The only time I want to see ice of any kind between now and next December is in the form of tiny cubes stacked precariously in the glass of my gin and tonic. And the only sound of cracking ice I want to hear is when those cubes crack in the cool liquid and get swirled around by a stir stick.

You got that Mother Nature? I’ll even pour you one, if you can promise you will deliver spring and everything that comes with it.

Because the need to still be wearing boots, socks and mittens in mid-April makes me intolerable. Just ask the Carpenter. He spent all last weekend indoors with me during your recent ice storm and he forgot to add chips and dip to the emergency preparedness kit.

Imagine that, Mother Nature. He remembered batteries, flashlights, non-perishable groceries and fuel for the barbecue tank, which is nice and all, but let me assure you, if we’re stranded for 72 hours in the house, your survival and mine depends on chip dip.  Cabin fever requires snacks.

Thank goodness for the Carpenter’s mistress, the iPad, because otherwise he would have had to endure two days of conversation with me, now that he couldn’t bribe me with a food distraction. You can’t fault me for annoying him. I tried. Often.

Sometimes he would look up from his flat-screen, as if to fake enthusiasm for whatever I was saying, which essentially meant the mistress had lost her charge. It was temporary. He would plug her back in and eventually return to his virtual solitude, while I ate gluten-free crackers. Blech.

It wasn’t until Monday morning that my Carpenter smiled. That’s the day your ice storm closed schools and job sites. He got up early to shovel the driveway to make good and sure I went to work that day.

He cleared a path from the front door of the house right to my car, chiseling the thick ice and snow all around my vehicle, so I could back out safely.

He even started my car, defrosted the windows and had the heat on inside so it was all toasty warm. He even checked my gas gauge to be sure I could make a return trip without issue (because he thinks no woman alive knows not to let her gas tank dip below a quarter tank. I showed him.).

And before you say “ah, isn’t that so sweet,” let me assure you that this good deed was more about his determination to get rid of me than it was about chivalry.

I know this for a fact, because I heard him singing aloud, merrily off-key, while shoveling mounds of snow and ice. He was working hard, his big cranium bobbing around beneath a Quebec Nordiques toque with a ridiculous pompom on the top, clashing with his Seattle Seahawks gloves and his fluorescent orange work jacket. He was singing in the freezing rain like some happy-go-lucky fellow who wasn’t going to work that day, but was quite happy I was.

As I drove off into the slushy streets, he stood smiling and waving, disappearing in the rearview mirror. With all my might, I wished for a power outage that day so the mistress would flat line. It didn’t happen.

You owe me, Mother Nature.  You owe me big time. Patio season. Bring it.



Kelly Waterhouse