Last week’s blizzard turned out to be a perfect storm. Schools closed on Thursday, January 21, a full day before the storm was supposed to start, thanks to a dusting of snow on Wednesday night that everyone seemed unprepared for. Schools closed again on Friday, even though the snow wasn’t scheduled to start until 3 pm. When the snow began to fall Friday afternoon, it didn’t stop until early Sunday morning, and we ended up with over two feet.
Our kids’ school was closed for the entire week that followed.
That meant the kids were home. I was trying to work from home, but Kelly was sick, and that meant our usual task-sharing teamwork was out the window. Kelly stayed in bed to get the rest she needed, and I tried my best to keep up with work, and the kids, and the chores around the house. By Wednesday, cabin fever set in, not so much for the kids as for me.
Our cat had also been losing weight, and I grew concerned as the storm approached that if he got sick, I wouldn’t be able to get him to the vet. He made it through the storm, but stopped eating, and grew lethargic. I got him to the vet for an exam on Thursday morning, and it appeared that he was anemic and had an urinary infection that antibiotics and vitamins would take care of. I gave him the first dose of medicine Thursday evening. Fifteen minutes later, I went to check on him. He’d crawled under a table, and I wanted to bring him upstairs to our room. I pulled him out from under the table, and he didn’t resist. In fact, he had died. We broke the news to the kids Friday morning.
I can think of few times in my life when I have felt depressed. But by the end of the week, the perfect storm had gotten to me. I did my best to shake it off. We mourned for our cat. I did my best to keep the kids fed, and Kelly stocked with medication, and fluids. The Little Man raced in his first Pinewood Derby and returned to basketball Saturday morning. The Little Miss attended a birthday party Friday evening. I didn’t worry so much about the house until Sunday.
On Sunday, the temperatures were warmer, and much of the snow had melted. We could drive the car around the neighborhood, and do grocery shopping. Standing out in the warm sun on Sunday, I felt like Superman, recharging. I finally tackled the house. I dismantled the litter boxes. I vacuumed the floors, and cleaned the hardwood floors, and mopped the kitchen floor. I cleaned all of the bathrooms. I reorganized the cluttered pantry. By the end of the day, I felt more or less back to myself.
I am sure that in the years to come, the family will look back on this perfect storm with a nostalgic fondness—“Remember that time that we got 2 feet of snow, and were trapped in the house for a week!” But right now, I am just glad to have made it through to the other side. And still a little sad that our cat did not.