Polar Vortex or how boredom rang true…


“Twenty degrees and the hockey games on.
Nobody cares; they are way too far gone,
screamin’ “Boat drinks,” somethin’
to keep them all warm.
This morning I shot six holes in my freezer.
I think I got cabin fever.
Somebody sound the alarm”  

Exerpt from Jimmy Buffet (Boat Drinks)

Ah yes….boat drinks. As I perused the landscape of twitter and facebook yesterday, I came across many references to this song…even though many never came out and said the name. Instead we were all in the same “boat”, harnessed with bored children, freezing cold temperatures and warnings not to drive anywhere without risk of being fined for driving on icy roads. Cabin fever had definitely set in. On a side note however…our children will be more than happy to go back to school (finally!) tomorrow…yet not nearly as happy as their parents!

“Mom, do yo want to play just dance 2014?” the doll offered as a way to compete with boredom. “GOD PLEASE!! NOT THAT AWFUL MUSIC AGAIN!!” her brother’s disapproving voice rang out. “Do you have a better suggestion?” I asked. “Yes, we watch what I want to watch…” Loud groans followed his request. “Oh I know…” I began to say and both kids groaned and asked me to stop. Evidently mom’s ideas are never good ideas…

Truth is, having teenagers during a snow storm event I thought would be fun. I remember back to the blizzard of 78–I was 13 and had a blast. Of course I didn’t have all the items of distraction and the lackadaisical attitude my kids have today. The key difference between ’78 blizzard and the 2014 polar vortex is that we were allowed to go outside and play..er work. I remember my best friend Sally and I decided to make some money shoveling driveways… When we finished one, we thought would be easy-but turned out to be horribly difficult and only earned $10, we decided playing in the snow–throwing snowballs at one another was the preferable avenue to take.  My kids never left the house Monday or Tuesday…not that I blame them…but doing so would have released some pent up energy.

During the ’78 blizzard, we were allowed to go outside and find friends, bring them over to play board games, listen to rock and roll music on my parent’s 8-track stereo and if we were lucky, watch our mother’s soap operas (groans). My kids used their time to read or play on their various tablets. On a side note, I did have the occasion to introduce the boy to Frasier…on Lifetime. Who knew they play a two hour block each morning? But these frigid temperatures made it difficult to call friends and ask them to hang out. Instead we were all locked in our homes; covered in warm clothing, nestled under blankets, staring at a box which offered no real relief.

“How about we put together a puzzle?” I offered. GROANS…… “Okay, how about we play a game of sequence?” But each request fell upon deaf ears. Of course mom’s aren’t supposed to be idea makers any longer. We’ve been reduced to that large object in the room which likes to yell at them to pick up after themselves. “Hey, let’s take down the tree…” I said..really as a directive. Both kids sat back under their blankets and said, “Uh yeah like we put the tree up, its only fair you take it down…” Really? In the end, the boy helped me carry the tree down the steps, put away for another season. All the ornaments and lights neatly packed away in their containers. The doll helped me close the boxes and transport them back to their yearly resting place and my living room returned to normal…with just enough left over space to play Just Dance 2014 over the boy’s objections and groans.


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