May she just utter one word: weather? Let it snow and then snow. And then snow. And then get super super cold and windy.
Early Saturday, the young and inexperienced running Scarlett's current show sent an email message saying "the show must go on." People. Even the Guthrie and Ordway cancelled. So actors living an hour away in good weather risked life and limb --and some spent four hours -- to get to the theater; luckily, the matinee was the one performance slated for Scarlett's understudy, so the Matron didn't need to drive until the evening performance, which she deeply hoped would be cancelled.
But all those actors arrived at the theater to find the matinee cancelled and the evening performance uncertain. They were instructed to stick around and be on call.
Guess who invited everyone over to her house?
Living just half a mile away, the Matron offered to host and feed the cast and crew while they waited to hear if the evening performance would run. With 15 minutes notice, she had children vacuuming and shoveling junk into draws (ahem, sorry to say even a couple of neighbor children were put to work) while she turned to figuring out how to feed a houseful of strangers (not to Scarlett, but to her).
After five teeming, social hours --and a really good meal (she's amazing that way--good bread, soup, salad and roasted turkey go a long way), the Matron tossed up her hands. No grading, no work, no regular life. Instead, she tossed a 'blizzard party' for the neighbors, bringing in another swath of folk. Only these people drank wine and stayed until midnight. The theater people mostly departed after the evening show was sunk.
This morning, there is not a tendon, bone or muscle in the Matronly body that does not ache. Readers who live in Minnesota know that shoveling is the culprit. Because the Matron and her husband take care of two other houses (the elderly and absent), they were faced with a long day of work yesterday. Yours truly was out for four hours; John put in about seven and HWCBN, five. Even the Diva picked up a shovel.
Merrick limited himself to two gigantic snow forts and frolicking.
Merrick: "This is the best day EVEW!"
Today, school has been cancelled for the children. The temperature is below zero with a wind chill that dips well into the double digits. The neighbor's cat is missing and driving remains an adventure.
No newspaper delivery in three days!
But yesterday, when the elderly neighbors needed much help (they physically cannot shovel and live at the mercy and love of others), the Matron was heartened to see HWCBN dress quickly with a sense of urgency and duty. For most of the day, he was shoulder to shoulder with his father, digging out driveways, pushing stuck cars, and clearing sidewalks.
The Matron threw in the shovel after her own four hours and focused on food and hot cocoa.
But she watched her 14 year old son labor and serve. He checked on neighbors, brought over food to some, shoveled people's sidewalks, dug out cars, and looked for a lost cat. He never complained about the zero degree weather or the truly hard work involved. As needed, he and his father came in for sustenance and a few minutes warmth. But mostly? They worked --outside in frigid weather and for other people. The Matron kept thinking of Little House on the Prairie.
Okay, but she also wondered why some on her block with no children, no jobs to go to and no driveways didn't extend themselves. But that's another story. And not the example she's setting for her children -- or the way she wants to live her own life, either.
And when the Matron made dinner for her exhausted family late last night, when the sidewalks were mostly passable and all the neighbors safe and dug out?
She didn't put that plate of steaming spaghetti in front of a 'teenager,' but instead made dinner for the two men who now sit at the table.