Northeast Ohio has been in the grips of frigid cold weather lately! Our schools have all been cancelled since last Thursday. I work in a high school guidance office, so that means I've been home; free to enjoy this unexpected
but very welcomed time off. Last Friday I tried to be the responsible adult that I am most of the time and used the time off to do things like clean the house, pay bills, and other "grown-up" things that needed to be done. I spent the weekend doing my normal
weekend "things" and enjoyed a few roaring fires with glass of wine in hand and good book to read.
Sunday afternoon we had my daughter and son-in-law and our friends over for one of our "Sunday Spaghetti Dinner Days". The three kids came busting into the house bringing arctic blasts of cold air in with them. They hadn't
been over in a while and were excited to be coming for dinner and to play. I have a room full of leggos, Barbie dolls, crayons, markers, paper, and various other toys and games that they know are there for their enjoyment. Their parents took their time coming
in - they were busy taking photos of all the snow outside. I have to admit it is a beautiful view in our woods when it is snow-covered. After dinner we all gathered in the living room to watch a movie and enjoy
Monday morning I received the call cancelling school. I decided to use this surprise day off to simply read and do things I wanted to do. Bozwell, my "geriatric" kitty was all too happy to join me on the couch for a morning
of laziness. He sat on my lap for a couple hours while I read a book. I am reading a book called "Enslaved by Ducks". The title caught my eye as I have always been a lover of ducks and we used to have several as pets while the kids were growing up. It is
a cute story about a couple who find themselves with an entire "zoo" of animals, many of them ducks and birds. It describes a part of my life as we've always had a lot of animals - many of them things like hedgehogs, rabbits, turtles, iguanas.... You get
the picture. It's the sort of thing that happens when a kid has an animal lover as a parent. I could never tell my kids no to any request for a pet. It wasn't that many years ago I was begging my own parents to get a rabbit. Or a guinea pig. Or another
kitty. Besides, children who have pets learn responsibility, compassion, and know the joy of something depending on them and loving them unconditionally. I believe having pets helps give confidence and self-esteem to a child as well.
Monday afternoon the call-off came for Tuesday. Temperatures were well below zero and showed no signs of letting up. I spoke with Federico and asked if Kristal and I could play with his kids on Tuesday. We picked the kiddos
up and headed to the bowling alley. I hadn't been bowling in years, probably as many years ago as the oldest (11) has been alive, so we were all on the same playing field. Except for Kristal. She had just been bowling Saturday. We laced up our shoes, chose
our bowling balls and headed to Lane 6. I asked the woman behind the counter to please put up the "bumpers". I did not want to embarrass myself with numerous gutter balls. Since Kristal had just been bowling, she knew how to enter our names in the self-score
system. Whoa!! Our names and scores were going to be up on the boards. Where anyone could see them! I told Kristal we had to be careful how we bowled; there might be scouts from the pro-circuit and I didn't want them hounding us to join the pros. After
the first frame, I knew we'd be left alone. Jocelyn, the six-year-old, was in the lead; she'd bowled a spare. The kids had a blast, and so did Kristal and I. The first game came to an end and we headed to the lunch counter. Our bodies needed re-fueling.
We all had some pizza and started our second game. About that time, a local bowling team showed up for practice. They were bowling strikes and spares as if that 's all they knew how to do. Kind of put us to shame; but I think we were having more fun. When
Kristal rolled two strikes in a row we were all high-fiving and raising our fists in the air! Bowling is hard work and makes one thirsty. Back to the lunch counter we had to go - the kids just had to have a slushie. Soon they were sporting red and blue
tongues and were ready to go spend some time at my house before returning home.
Suzy was so happy to see her favorite kids so soon after having spent all Sunday afternoon with them. She could not stop following them around. Mostly because they love to feed her treats and she's always happy to eat those
treats. We played a rousing game of Sorry! and Hands Down! I don't remember who won and I don't think anyone cares - we just had fun.
Tuesday night is our night to eat at the restaurant and we had "company" tonight. When Jon got home from work we loaded the car up and headed out in the cold. I had told Marisela we would return the kids to the restaurant
and they could eat with us. There was a birthday celebration going on that turned out to be for a friend of mine. A table of 8 women drinking margaritas makes a lot of noise with all their laughter and the three kids found them quite interesting. Soon
two friends of mine from work walked in. They stopped by to chat and to tell me they had received the call-off for no school on Wednesday as they were pulling into the restaurant. I had not heard my phone, so this was good news to me; another day off!
My friends said they didn't know what they were going to do. They were beginning to get bored and wanted to return to work! Not me! I can always find something fun to do. Today Jon only works until 11:30 and then we're going
to see what sort of adventures we can find. I have decided these snow-days are practice "retirement" for me and I think I can't wait to retire!