Leave it to a librarian to expand my vocabulary. “Have a great day, look out for the Snowmageddon!” he wrote in an email yesterday morning.

Well, considering my childhood – walking almost a mile to elementary school in snowstorms, and rolling snow in our backyard into balls so huge and heavy we kids couldn’t lift them to make snowmen, so we climbed on top of our blobs, beat our chests, and jumped off instead – “snowmageddon” seemed profound hyperbole.

Furthermore, during the rise of Mary Lou Retton’s stardom and the public high school girls’ gymnastic teams, I drove all over Metro Detroit’s east and west side for almost a decade of winters to judge meets. I cannot recall one cancellation for inclement weather.

I often turned into our driveway around 11 p.m. with my $30 check to buy another pair of shoes for one of our three daughters.

With this history in mind, at 2 p.m. yesterday, I didn’t vacillate to zip up my jacket to drive Mittens and Cuddles to their vet appointment.

“I put them in the back of your car. Their kennel’s heavy. Do you want me to go with you?” my husband asked.

“No thanks. I’ve got ’em,” I said.

Light snow began as I turned onto our road for the 7.9 miles into Oxford. A Michigander from age five, I wondered what was the big deal about one more snowfall. After all, the forecasters were wrong again on February 2.

True, I’m considerably older, and traffic is heavier than thirty years ago. However, these variables mean I’m a much wiser, experienced driver today. And our County Road Commission has made great improvements on our roads.

When the vet arrived in the exam room, I pulled Mittens, then Cuddles out of their kennel. After the doctor declared our cats healthy and demonstrated how to apply their deworming medicine, the girls hightailed it back into their cage. I paid the bill and drove into another beautiful winter afternoon.

To my advantage, a county truck with grader and load of salt cleared my way northeast on Lakeville Road. Before my turn onto our Nature Beauty Road, I hit my right blinker to visit my local library. The lot stood vacant and the library dark.


This morning I stopped in the henhouse with strawberry hulls and overripe pears, our three hens’ reward for surviving this cooped-up season.

Predictably, the pristine, sparkling ice crystals called me to our former cow path to walk within its blessed atmosphere. I neared our neighbor’s home of twin boys, and smiled again at their panda bears attached to a tree on both sides of their driveway.

I saw the mother shoveling four inches of snow. We waved.

“I like the pandas on your trees,” I said.

“The twins couldn’t let them go.”

“Is everyone well?” I asked.

“Yes. Work called a snow day. And they canceled school.”

Dear Reader, why weren’t her boys engaged in a good snowball fight, or building a snowman?

Perpetual media hyperbole?

Contact Iris at irisfarmletters@gmail.com.