Friday, November 21, 2014

Preparing for the Polar Vortex

Warning to Parents: Do not make random promises to your children. 
You will be expected to adhere to them. 
Long, long ago, in a house far, far away, I told Little Cuter that when she had children she could host the holidays. Until then, she'd have to travel to her parents.  I said it.... I'm sure I did.... it sounds like me.... I'm not disputing the evidence.... I'm just whining about the consequences of a one-off remark made to quiet a kid who didn't want to travel.
TBG and I are packing our polar fleece and our heavy socks and our turtlenecks this week as a result of that conversation.  We'll be joining the throngs at O'Hare on Saturday, leaving the sunshine and 70's, arriving to rain and 40's.... then snow.... then 30's and 20's and clouds...lots and lots of clouds. 
Only the presence of a granddaughter could induce me to get on a plane right now. 
My house is a disaster; the library and the kids' rooms and my closet are overflowing with holiday preparations and out-of-season clothing. I need time to put it all away.
I have to collect the greeting cards and the stickers and the stamps and the pre-paid mailing envelopes I thought I'd ordered but apparently did not. All of this has to be in the house by December 1st if I am to adhere to my Brownie List schedule.
The Tucson Festival of Books' Kick Off Party is this weekend; I'll be on a plane instead of hearing the list of authors and buying my ticket to The Rock Bottom Remainders concert on the first day of sales. 
Tucson is filling up with arriving grandparents and grandchildren and aunts and uncles and cousins.  They are figuring out the No Left Turn directions on Oracle Road and its major cross streets.  They are wearing shorts and sleeveless shirts instead of sweaters. I will miss laughing at them.
Those of us who live here wait anxiously for these six weeks, the only ones cool enough for our cold weather attire. We Tucsonans are smug in our long sleeved sweaters as the visitors amuse us with their summer clothes.  Scarlett, newly arrived from NYC, emailed that she was sitting on her porch, freezing and loving it.  I love defining freezing as anything below 65 degrees, too.
But, this weekend we will don winter weight pants.  We will have our scarves and gloves and hats and shoes that have traction to resist the ice and snow.  Our parkas live in the kids' basement; they are picking us up at the airport so we don't have to bring other outer garments. That, at least, is a blessing.
In October, I smiled as TBG resisted leaving his winter clothes in Illinois.  I'm going the opposite route.  I'm collecting all the sweaters I love but haven't worn in the eight years I've lived here. I'm packing them and taking them and then leaving them all in the plastic box she has reserved for me.  It lives in her crawl space when I'm not there.  It doesn't disturb anyone.  Eventually, the plan will be for me to travel with only a purse.
I just wish I didn't have to travel into the Polar Vortex.


  1. AB, my hubby has been Chicago all week and he's been miserable. Said it's been bitterly cold and windy. At least you get to see your Flap Jilly, Little Cuter and SIR--so that should warm your heart. Hubby's been in a hotel room all week. On the bright side, we leave for Walt Disney World on Monday evening for 13 days. My kids are beside themselves. And although it will only be 85 when we arrive, it will still be in the 70s during the day.

    Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

    Megan xxx

    1. I plan to stay inside, huddled under blankets, reading and rocking and tickling and kissing.

      Have a fabulous vacation. I'll miss your comments, but will amuse myself with visions of Space Mountain and those big bright eyes filled with joy.

      Happy Thanksgiving! Safe Travels!

  2. What a grand Thanksgiving you will have. You are fortunate that your daughter has room to store your heavy winter wear. My kids' tiny house on the SF peninsula barely has room for them. I, on the other hand, keep grandchildren clothes in drawers here as it is usually warmer here than San Mateo.

    I have said many times, that should I go somewhere really cold, I would have to wait and buy clothes upon arrival as no one in Fresno sells heavy winter wear. It is currently 54 degrees and I am freezing.

  3. Third time trying to post! This tech can be a pain in the hoo-haa. Happy Thanksgivng. Have a wonderful time and don't forget to nibble on baby toes, they are delicious. It will be so much warmer than when I was back in the North Country last week, won't it? You will be inside anyway. Have a great time and post pics! Say to Little Cuter!


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