We’d been warned, of course. “Just wait,” we’d heard. “Winters here are brutal.”
So it happened; winter started today. I awoke to my usual news station: sections of I-90 closed; schools closed across the state, from Rapid City on the west to us, Sioux Falls, on the east. All schools, I think, but my grandchildren’s’ that has only closed once in their few years of attendance.
So I get out of bed, peek out my wooden blinds, see white. I open our front door, take pictures.
I send to our former owners who moved south. Want them to know what they’re missing. Get reply that they’ll send me photos of their first snowstorm.
I feel their glee.
Winds bend my grasses nearly 45 degrees, winds worse than anything I’ve seen in Chicago…30-40 mph, no high rises to cut their whip-lashing strength.
The mid-60s temps of a few days ago, gone. Now 30. Snow to fly till mid-afternoon.
No fitness center today; no meet up with my daughter; no chat during our walk; no chai at the bistro. No high ceilings, bright lights, young bodies sweating.
Marv and I are snowbound. I decide we can’t work amiably in our joint study. Best to suffer claustrophobia separately. Right now, we both miss Chicago; we need to hit Michigan Ave, go to Starbuck’s or Peet’s, our usual snowstorm hangouts, or go anywhere but here, stranded in brutal (but beautiful!) South Dakota whiteness.
I hang out on the couch. Read “Uncle Tom’s Cabin.” Missed it when I was young. And I thought that would cheer me up? No.
But we don’t dare try to get out. Being advised to stay in if we can. We’re retired; we can…supposedly. But who wants to? The more you know you can’t, the more you want to. Isn’t that Murphy’s law or something?
We’re stuck. Streets not plowed; driveway not plowed; sidewalk not shoveled. We don’t even own a shovel; we didn’t need a shovel in our Chicago high rise.
Late afternoon, Marv plods to get the mail, a much more dangerous trip than taking an elevator to our former first floor mail room.
He delivers our neighbor’s mail; she is going OUT tonight! He asks me, “What is going on at the Washington Pavilion tonight?”
Too late for tonight, but I see the South Dakota Symphony Orchestra has a concert tomorrow. I’m lonely, suddenly, for my Chicago Symphony Orchestra, for Maestro Muti, for my symphony friend.
He suggests we go. No hesitation! I buy tickets. Half the cost of Chicago’s. A reminder–many pluses here in Sioux Falls.
We watch evening news; we watch Charlie Rose. He goes to bed–he’s had a busy day at the computer; I’m wide awake from my novel.
Wait! What do I hear? Snow plows! On my street. And it’s only 9:00 p.m. Want to meet me at Starbucks? Please? 57th and Western. See you there!