3 February 2004
I know I said I'd be back writing journal entries yesterday morning. My mom said she'd write me an excuse note, though: we were snowed in. In Omaha. This just doesn't happen, that Omaha gets major (12"+) snowfall twice in as many weeks. It's not how things work down there. They're not sure how to handle it. Here, they have the choreographed plow dance on the interstate, which is beautiful to behold if you can catch it. Even with Pawlenty's budget cuts, Minnesota knows how to clear snow. In Omaha, half the turn lanes were not really lanes any more; they'd piled the snow into it when they plowed. My parents like living in Omaha, but they just shake their head and sigh at the Omaha plow people.
We had a good time at Kari's baby shower -- more pictures later -- and I met some pleasant people, saw some pleasant people I hadn't seen in years, and saw some pleasant people I hadn't seen in weeks. Generally, much happiness all around. And Kari got good presents and liked the books I got her and Jake to read to the baby, which included That's Not My Dinosaur (Mark's new phrase) and How Do Dinosaurs Get Well Soon?. We had much fun picking out baby books.
We celebrated Grandpa's birthday after church on Sunday, and it was clear from the time we left for church that snow was an issue. We were determined to stay and do Grandpa's birthday, and anyway I'm not convinced we could have beat the storm even if we'd skipped out on the church and the celebrating. When we called, after lunch and cake and presents and pondering, to tell Timprov that we weren't coming home Sunday, I found that he'd already e-mailed to warn us to be careful if we did (and, preferably, not to come at all). So we tucked in safe with the family at Grandma and Grandpa's. They had the StupidBowl on TV, but I was reading Laestadius and taking notes, and everybody expected that. Oh, and I got to meet Mary's fiancÚ, so all for the best etc.
Yesterday we waited until after lunch and then decided to head out. The Iowa road conditions webpage claimed that travel was "not advised" between Omaha and Des Moines, but when we looked at the Weather Channel and the current conditions, it seemed like time to go. And the pavement was clear and dry. For us. We saw 92 cars in the ditch; that reinforced our decision to stay tucked in at Mother and Dad's on Sunday. We saw zero cars actually go into the ditch, but at least 92 of them were already there. (After supper, it was hard to be sure we'd seen them all, because it had gotten dark.) Timprov had shoveled about fifteen inches off the driveway when we got here. The steps and the walk still need shoveling. There was a lot of snow. And I'm really glad we have company coming for dinner tonight, because the other choice was last night, and that would have been significantly less fun for everyone.
I always forget how much of the drive to Omaha is Iowa. It seems like it should take up less space, somehow. We passed the time (in addition to counting ditch cars) by discussing which towns were more likely to be Steven Brust critters and which members of the country music Judd family. Also, there's a rest stop between Omaha and Des Moines with a mural of DNA on its walls. I thought that was neat. And winter makes people in the rest stops cheerful and friendly. Possibly because they know they may be snowed in with you a couple hours down the line, and they want you to share your granola bars. But still.
I reread Mary Poppins this weekend, because I'm writing a short story called "Michael Banks, Home From the War." It was...interesting. I'm going to pick up the sequels from the library if I can manage it, to help with the story writing, and also some WWI material, also to help with the story writing. And some Finnish stuff for the book writing. And some fiction because I am a weak, weak person. And maybe some superfluous nonfiction; see "reasons for library fiction."
I had a really happy book weekend. Didn't spend a ton of time reading but was very happy with what I did. I finished Singularity Sky, oh happy happy, and I read Mary Gentle's A Secret History. Happy happy happy. Not a book with an ending, mind you, but still a good book. And the rest of the series is already out. And readily available. In paperback. I ask you: does it get any better than that? And I submit that it does not. I'm now halfway through Lyda Morehouse's second book and also halfway through the Laestadius. (Incidentally, Laestadius wrote a book called Crapula Mundi. It means "the world's hangover." I think it's a fabulous title.) Books books books. Yay.
Well. I have a lot more to say here -- I even have cryptic little notes about what -- and some of it relates to Friday's entry, and some of it doesn't -- but I also have a veritable pigsty of a house (by my own standards, of course; it's probably fairly clean by some people's, but never mind that, they're not me), and the bars are baked, but the list remains long. So. Tomorrow. Etc.
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Or the next one.
Or even send me email.