While Mr. Bluebird and Poppa Bird and I have had a relatively uneventful holiday, marred only by a bit of rain, our kin in Colorado are having a heck of a time this Christmas season. While they're getting ready for the latest round of blizzards, Mr. Bluebird is out on the back deck grilling steaks. Patently unfair, don't you think?
Anyhow, last week when the first blizzard hit Denver I called my cousin, Penguin. Penguin is a year older than me and is a definite free spirit who marches to her own tune. Nothing phases her. Even a rollicking day of baby-sitting her nephews and niece doesn't send her over the edge. In fact, I'm not sure what would send her over the edge, if anything.
So I reach her on her cell phone as she's just boarded the shuttle bus at the airport that's supposed to take her to her car that's parked at Stapleton, the old airport. (She works for an airline out of Denver International Airport). Apparently, instead of having the employees drive for miles across the prairie to reach the airport, the airlines run a shuttle service. Which usually runs fairly frequently. However, with the blizzard in full battle mode, it ran a bit late.
"Oh, we just got on the shuttle to take us to our cars," she says. "It was kind of cool. We waiting there for two hours, just like penguins huddling together and taking turns being on the inside of the huddle and outside of the huddle because the wind and snow was blowing so bad." Penguin, I might add, is nuts about penguins and has been collecting them since we were knee-high. Hence, her name.
"You were waiting in the snow for two hours?"
"Oh yeah, and they say it make take us two hours to get to our cars." Penguin is not even remotely concerned or upset at this point. In fact, it sounded like the entire shuttle bus was singing Christmas Carols and partying.
I called Penguin a day or so later and she informed me that yes, it did take two hours to get to their cars, but she had parked in covered parking so it was only a matter of getting home along the snow-covered roads. Apparently this took some time as well, but she made it. She then spent the following day walking all over her neighborhood and the local park with her snowshoes and digital camera. She reported that her area received 33" of snow. In Penguin's eyes that simply means more chances to play with her snowshoes and digital camera.
Today, as the weather reports are screeching about Yet Another Blizzard, I call Penguin to see what's really going on. She is nonplussed.
"People are so silly," she says on the phone. "The lines at the gas stations are huge," she reports. "Which is kind of silly because if you have a blizzard, you aren't going driving anywhere, right?"
I agree that people really are rather silly (I do, after all, teach so I am very aware of this fact).
Penguin continues, "I ran by the market on the way home from Mother's, just to get a few things, and they're out of milk. Is that silly or what? I mean, what's with the bread and milk? Every time there's a storm people all stock up on bread and milk. I'd rather stock up on tortilla chips and salsa, if I'm going to stock up on anything."
Mr. Bluebird, Poppa Bird and I all tend to agree with Penguin on this. Why do people stock up on bread and milk? Why not lunchmeat and chips? Why not peanut butter? Why not chocolate? Me, if I'm stuck home during a blizzard, I'd probably want to make sure I had plenty of coffee, shortbread cookies, and Jack Daniels.
And some really good books to read.
So, there are two questions for my dear readers.
1. What's with the bread and milk?
2. What would you stock up on???