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Jan 15 2014

The Long Winter…field trip

Did you ever read the Little House series? Remember The Long Winter? That one was always my favorite of the bunch. It reads almost like a kiddie horror novel for mollycoddled suburban children. It starts off so innocently, with a hot summer day out in the fields, and then gradually descends into a battle to the death between the homesteaders and a heartless, endless winter. Duh duh duhhhhhhh!!!! No matter how hard my life might be, it could never reach that level of complete suck. We may have recently had a dangerous polar vortex, but we also have central heat, the internet, and indoor plumbing. Indoor plumbing, I just love you so much. Call me.

That book kept running through my head this morning as I chaperoned a 4th grade field trip. Someone please tell me what I was smoking when I signed up to chaperone an outdoor field trip in January? My whole plan for the winter was to stay as warm as possible to avoid a repeat of The Great Jaw Spasm of 2013, and I’m outside in 15 degree temps for two hours tramping through eight inches of ice-encrusted snow cutting down buckthorn? It’s several hours later and I can finally feel my toes again, though my chronic AAS suffered a horrific flare-up and my brain is still a little chilled around the edges.

I would have been a terrible pioneer homesteader. If the zombies ever come, I’m heading as far south as possible, just so I don’t have to fight the elements as I’m fighting the undead. That is, unless I am forced to throw myself in the path of the zombie horde in order to save my family; I figure my healthy brain and large nutritious ass are guaranteed to give my men a fighting chance to escape. This evening Tom and I were shucking popcorn off cobs…just like the pioneers used to do, except I got mine from a CSA and we don’t plan on using the cob remnants as Charmin substitutes…and this very topic came up.

Me: “I would have been a terrible pioneer woman. It would not have gone well.”
Tom: “Oh my god you would have been horrible. You never would have made it. You would have been a corpse on the side of the Oregon Trail. You would have been a little skull & crossbones on the computer screen.”
Me: “Well. See if I throw myself in front of any zombies to save your ass then.”

So to all my pioneer ancestors, thanks for getting me to this point. I never could have done it, and am grateful you covered that era of history for me. I’ll think of you fondly under my electric blanket, cranked to scald.

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  1. Well, hello there winter. Bugger off. - Laughing at Chaos

    […] warm in a Chicago winter. How to survive a Chicago winter polar vortex without losing your mind. The Long Winter…field trip. Late winter haiku to get us to […]

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