Snowverkill has crippled our nation's capitol for two days now and another storm is expected to drop ten more inches on us this afternoon. It actually has not snowed since Saturday, but church was cancelled on Sunday and public schools and almost all government offices were closed on Monday because it's ridiculous to try and have a rush hour with as many cars as do use the roads everyday around here.

Yesterday morning, I knew that The Dormouse's school was closed, but I dutifully checked my email and voice mail for news about The Caterpillar's preschool. They are often open when other places are closed because many of the parents work in essential service areas. When I got nothing, I looked at the preschool's website for news. Nothing there. I then branched out to check all the local news websites for news about school closings. I saw many similar schools in other areas of the city listed as closed, but ours didn't make the list. I finally decided that if they were gonna be open, The Caterpillar could stand to get out of my presence for a few hours so we bundled up, piled into the car, and headed out to preschool. The roads weren't good by any stretch of the imagination, but passable if you're not an idiot. I'm not pointing fingers or anything, but two examples: my neighbor on Sunday borrowed our shovel to dig out his car, pulled it out into the street and immediately got it unmovably stuck in the middle of the street. It took him and three friends about twenty minutes to unstick it and when he did, he just pulled it back into the driveway. Then three hours later, he tried to pull it out again and got it stuck again. After thirty minutes or rocking it to get it unstuck, he put it back in the driveway again. Then an hour later, yep, you guess it, he pulled it out and got it stuck again. This time, some girl came out of the house while they were rocking and revving the car to unstick it, stood in front of the car's headlights and did a little dance of shame and mockery in front of them. They finally managed to back it back into the driveway and haven't tried to leave since. I'm not sure what was so important that he get to, but I am sure that he never got there. Second example: this morning, I have spent the last half hour watching the NBC affiliate's storm chaser truck report from the middle of a road in a residential neighborhood where it's been stuck for the last couple of hours while they wait for a tow truck.

Anyway, I took my little all-wheel drive out yesterday morning to take The Caterpillar to preschool and the roads were still pretty bad - even the snow emergency routes were thick sheets of ice with the occasional pot hole of actual road poking through - but we got there just fine. The problem was that when we got there, the preschool was closed. I wasn't really surprised, but I had gone to considerable effort to try and figure that out before I left the house so all the way home I hemmed and hawed about how they really should have a system in place so people can FIND OUT if they're closed and planning my complaint to the director which would almost certainly begin with, "I'm not upset but I am concerned..." I got home, shooed all the children into the house (I know I only have two, but it seems like so many more than that since we've all been stuck inside together) and took off seven layers of clothing. When I finally sat down, I glanced over at the phone and thought... "phone? They wouldn't have.... Nah, no one uses the phone anymore." But I picked it up anyway and called the number for the preschool. Sure enough, their voice mail message started off by saying that the school would be closed for the day.

So... yeah... duh.

Making the most of the fact that the schools are closed, we created our very own Winter Wonderland in the front yard, since that's about as far away we can get.

Ice fort:

Ski runs:

Here's when we were just building the run and it wasn't quite so exciting.

This is a day later when the run had been sufficiently packed down:

This one is the proverbial black diamond:

The Caterpillar even got brave enough to try our bunny slope. The following three pictures perfectly illustrate exactly how she takes this run. Every. Single. Time.

Begin with cautious anticipation after listening to instructions of "Hold on tight. Don't let go. Did you hear me? Don't let go. DON'T. LET. GO."

Then as soon as the thrill hits let go of both sides of the sled and wobble like a Weeble,

but never actually fall down (also like a Weeble) and end the run in a serene, upright position.


So as long as you're stuck at home, there might as well be ways to enjoy it.