Winter storms, some of them quite severe, are battering large swaths of America just now. Out West, in the middle of the country, up in New England – it seems just about everywhere is being hit with snow, ice, sleet, and general winter misery. My little part of the sticks just got some cold rain and I’m grateful for that – we’re just not equipped for the heavy snow that Buffalo and Bozeman get, plus we usually just get ice, which is a separate kind of awful. (Since my small town is nestled against the foothills of the ancient Appalachian mountain range, storms coming from the west usually break up over us and re-form further to the east. Storms sweeping up from the South tend to give us our winter weather. It’s a little strange sometimes.) It seems that there’s not much to “savor” (my nudge word for 2024, reminding me to slow down and really take in my surroundings, rather than rushrushrushing through one task after another) in this sort of weather.
But there is.
Now, around here, the mere whisper of the word “snow” leads to a run on local grocery stores. Toilet paper, milk, and bread shelves are stripped bare as if land piranhas have been swimming the the aisles. While we know how to make snow cream, we rarely get the chance and we are a people who will cancel school “for the safety of the kids,” then tie a plastic sled to the back bumper of a 4-wheeler and drive those same kids through the neighborhood. (For real. We do this.)
But what a snow day (something the pandemic and its reliance on online teaching nearly took away from us) can provide Divas with is a rare opportunity to just hunker at home. Now, the word “hunker” has a connotation of just riding out a bad time, like huddling in a cold house trying to survive a storm. However, with a bit of planning, hunkering can be done with grace and luxury. The key is to stock up ahead of time.
Make sure your pantry contains real cocoa, whipping cream, and a good-quality chocolate bar (try the good, conflict-free stuff and you’ll agree that Hershey’s is only fit for true emergency situations) so you can use a vegetable peeler to curl a bit of chocolate onto the luscious cream topping your rich, thick drinking chocolate. Marshmallows, peppermint, and so on are – of course! – perfectly good ideas to have on hand as well. And to me, nothing says “home vacation” to me like tomato soup and a good grilled cheese sandwich for lunch. Whatever says “comfort food” to you – have on hand.
Clean, super soft pajamas, snuggly socks, and fresh sheets for that climb back into bed (since you aren’t going anywhere) will make you feel like you’re staying at a five-star resort.
A guilty pleasure book is great to have on hand. I’m going through a cozy mystery phase – I don’t even care about following the twists and turns of the plot; it’s fine with me that I don’t identify the dastardly killer. I just enjoy the domestic details – yes, especially the food. (By the way, if you are a reader, join a site like BookBub that will let you choose your favorite genres then give you deals on those books in e-book form every day. You’ll find a few gems for very little cost – or maybe altogether free!)
On a snow day, you’ve got time to do those things you rarely have time to do, so if you enjoy puzzles, embroidery, learning a foreign language, painting – any activity like that – make sure to have the necessary bits and pieces on hand to let yourself enjoy the unexpected time off.
Of course, it’s also a great day to polish your tiara.
Whatever you do, dear Divas, do it with gusto and savoir faire!