We had a major blizzard with a ton of snow yesterday. It was all over the news and the major topic of any conversation for days. Everyone was running around crazy.

And anyone I ran into asked me something along these lines:

“How jealous are you that your husband’s in sunny Arizona for all of this?”

And yes, it is true that Hubby and the team lifted off just as the snow clouds blew in. It is true that it’s considerably warmer in AZ with no chance of inclement weather. It is also true that even I got a bit storm-panicked, knowing that it was just me and the kids. I had needed to add on a patient to my Monday afternoon clinic, check results and call as many people as I could, round on my folks in the hospital… So I got out of the city and to my mother’s on the later side, and drove home with the kids as the storm began. Even in the dark and snow, I made the kids help me pick up the yard; they gathered and put away their toys, and I battened down the barrels and recycle bins, got the shovels and ice melt out. Later, after they were asleep, I searched for our flashlights and batteries, candles and matches, my hands almost shaking.

But, I’m not jealous, because I know how many years and decades and stress and doubt went into Hubby’s first trip to the Super Bowl. This is a guy who started practicing his play-by-play skills over forty years ago, turning the basement rec room TV volume down, and talking into a play microphone. He worked his way up from the local little league PA system to the most minor of minor leagues baseball and up, then college basketball and lacrosse, then football. He rode with his teams to games in yellow school buses; endured endless overnight trips in travel buses; and stayed in more than one questionable motel (Allergies vs. bedbugs? was not an uncommon question).

He lived from contract to contract, never a salaried position, with plenty of brutal competition. Like all self-employed folks, he had to research and buy health insurance, and pay estimated taxes (horrors!). He was often based far from me, and on the road.

Then, one day when Babyboy was about two and Babygirl an infant, and Hubby was finagling for yet another contract with a team based in another state, he asked me:

“How long can I keep doing this? Do you need me to look for a real job?”

“Well, what would you do?” I asked.

“Uh, I saw a sales job at Nordstrom’s that might be interesting, or I could look at bookstores…”

I remember saying something along the lines of “Are you nuts? Get back to your charts and your networking! We’ll be fine.”

And he did, and we are.

It snowed for 24 hours. The wind was sharp and stinging. Huge drifts formed against the front door and the back steps. I was up at 5:30 a.m., thrilled that we didn’t lose electricity, and excited that it was a snow day for me (as well as for everyone, with a governor-imposed travel ban). The kids slept in. I used the time to log into work, check some lab results. I even spoke to a few patients, before the kids woke up. In the norming, we watched considerable television as I got caught up on cleaning/ laundry/ dishes.

I did get the kids all outfitted in their hand-me-down snow gear, and out we went, twice. They fairly swam through the snow. Babygirl lasted about five minutes both times, crying with cold hands. Babyboy lasted until he lost his boots in the snow, and had to run inside with freezing wet feet. I searched and dug until I found his boots, twice.

I tried to shovel, but with the kids needing to go inside, I didn’t make it very far.

But our local heroes stepped in. Here is a big thanks to our neighbors:

THANK YOU to Paula and Mark, who descended on the back driveway with a snowblower and shovels, cheerfully clearing out the huge plow-mounds and drifts. THANK YOU to Jim, who cleared our entire front sidewalk to the street, after dark. THANK YOU to Christine, who provided us with homemade Italian sausage soup and macaroni and cheese with the most delicious Ritz cracker crumb crust, true comfort food.

And THANKS to everyone who has wished Hubby well as he covers his first Superbowl.

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