Friday, January 17, 2014

Little House in the Prairie State

We have the greatest admiration for those whose winter months routinely have a more Siberian aspect. How do you not only survive but apparently thrive and remain productive, sane, and yes, even happy, or at least not suicidal. That is to say we were not ecstatic recipients of a recent storm that left us with a foot of snow followed by below zero temperatures.
     Having been repeatedly warned by media personnel who were entirely too perky and chipper while describing the severity of the coming winter storm, we were well supplied with food and essentials. However, I wondered what we would feed little Ivan if there was a power outage. We have back up kibble for Dasa, but the low-protein diet we cook for Ivan has to be refrigerated. Ever practical, Eric suggested we grab a few cartons from the freezer, put them in a cooler, and store them on the patio. The high last Monday was -2, so the Ivan food was in no danger of spoiling.
     Should we find ourselves with no power and thus no furnace percolating merrily along during this storm, I thought we’d camp in the basement with a couple of small heaters.  Eric later pointed out the inconvenient flaw in my plan; our little heaters are all electric. I’m really not good at this camping stuff.

      Munchkins’ trips outside take a familiar turn when we are beset by such calamity, a.k.a. cold and snow.  Dasa scampers out to potty in the area I clear for her beside the patio. She does not make a huge production of this quick trip to the back yard, and she’s soon back inside, enjoying a treat.

Ivan's paths
   Ivan takes it as a personal affront when he is impeded in his usual tour of his trees, his grass, his back fence, etc.  Ivan absolutely must visit his favorite far corner, and I can’t disappoint his firm belief that I will take care of vexing specifics.

Ivan's cleared spot 
   We already had a couple of inches of snow Sunday morning when I donned my boots, pulled on a parka over my PJs and shoveled the patio, a clearing for Dasa, and a path to Ivan’s desired spot in a far corner of the yard. Every hour I re-shoveled the patio, cleared Dasa’s spot, Ivan's path, and continued to enlarge Ivan’s clearing. It seemed at times as though it was snowing about an inch a minute, but it was in fact about an inch or so an hour—still quite enough, thank you. At 5 pm, I shoveled one last time before the snow dwindled down to a sputter of flakes here and there.

Ivan's annex
     Fortunately, our electricity stayed with us, and the furnace kept churning out heat because the temperature outside steadily dropped and was down to -5 Monday morning. Dasa was swaddled in sweaters for her speedy trips outside. I wrestled Ivan into an extra coat and his booties every time he decided he needed to go out.  Even though it was preposterously cold and I could feel myself congealing, Ivan was not happy with his cleared area and hovered indecisively at the edge, attempting to wade through snow up to his chest. I put the puppy boy in the house and shoveled an annex, which seemed to satisfy Ivan, at least momentarily. I could tell he thought I should clear the entire back yard for him.  
      After trekking across the snowy wilderness, the Munchkins spent a lot of time in cuddle beds under warm blankets.  Ivan and Dasa do not like snow and cold, not at all, not even a little. I frequently say I like snow only in movies, but they can’t even summon much enthusiasm for the digital version.

 Ivan runs for home

1 comment:

  1. How funny! Ivan looks like he's thinking, "Feets don't fail me now!"

    You're old hands now -- the Arctic blast predicted for next week probably won't faze you a bit!