Thursday, December 4, 2008

The Weather Outside is Frightful

Josh and I are having a bit of an issue. We're experiencing our first TRUE winter together.

We've been through winter weather before. We lived in Silver Spring for two years. Now I'm not going to get on a my bandwagon here because it drives my husband crazy, but Marylanders don't really experience the thrusts of winter like the midwesterns do. This is a phenomenon that I do not understand. It snows every year in Maryland, does it not? Marylanders have to drive in the snow, do they not? Then why does the city of Washington D.C. make the hugest deal when there are three inches of snow on the ground? The roads don't get plowed very quickly, the average speed limit on the highway drops to 35, and people begin to bring out their REAL winter outwear.... tiny little peacoats from Old Navy. Ohhhhh!! Now we're really prepared.

I've grown up my whole life knowing that winter coat shopping was a mere battle zone when it came to dealing with my father. (My friends relay similar stories of such battle zones.) My sisters and I would pick the trendiest coats - but we knew they'd have to pass the warmth test.. My father would literately have to feel the inside padding of the coat to make sure it was properly insulated. We'd plead our cases with googly eyes - but to no avail.

Warmth over style. We were forced to swallow it.

I have to admit - now that I am older and wiser (and a mother myself), I truly understand the value of proper winter outerwear. Because if it weren't for my father, I'd end up lost - like a typical Marylander with a peacoat when it's negative five degrees outside.

Like the time we went to Detroit in January with about 8-12 inches of snow on the ground. Of course, we didn't pack the most sensible clothing - but since I was in a house with three other Stawis women - I had my fair share of boots, hats, gloves, and coats (screened by my father) so I would be properly garbed when entering the winter wonderland outside. Then there was Josh. Josh is 6"1. My father is 5"9. My brother is 5"9 1/2. Josh putting on my father or brother's coats would be like an elephant squeezing into a turtle's shell. As good of a sport he is, he'd rather freeze thank you.

But then there were the galoshes. Somehow, some way, my father convinced Josh to use his extra pair of galoshes over his Shabbos shoes. Thinking it wouldn't be too harmfull, Josh squeeeeeeeeezed his beautiful patent leather wedding shabbos shoes into the rubber protectors and proceeded to wear them the entire morning. When he came home, not only were his toes red and completely malformed, he had officially ruined his shoes. So there we were, completely out of style, with our bodies completely misshaped, but once again---- we were warm.

(So much for not getting on my bandwagon... sorry Josh, please forgive me.)

We now live in Iowa.

I'm not sure if it annoys me or makes me proud, but the people here are so RIDICULOUSLY sensible when it comes to the weather. They wear REAL coats. They wear REAL boots. Walmart has been selling snow shovels and ice scrapers since the end of September (are you surprised??) - Don't worry, that hasn't expediated our need for buying these items. Sure enough, we waited until the middle of December to purchase these items, but that's besides the point.

I'll have everyone know that Aviva dresses very sensibly for the winter. She has boots, a Rothchild puff coat (I scored with the style and warmth with that item!)gloves, and a real snow hat that covers her ears and chin. She is a force to be reckoned with. She can roll in the snow and not get a flake on her. She makes me proud. She is the daughter of a Detroiter.

I have to admit, the winter weather has been quite controlled before we left for Silver Spring this Thanksgiving break. Sure, the temperature has been cold and it flurried here and there, but there were no major winter issues. That is, until the DAY we returned to our home-sweet-home. We were welcomed home HARD.

When we finally returned after our lay-over trip, Aviva and I patiently waited for over a half an hour for Daddy to fetch the car from the economy lot. The weather outside was definitely frightful. I was shocked at how much snow was on the ground even from my view on the plane. And to make things worse, it was coming down hard even as we were leaving the airport. Now for those of you who are thinking ahead.... economy lot = no car covering. Yes, we saved money, but yes, our car was covered in 3-5 inches of snow and no, Josh did not have the proper gloves, hat, coat, or scraper to get all of the snow off and retain his warmth. Being the good man that he is once again, he tried his hardest and got all the snow off bare-handed and all. The entire ride home from the airport we argued our "Detroit vs. Maryland winter argument" which ended in me not being allowed to go out to Walmart to buy the basic needs (milk, cereal, juice, etc.) after we returned from our trip due to the weather. I'm not allowed to say I can handle it because I'm from Detroit. That only makes him madder. So the milk and cereal had to wait.

The snow didn't end there. It's snowed most of the week since we returned from Silver Spring. Thankfully, our landlord has lived up to his word of plowing our driveway. Although this is a major help, if you don't shovel the snow as it comes down, it tends to pile up below the snow plow and freeze over - making a thin sheet of snow/ice even after it's been plowed. Great, just what we need for a sleep-deprived medical student, 9 month pregnant lady, and 1/5 year old who just started walking 4 months ago. Translation: Accident-prone!!

Despite the wonderful plowing, our walk-way and stairs that lead up to our front door are still covered in snow. And ice for that matter. Which is when I informed Josh that we needed to purchase a shovel and salt for the ice. (We purchased the shovel, but have not yet tackled the salt.)

It suddenly dawned on me that we needed to shovel ASAP because other human beings may try to enter our home i.e. the UPS man, a neighbor, or our babysitter, Jessica. Instead of proactively shoveling our walkway, we simply told Jessica to enter our house through our garage. This has been working well until we received a note from our landlord that our garage should be shut at all times unless we are pulling out or pulling in. (Geez, so many issues with the garage!! If there are going to be so many rules... why not install an automatic switch for us?!?! and take us out of our misery?!) bottom line is - we can no longer take the easy way out. Josh - WE NEED TO SHOVEL AND ICE OUR WALKWAY.

I hope people don't think we're rude or lazy or that we would G-d forbid want their children to slip and fall in front of our house. (although we don't want intruders and like our space, we would never ever do such a thing.) We're just really really busy. I know that sounds lazy and it's a bad excuse but it's true. I almost feel like we need to plan our housekeeping chores around Josh's exam schedule. The boy barely eats and sleeps, let alone remembers to do housework. I wish I could just snap my fingers and have it done!

Between you and me, I would seriously get out there and shovel and salt myself. I don't for my husband's sake. I wouldn't want to embarress him. I wouldn't want others to think he isn't a good husband and isn't helpful and is making his popping wife shovel the walk-way. I'll wait until he does it.

(which better be soon.)

I know he'll step up to the plate, as he always does. Just think, he entered Iowa as a naive pea-coated Marylander and will be leaving a man - a true Iowan winter pioneer.

And then there's me - the natural, the native. Just joking. It's not easy for me either. I have to get back in the groove myself. Although I do just smile and nod when Josh instructs me to call Hebrew school to see if it will be canceled when it only snowed about 3-5 inches.

I know better.


Shira said...

Josh and Moti are so alike. Moti just made the transition from his windbreaker to his winter coat YESTERDAY (with a high of like 10 degrees) We haven't been hit THAT hard yet with the snow but it's supposed to be like 19 degrees tonight, with a windchill of 0. Awesome. Can't wait to eat out with a sick husband. I don't know if I'd rather snow in a tiny bit warmer weather, or below freezing weather. Tough call. Anyway, glad you and Aviva are warm.

Rachelz said...

Men are such babies. Z. got off the plane from Israel yesterday in nothing but a scarf. It's freezing! He's crazy.
And I agree, people from the eastern part of this country are not winter saavy like us midwesterners. They need to just get over that denial.

schabes said...

i know this is totally late to your blog-- but i would just like to remind you and myself of the first time i met your father-- we were probably eleven years old and i went to your house on a motzai shabbos and granted it may have been the dead of winter and i was only wearing a scarf-- scarves are cool i guess-- and your father answered the door and said-- "where exactly is your coat?!?!"-- and that is why i love alan stawis...