My Sweet Mama is without electricity — has been since two this afternoon, and things are cold. She is very, very tired tonight, and has company. People from the nursing home staff who can’t make it home are camped out in her beds. (Every bed was full last night), and she told me this evening that Mark, Jr was sacked out on the couch, all wrapped up against the chill.
It is no longer snowing in Delaware, in fact, the stars are out, but oh, what a mess of snow, and the temps are falling. It worries me somewhat to think of Mama without light and heat.! I wish that I had insisted that she come home with me last night. She was pretty sure that she was having guests and decided to stay put. Those of us in Milford haven’t even lost our electric, but I guess there is still the night to get through and anything could happen yet. They seem to think the next twelve hours could be dangerous because of the heavy, wet snow and the falling temperatures.
I made a big pot of chicken corn noodle soup and baked bread. Certain Man is putting his village away without waiting on Deborah to get home from Chad. She usually organizes the putting away of boxes, but he has been severely mistreated today, and is taking his energy out on the village dismantling. You see, he sheared a pin on his tractor loader, and couldn’t dig us out in his usual fashion, and he was quite troubled by the fact that the snow was getting deeper and deeper. He had gone out to make a second round throurgh all paths he had cleared earlier, and was back in long before he should have been, carrying a broken u-bolt. He cast about for solutions, and then I heard him talking to his “almost a brother,” Gary Burlingame around 4:30 this afternoon. “Go ahead and see if you have enough to weld this, and I’m gonna; come on up.” (silence) “I’m going to have to walk up there.” (silence again) “I don’t have any other choice. I can’t get my tractor out, and I can’t dig myself out unless I have this pin, so I’ve got to walk up there, and get it welded and then walk home.” (silence again) “Alright, you check, and I’ll be up.”
The mistreatment came when he got of the phone. “You are NOT going to walk up to Gary’s, are you???” I looked out at the blowing snow and noted the temp was 24 degrees.
“Hon, I’ve got to do what I’ve got to do. There’s no other way.”
“Daniel, you do not have to be dug out today. There’s tomorrow, and even Monday.” I don’t know why, but this was unacceptable. For some reason, if he waited until later, it would be too late. “Daniel, be logical, here.” (Wrong thing to say — why can’t I learn???) ” It is snowing and blowing. The temperature is dropping. You’ll be too cold till you get there and back.”
“I’m not going to come right back. I will warm up up there. It’s only a mile or two, and there is no other way.”
“But Daniel, it will be dark till you get back. I don’t think you should go!”
Somewhere in the middle of all this, he went to the phone and called Gary. “Gary. Don’t even bother to go check on whether you have enough stuff to weld this. My wife threw a fit when she heard I was going to walk up there, so I guess I’ll just stay home. Don’t make no sense, but–” He hung up.
I said, “Daniel, do you understand why I don’t want you to go????”
“Don’t make no sense to me. I’m just walking up to Gary’s so I can do what I’ve gotta do. I didn’t think it would be such a big deal.” There was none of his usual good humor. smiley eyes, nothing. Quite a bit of fire in those grey eyes that I like so much.
“Because I’m afraid!!!” I wailed. “I’m afraid something will happen to you in this storm. It just doesn’t seem safe to me.” That was really a strange thing for a wife to feel, given the quiet summer afternoon we were having, and I finally went back to my soup and my bread and he attacked his village and has all the houses boxed up and quite a few of the accessories. I made him his special “dumpf knepf” from some of the left over bread dough as a peace offering, and he ate it all up. He looked at my pot of soup and wondered what in the world we are going to do with it, and worried about his eldest son and wife, stranded in Philly. He was restless and irritable most of the afternoon. But tonight he found out that Gary’s tank was pretty much empty and wouldn’t have been enough to weld anything, so he is mollified a bit. He thinks he might try to get down the road in the other direction to his friend, Jake Bender, tomorrow. I have a feeling that he is out there with his snow shovel trying to move some snow right now by hand. I’d better go and see if I can offend him again by trying to stop him.
And that’s the news from snowy Shady Acres. Where Certain Man’s Wife is reminded once again that there are some things she will never really figure out about Certain Man. One thing for sure. Snowy days do strange things to the male temper(ament).