I always think of “Little House on the Prairie” on days like this and I thank God I’m not Pa Ingalls. My fingers, face, ears and toes would surely fall off from frostbite if I had to do chores in this weather.
I just came in from filling two bird feeders and uncovering the Jeep from 12 inches of snow. They predicted two. I know, I know, weather can change quickly – a little moisture here, a sudden low there, throw in a little wind and you’ve got yourself an unanticipated snow storm. Doesn’t mean I have to like it.
While I filled the bird feeder behind the garage, I thought about Bungee, buried three feet below, and how much he loved to be outside, except when it snowed. Happily ignorant to the ways of weather and unaware snow had fallen, Bungee would meow at the back door for us to let him out. When we opened the door and he saw snow, he’d turn around, undeterred, and meow all the way to the front door, his belly flab jiggling back and forth. Ever hopeful as we opened the front door, he’d stick his head out, see the snow and feel the cold again, and slowly turn around and walk to the living room where he’d sit down and proceed to meow-bitch to us, the dogs, whoever was around to listen.
Poor guy. He was always so optimistic that the weather out the front door would be different than the weather out the back door.
Jaded, I’m the antithesis of Bungee. But thinking of him today (he’s been gone for 10 months) made me smile, so in honor of Bungee’s optimism in the moment from the back door to the front door, I opted to not wear my typical “it’s-cold-I’m-not-going-anywhere” attire – black stretch pants, leg warmers, any old dark baggy sweater, and slippers. Instead, I dug out white yoga pants, a thong (a sure sign of spring), a form-fitting teal shirt and tennis shoes – clothes that say, “I might go for a walk later because it might be nicer out the front door than it is out the back.” I’m even wearing the flimsy little brown bra my husband likes. It gives my b-cups just enough to support to trick my eyes into thinking gravity isn’t working against me.
Our mailman misses Bungee, too. He brings him up every once in awhile. Come to think of it, Butch is kind of optimistic and stubborn like Bungee was, too. He’s embroiled in a crazy bet with another mailman over who will be the first to wear pants on his route. They both wear shorts every day, cold or warm, snow or rain or sunshine. When anyone asks him about it, he just smiles and says, “Oh, it’s bound to get warmer one of these days.” Now that’s Bungee optimism.
My legs are a little chilly as I sit here typing. But I won’t resort to sweat pants or meow-bitch about the weather. I’ll turn on the space heater and pretend it’s not snowing and that I could go for a walk if I wanted to. Bungee would be proud, if he knew how.
I’m still glad I’m not Pa Ingalls, though.