Sunday, February 14, 2010

When Did I Go From Miss To Ma'am?

I'm sitting at a coffee table in a restaurant happily having breakfast while I edit a manuscript. A man, apparently younger than I thought, sits at the end of the same coffee table working on his computer. He leans over to me and says, "Ma'am, do you mind if I scoot closer so I can plug in my computer? The battery is running low."

What? Did he just say, 'ma'am'? I recover quickly and smile. "Sure," I say. Then I excuse myself and head to the restroom to see what he sees in me. I expect an old lady to stare back at me in the reflection of the mirror, but I don't see that. Yes, I am older than him, but I think I look okay. So, what makes me a "ma'am"? Is it an air of confidence? Maybe. Do I actually look older than I think I look? This is possible. Is it that I'm simply more comfortable in my skin? Possibly. I can't figure it out. Somewhere around 35 years, people started referring to me as a "ma'am" rather than a "miss". I simply wonder what happens at this magical age that causes the cross over from "miss" to "ma'am". I mean, I know there's no going back. It's just a hard word to embrace.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Blizzard 2010-Creating "Community"

The blizzard has moved away from Baltimore, and we have over 26 inches of snow. Some of the drifts are in excess of five feet. Everything has come to a halt. It's lovely. This should happen more often. The heavy snowfall encourages (or forces) people to talk to one another and work together. This is the time when I get to see "community" happen. It doesn't happen often enough. It's nostalgic for me.

I grew up in Alpharetta, Georgia, in the 1980's. Back then, Alpharetta, was a small town. Everyone knew everyone (which could be a bad thing, but I was too young to realize this). The Milton High School Annual Rodeo and Antiques Show attracted the whole town. When I went to high school, Alpharetta, only had a few restaurants (that I remembered)- the Dixie Diner, the Alpharetta Soda Shop, and Hardees. In my senior year, Kentucky Fried Chicken opened, and everyone was thrilled. We had a Senior parade, which closed down Alpharetta. The Seniors rode in the back of convertibles and trucks and waved to the townspeople.

Today I walked on York Road to get to the grocery store, which was fine because the traffic was very light. There were no sidewalks available. On my way to York Road, I met new people in the neighborhood. I passed by an outdoor meeting of neighbors on the next street. The road had not been plowed and two cars were stuck in the three feet of snow. What were they going to do? I offered to buy groceries for a neighbor. It was a great day.

There's no school tomorrow and the next snow storm arrives in three days. The fun continues...

Note: I learned two new words during the blizzard of 2010. The first word was SNOW THUNDER. As I understand it, occurs during a big snow storm. The thunder is a different kind of rumbling. It's audible, but it sounds like someone has covered the thunder with pillows. The other word I learned was GROUND BLIZZARD. From what I understand, a ground blizzard occurs when there is already snow accumulated on the ground. The winds are over 30 miles an hour and cause the existing snow on the ground to spin around in the air causing white out conditions. We experienced both of these conditions with this last storm. It was awesome.

Friday, February 5, 2010

The Chance To Be A Child Again

SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 6, 2010 (3:00am)--Why am I still awake? There's a blizzard, silly, and I can't sit still or relax! It's just so exciting. There must be at least 15 inches of snow on the ground. Whoa! I just saw lightning...there's the muffled sound of thunder-- did anyone see or hear that? The snow is supposed to continue for another 18 hours with a total accumulation of 25-30 inches. This will be one of Baltimore's top 10 largest snow amounts in record history. How wonderful is that?

As I sit here nibbling on olives and cheese, I think about our family's big plans tomorrow. They include eating a big breakfast, baking banana bread, taking Marley (our dog) on a snow walk, making snow angels, sledding down the middle of the road (I mean NO one is driving-nor should they be), and building a snowman. Its going to be loads of fun.

I moved to Baltimore in 1996. Since then, there have only been about two major storms. I can't wait to wake up tomorrow.

SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 6, 2010 (11:00am)--WOW! You should see the snow! According to the local television station we have 24 inches of snow on the ground. I personally think there is more than that. The snow is supposed to continue for another 10 hours. The totals should be around 30-36 inches. We had the big breakfast of egg and ham sandwiches and hot coffee. Now we are preparing to go outside. I'm so excited, it's like being a child again. I think I am one of maybe five people who are thrilled by the snow. Why is that? This is a time for our family to bond, work on home projects, try out a few new recipes, put together a new puzzle, watch a few new movies, and pop popcorn.

I love the fact that everyone HAS to slow down because no one can go anywhere, even if they want to. Our road has not been plowed. In fact, I don't even see a path in the street. I guess our family will be creating one shortly. All I can say is that it's 26 degrees, which is comfortable given the circumstances, and I have my first pair of snow pants, which is much more practical (and warm) than the sweatpants I used to wear in the snow. The day is going to be wonderful...wish you could be here.