. They were very happy. I hope they brought back all three shovels and the broom which they took with them.
Now they are in the basement playing board games. And we will feed them chili and chicken noodle soup.
Tomorrow we will check in again with Gramma...perhaps we will bring her over here so she can get out of the house. She doesn't like being cooped up in the house for so long. She is 88 years old and she says this is the first Christmas she spent 'home alone'. Even though we spoke to her on the phone several times over Christmas, it still wasn't the same. We're sorry about that, Gramma!
Gramma had her home all decorated for Christmas including this little village scene.
We hope if you live in the path of this storm that you are safe and warm and have plenty of warm steamy food and that you have a friendly neighbor with a Bobcat or a Deere or a large tractor with blade to help you out.
Merry Christmas! And, as Tiny Tim said, "God bless us, every one."