It hasn't snowed since Sunday, but what snow we have has stuck. The snow has thawed a bit and then frozen, thawed and frozen, so that the ground is covered not so much by a blanket of snow as by a crust of it, literally glittering in the sun that has, at last, emerged this morning from behind its bank of white clouds.
Our apartment is warm, the windows fogged up by steam that must have risen off the many cups of tea we've steeped in the past three days (I have single-handedly done away with almost an entire box of Candy Cane Lane peppermint tea), and the whole place smells like baking: delicatta squash, chocolate chip cookies, turkey soup, reheated stuffing, meringue cookies dipped in chocolate. Food has kept me busy, since, due to an absence of patients (nearly every one scheduled for the last two days has cancelled), work has not.
In fact, I haven't worked in nearly a week, which we can blame on snow, the holiday, and those sick days spent with Arrested Developement and origami boxes. The time off has been pleasant, restful, full of reading, cleaning, writing, gift-making, baking, drinking tea and sleeping in, but such a high dose of forced relaxation can make one feel a bit, well, cabin-feverish after a while. This, combined with the fact that we had less than half a roll of toilet paper left, prompted Mitch and I to venture outside yesterday on a quest to the grocery store.
Since we aren't used to this sort of weather here, snow always catches me off guard, and every year I realize how pitifully prepared I am for cold weather--and every year, I do nothing about it. I don't own a ski coat or snow boots, and the old pair of ski pants I have are on indefinate loan from my parents, so dressing for the cold usually entails layers and layers and layers of clothes. By the time we left the building I was bundled up so tight that I felt more than a little like the kid from A Christmas Story, and I nearly toppled right over while bending down to tie my shoes.
The first thing we realized, upon attempting to actually leave our building, was that we were honestly, truly snowed in. The way our front walkway is constructed leaves us with a narrow, though picturesque, alley between the side of the building and a row of tall, green hedges. This passes under a stucco archway before reaching the street, and what we found was that the snow had drifted above the level of the door, so that we had to dig out a path for the door before we could actually open it wide enough to squeeze through. Then, we saw that the snow, nearly a foot deep, had filled the narrow walkway, and the hedges, weighted down by snow, had bent over toward the building, leaving spaces less than a foot high at the lowest and no more than four feet high at the highest for us to crawl through before we could reach the archway.
We almost literally had to tunnel our way out. It was awesome.