Snow and Bills

by Bella Rum

On Saturday, we made this lovely thing with shrimp and pasta and a reduced sauce of white wine, lemon zest and a little garlic infused olive oil and a teensy tiny pat of butter. I know, but you have to have a little butter once in a while. We’re dieting, not dead. We made it  up as we went along, so I have no measurements. I only had a small portion.

It was in the low sixties Sunday, and H mowed the lawn. It wasn’t really about cutting the grass, but more about sucking up all the leaves. Still it was strange to see him pushing the lawnmower around in January. The yard was covered with leaves. He disappeared all of them in the fall, but there they were again. There are always more.

I just looked outside and we got a slight dusting last night, nothing like the North East got. When we went to bed last night, they were saying that it wasn’t going to be as bad as they had predicted. Ut, oh. The meteorologists were so excited yesterday. I haven’t looked at the news this morning, but I’m sure it’s bad enough for those who are in the midst of it. I hope everyone stays home until the roads are clear.

I usually make a big pot of something when they predict a big storm. Then I heat it up on our Coleman stove. I love my Coleman stove when the power goes out. It’s nice to be able to make a meal and a cup of coffee. We are not huge survivalists, but we’ve invested in a few items that make life endurable when we lose power; it happens every couple of years. When it goes out, it’s usually out for about three days. Just long enough to get annoying, and  who can go without hot coffee for that long without a homicide or something?

We don’t have a generator and are not survivalists, but we bought a few camping items years ago: Coleman stove, coffee pot, battery operated lantern and a few other things. It’s nice to have a little light after the sun goes down so you can play cards. A person could flip out without television or internet. We also have oil lamps in the attic. It’s surprising how those few items make such a difference in our comfort. And then there’s H’s garage. It’s a magical place. He disappears in there and returns with whatever you need. There’s a huge industry dedicated to survival, but our little collection could get us through a week or so without a knife fight breaking out. After that, I’m going to a hotel or my brother’s.

I recently commented that we live within our means. I already want to take that back. Why would I ever put that out there? You know what happens when you do that.

Three large bills hit us this month: insurance (quarterly) , personal property tax (annually), H’s teeth (always and forever)! I swear. Those teeth! We will never stop paying for those teeth. We haven’t indulged in an investment like this since my son left for college. And where’s the payoff? I spied a cashier smiling sweetly at him the other day. I turned my gaze to him, and saw his beautiful smile returning hers. I told him that if he wants to smile at women, he should charge. We could apply it to the bill.