Monday, December 9, 2013

Negative temps, oatmeal cookies and snow shovels

Record breaking temperatures and lots of fluffy white snow had me threatening to declare Saturday a hibernation day. What? You've never heard of a hibernation day? It's a day where you resolve to do nothing, go nowhere, and be thoroughly unproductive.

But a text from my old neighbors changed the course of my day. An impromptu neighborhood holiday party was in the works. It was set to take place after this mountain town's annual Christmas parade, but when the parade was cancelled due to weather, mass emails and texts went out to all the guests.

Not wanting to go to a party empty-handed, I assessed the contents of my cupboards and whipped up some Walnut Oatmeal Cookies, based on Ina Garten's Raisin Pecan Oatmeal Cookies. Thankfully, I had some goody bags in my Christmas stash, and was even able to get Ol' Faithful, aka the Ol' Jalopy, aka my Camry, through the snow and across town to make it in time for the festivities and to chat and eat good food with all my old neighbors.

I miss them. My old neighbors. I've officially lived in my new neighborhood for 3 weeks now, and I haven't met a single person on the block. Thinking back, I realize it did take me 6 months to a year to meet all the wonderful people in my old neighborhood. It took longer to know which ones would come shovel my sidewalk after a snowfall. Or who I could borrow tools from if I needed something.

Not ready to put my gypsy life behind me completely, I don't plan on being in this neighborhood long enough to know whose been in the hospital most recently, or who will bring me soup if I get sick, or which neighbor's pet is on Prozac. Even so, I would like to know which one of my neighbors would be the most willing to let me borrow a snow shovel.

We don't have a snow shovel yet. Everyone else was out on Saturday shoveling and sweeping the dry powder off the sidewalks. Our duplex neighbors shoveled right to the middle of the driveway and sidewalk and not a step further. That act alone solidified in my mind how different this neighborhood really is. And even though that would have been the perfect opportunity to join in the neighborhood activity of shoveling snow and participate in community, I had nothing. I couldn't even go out and join them if I'd had the time in my baking frenzy.

I finally stopped by the office yesterday and grabbed the shovel I've never seen anyone use in the four winters I've worked there. And I was the only one shoveling snow on Sunday afternoon.

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