snow, ice, flannel sheets

January 9, 2005

I feel mildly guilty for spending a cozy weekend at home instead of braving the elements to seek pelagic birds blown in on the storm or some other winter recreation. I fear I'm turning into a weather wimp. What with watching an SUV go off the road in front of me in the Xmas weekend storm, worrying about icing on the rainy drive home from New Bedford earlier this week, and slip sliding thru the snow/sleet/ice/rain/snow storm to and from work on Thursday I was just not up for attempting to drive anywhere in yesterday's snow storm. I spent yesterday settled in with a pot of tea and the latest Cat Who mystery until I'd finished the book and had developed an overwhelming desire to have flannel sheets on my bed before bedtime. The snow had slowed down by evening and the parking lot patrol wanted the cars moved, so I chanced the drive over to TJ Maxx to look for sheets. The road out of the condo complex was awful. I could barely get enough traction at the toip of the hill to get out onto Rt. 125. I waited until there was absolutely no traffic coming either way before I pulled out, just in case I got stuck part way. Once I made it out of the condo complex things weren't too bad until I got to the parking lot of the strip mall where the TJ Maxx is. It hadn't been plowed. Just a little slippery. Anyway, I found a lovely set of flannel sheets in a color that claimed to be cranberry but seems closer to russet. For good measure, I bought a new cotton blanket too as the old one is ripped and torn in a zillion places.

When I got back to the parking lot I realized I had forgotten to go to the gas station, which was the other part of my mission, and I noticed that the Crazy Lady was out and about. I quickly turned the car around and headed out of the lot again with the Crazy Lady gesturing at me to stop. I ignored her. I have no idea what she wanted but I am so afraid of her that I avoid talking to her as much as possible. She was indoors when I got back -- watching me from the upstairs window. She watches the parking lot and everybody who enters or exits during snowstorms. I don't know what she is looking for. Anyway, later on I heard the plow again and looked out the window to see the Crazy Lady standing in the middle of the parking lot lecturing the plow driver. The plow then cleared her parking space but no one else's and she went back inside to watch from the doorway. She stood there for hours.

Plows and snow blowers and guys with shovels kept coming and going until 1:00 AM this morning but nobody asked me to move my car again. I don't think they'd have had too much luck getting anybody to move their car at 1:00 in the morning. I curled up with Wilbur among my new cozy flannel sheets, which are every bit as cozy as I fantasized they would be, and, having already finished The Cat Who Went Bananas, read Among Flowers by Jamaica Kincaid. I even stayed in bed petting Wilbur, reading, and listening to NPR this morning until I got hungry enough to haul my ass downstairs and make breakfast. Guilt, guilt, guilt.

I'd actually been looking forward to Among Flowers in the National Geographic Directions series since I heard Jamaica Kincaid was writing about a plant hunting trip in Nepal. OK, so she was with a botanist hunting seeds of flowering plants, not conifers, but there are similarities to conifer hunting with Zsolt. I noted on the book jacket that her expedition encountered the Maoist insurgents who were the reason that the Nepal government wouldn't give Zsolt a collecting permit back whenever it was we were supposed to go there (2001?). I haven't come to that part of the narrative yet.

Speaking of Zsolt, he and his mother were supposedly going on an expedition to the New Jersey pine barrens over the holidays right around all those east coast snowstorms. He's in Hungary again now and hasn't communicated to me whether they went through with the pine barrens expedition. I should drop him an electronic line. John McPhee got a good book out of the pine barrens, maybe I could write a "Zsolt and Maci in the Pine Barrens" thing for National Geographic Destinations -- only if I were a famous enough writer I guess. Still, it's an interesting idea, just not for National Geographic.

Now I'd better get back to reading Among Flowers so I can keep up the new faster reading pace for 2005.

Today's Reading
Among Flowers by Jamaica Kincaid

This Year's Reading
2005 Booklist


Journal Index



Copyright © 2004, Janet I. Egan