It all started around 4 pm EST on Christmas Eve. We were sitting around the fire, filling up on chocolate and The Crown, when I noticed that everything outside was white. Not just the ground, but… everywhere.
“Go figure. It’s Canada.”
“No, it’s really snowing. Look outside.”
Steve and I grabbed our phones in an effort to be the first to check the Weather Network. The forecast was ominous: snow, snow and more snow. Up to 20 centimetres.
We looked at one another as we contemplated the night ahead. It would be difficult, but we were up for it. It was time to execute Operation Cozy.Putting on our bravest faces and our stretchiest track pants, we resolved to forgo Christmas Eve service (sorry Baby Jesus), then got down to the serious business of checking our supplies.
Chocolate-covered almonds? Check.
Gummi peaches? Check.
Miss Vickie’s Lime & Black Pepper? Check.
White wine and Bailey’s? Check and double-check.
DVD of It’s a Wonderful Life? Need you ask?
We checked on the kids to see how they were doing. Simon’s plan was to immerse himself in Runescape for the next hour or so and hope for the best. Fiona, meanwhile, would tackle a few more rows on her scarf. (“Good idea, sweetie — we might need it.”)
Then we checked the animals. Tank the rottweiler was sprawled on the couch. Daisy was curled up in front of the fire. Lily was on the other side of the coffee table — I couldn’t see her but I could hear her snoring. Finally, a quick search for Jake the cat (a.k.a. the Man with the Plan): he was tucked away in the living room beside the Christmas tree.
I turned to my mother-in-law, who’d thankfully arrived just 15 minutes earlier for her annual two-night stay over Christmas.
“Another spritzer, Cynthia?”
Now, three days later, as yet another cold-weather alert is issued, we remain vigilant. With cups of tea in hand and fuzzy slippers on foot, we occasionally glance outside, then turn away, pulling our bowl of Doritos closer, knowing that soon, the chaos and bedlam will be behind us, nothing but a distant memory.
For now, we are committed to the mission.