November 21, 2015

Charles Schultz once said, “Happiness is a warm puppy.”

Today, I would beg to differ. I say, “Happiness is a cold dog in the snow.”

You see, this morning we had the Snowpocalypse. It began snowing last night, but the blowing began earlier in the week when the weather people began wetting their pants over the “big winter storm” that was coming. You know you’re getting old when you start saying, “When I was a kid,” but when I was a kid, this kind of snow would just be considered “heavy snow” at best, or maybe even just “snow.”

Anyhow, it began snowing last night as we were attending a local monthly revue show. At intermission, they said outside it was… “Wet.” To which the audience gave a theatrical and appropriately sarcastic, “Oooh.” Last season this same bunch did a great parody of local weather folk by covering “Deathstorm 2014.” That should give you an idea of what we think of local forecasters. Yes, in the end we got somewhere around five or six inches, and yes there was some wind, but the end, which they claimed was near, is still not here. So all’s well with the world.

So, after being awakened at 4:45 by the barf alarm (a.k.a., a large grey cat on my bed), I saw it was still snowing, and rather heavily at that. Snow day! Even though it was Saturday, I decided to pretend it was a real snow day and we were trapped by a blizzard. I just love fooling myself (if only I weren’t so easy to fool).

So, what do I do first? Clean the bathroom. Wash the dishes. Mop the kitchen. I’m funny about getting all the boring stuff done before I get into the snow day fantasy. So, all the drudgery out of the way, I take my coffee to the sunporch and watch it snow out the window. Mind you, it’s still only 6:00 or so and not yet light, but the snow made it light enough to see. It was delightful, no pun intended. With my little heater chugging away, the porch was nice and toasty. So, after a bit of a stare out the window, I journaled and then read for a while.

As the morning progressed and the snow began to add up, the wind began. So this is when I decided to use the snow day fantasy to cut spinning class. Ed wasn’t up in time anyway, so I let my lazy side take over. We had hot chocolate, watched Rick Steves tour Austria and learned four ways to prepare turkey ala Martha Stewart.

The plow arrived at around 10:30, so Ed decided to watch the Iowa game at the local watering hole. Rather than fritter away an entire day, I put away fall decorations. I refuse to get out anything Christmas-y until the day after Thanksgiving, but I did put out a few “winter” things, just because all that snow made it feel and look like winter.

After that I decided to replace the lost workout class with a snowy hike. As soon as I put on my snow shoes and stepped outside the garage, the dog knew what came next. She bounded across the yard and through the hole in the fence and onto the golf course. I trudged along after, seeing her pause and turn to make sure I was coming.

If you want to see the definition of happy, watch my dog on a snow-covered golf course. The six or so inches of white stuff were like adrenaline for that dog. She wanted to go everywhere at once. She’d bound off in one direction and when she saw I hadn’t caught up yet, ran back to me only to run off in yet another direction and then another. She’d stop, she’d spin, she’d snuffle her nose into a drift and then charge forward, not so much a dog as a freight train pushing the cow catcher into the drifts. I plodded along behind as she’d dart back and forth, then find a deep spot and wade in, her energy boundless. You’d never know she was about 12 years old the way she was flying through the snow.

The past couple days I’d been feeling a mite depressed. The short, dark days of November do that to me. But watching that dog run around in the snow like a crazed thing, radiating happy, that helped. I just had to laugh at her. Well, at least until she tried to take home part of a rabbit carcass as a sort of dog take-out.

There’s just something about watching pure happiness. And, rabbit carcass notwithstanding, that’s what my dog was today. Yes, happiness is definitely a cold dog in the snow.




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