Snow on the Outer Banks of North Carolina? Not a regular occurrence, but it’s been known to happen.
Three inches of snow in one day in Las Vegas, where they normally don’t get more than a half inch during an entire winter? Now that’s a bit strange.
But when I heard it snowed in Malibu yesterday – well, that’s just downright weird.
Unfortunately, I don’t think that’s the worst of it. This morning, my father poked his head into the living room to give me a heads up. “Don’t worry if you hear some noise. I’m just testing the generator.”
“Yeah, OK,” I replied distractedly. I was busy writing a travel article that was overdue and didn’t really pay too much attention. Even hearing the generator roar to life didn’t make much of an impression.
Several hours later I noticed a strong chemical odor in the house that reminded me of cleaning solvent or paint thinner. When the fumes had permeated the living room I went in search of the source and found my father in the utility room, bent over a large cylindrical piece of metal equipment.
“What’s that thing?” I asked.
“Well it’s not nothing. What is it?”
‘If you must know, it’s a Roto-Rooter that belongs to your brother-in-law. It stopped working so I’m taking it apart and cleaning it. It was full of old crap and it just seized up.” It took me a second to realize he meant ‘crap’ in the literal sense. It was then I noticed that his coveralls were covered with brown and black gunk. No, no, no, not going there. I don’t want to know. I returned to my writing and again dismissed the whole issue.
I didn’t put it all together until late afternoon, when Dad turned on the TV to check reports of approaching severe winter weather.
“Looks like it’s gonna get bad,” he said. Something finally switched on in my brain. I tuned into the TV. The Weather Channel was calling for freezing rain and possible power outages tonight. ‘Crap,” I thought (not in the literal sense). Generator for the potential power outage – check. Roto-Rooter for potential frozen septic lines – double check. Crap, crap ca-rap!
Is it possible that the rest of the country is just reacting in sympathy to my plight? Maybe the weather gods are just trying to make me feel better about being in Illinois in the middle of the winter.
I’m going to bed now, but not before I climb into three layers of clothes and add another blanket to the bed – just in case. If you never hear from me again, you’ll know I froze to death in the middle of the night.