Jack Frost is a bastard.
An ironic, heartless, unblinking purveyor of stillness and doom.
The talking heads tracked his furious approach and issued their warnings, prognosticating his arrival during the nighttime quiet, and he showed up locked and loaded, pissed off and dripping with wintery madness.
So they canceled school.
Usually this would be an occasion for much rejoicing.
On any day but this one.
Instead, my children are in tears. Today was to be the last day before the holiday break. There were parties planned, teacher gifts had been baked, wrapped in foil and gently placed in a basket to ensure a safe and seasonally striking delivery, and my oldest daughter was to dance around Frosty the Snowman in a musical celebration that has been rehearsed ad nauseum. And now, with the crackling sway of power lines and roadways bathed in slippery crystalline beauty, there will be no Friday feting.
So we will spend the day waiting. We will wonder if the power will kick off and not spring back to life. We will watch the mercury rise past freezing, so the melting can begin. We will eat warm pancakes and drink fresh-brewed coffee, crowding out our grief with a hearty, home-cooked breakfast. And, once the heartache passes, we will enjoy the company of grandparents who arrived from Minnesota yesterday morning, with nephew and grand-nephew in tow.
Yes, we blame them for bringing this doom upon us. This shit is routine where they are from. We remember those days – plugging in the car and shoveling for hours just to find a surface to walk upon – and are thankful we live here, where this shit doesn’t happen too often.
. . .
Just seconds ago, the power flickered and a crash was heard outside my office window. So I am posting this while I still have a connection to the internet. There is much to share about the past few days, including a belated birthday wish and an update on finals. But I have some fretting to do . . . and some tears to wipe away . . .
UPDATE: My son read this and, being the kind of kid that believes everything goes better with music, suggested I post this little ditty. To set the mood. To paint the picture. To help relieve the tension through some aggressive headbanging. So, here ya go . . .
Metallica – “Trapped Under Ice”
I don’t know how to live through this hell
Woken up, I’m still locked in this shell
Frozen soul, frozen down to the core
Break the ice, I can’t take anymore
Can’t move at all
Can’t hear my call
I am dying to live
I’m trapped under ice
Crystallized, as I lay here and rest
Eyes of glass stare directly at death
From deep sleep I have broken away
No one knows, no one hears what I say
Scream from my soul
Hell, forever more
No release from my cryonic state
What is this? I’ve been stricken by fate
Wrapped up tight, cannot move, can’t break free
Hand of doom has a tight grip on me