Little House on the Tundra


Today, it was 40 degrees in Minneapolis and the sun was shining and I felt a tiny flutter in my chest that felt a lot like hope, like this winter might not last forever. When I stepped outside to take the kids to school, I said, "It's warm and there is a fresh coat of snow and this is good!" The kids were unimpressed with the temperature hovering at freezing and Miguel said, "It's still cold. Hurry up and unlock the car." We drove to school on roads covered in snow but there was also water and water means melting and melting means "not as bitterly cold as it has been for what seems like months." I dropped the kids off and put on sunglasses for the drive home. Once home, I got a glass of water and sat down at my desk to begin my writing day and, as I got on the internet, my phone rang and I recognized the number as school. Neither kid had been sick so I figured that someone forgot lunch or shoes or snow pants and I answered expecting to hear the voice of one of my kids saying, "Mom, can you bring me…" But it wasn't one of my kids. It was a recorded message from the principal explaining that the school had no running water and all parents needed to return to school immediately to pick up their children.

Above freezing. Sunny skies. No school.

Luisa went to school and brought home our two very happy children.

This evening, we found out that there was a frozen water main and it is not yet fixed. There may be no school tomorrow. I can't even rally enough to be outraged at this point. I'm resigned. If there is no school tomorrow, I'm staying in bed with Netflix and my kids can run the show. Cookies for breakfast. Pajama day. Unlimited media time. I can live with that.

Note: I took this photo at Lake of the Isles while skiing this weekend. It is an ice sculpture or maybe a phallus or maybe - just maybe - an icy middle finger.