Thirty four inches.
That’s how much snow we received in the blizzard. It also happens to be how tall Selam was when she came home. She is now nearly 48 inches tall.
Much of this blizzard is difficult. I had an electrical problem that means that I have only partial power in my kitchen. I moved the fridge to the dining room. The crock pot can be used on one outlet. The dishwasher randomly works, but all other outlets not only don’t work, but shoot sparks when one tries to flip the breakers. Any other time, I could call the landlord and get the superintendent or his superintendent right out. I can’t right now. Nobody can travel. The roads are closed.
I need milk. The milk that I had has gone bad. None of the stores in walking distance are open.
I had no money left on my laundry card, and planned to fill it up on Friday. But then the landlord’s office closed on Friday, and most likely will not be open for some time to come. The laundry is piling up, and Selam is out of jeans. Of course I could go to the laundromat. But I can’t get my car unstuck.
Tomorrow we’re supposed to get freezing rain.
But the thing is this. I am not in charge. And it’s probably good to be reminded of that from time to time. Neither of us has reached the cabin fever state yet. We’ve seen people both days. We have electricity. We have food.
I want to get my car out. I want to be able to manage my errands and get back to school and work. But right now, we wait. Right now, we read, and watch movies, and eat muffins and build fires and slow down.
I saw a photograph last week, of a little girl to whom Selam gives some of her handmedowns. She was wearing a dress Selam once wore, back when she was small and new and terrified me. I stared at the photo on and off all day. I find it so hard to believe that she was that little, and is now so big and clever and beautiful. She thrills me. But still I wish I could hang on to her, keep her small, keep her close and warm and as tall as the snow.
I am not in charge.
Let it snow.