Today it snowed. It began in the morning, with lazy, floaty flakes that drifted in the air, sideways and downwards and loopy and swirly and criss-crossed the road in paisley patterns.
For most of the morning, I sat in my office in my pajamas, cropping images and working on some Christmas gifts. Usually, I would have slipped on my favorite sweat pants -- the gray ones with the white stripes down the sides and the drawstring in the waist, but this morning, they were in the laundry. It was a chance to practice sitting around in PJs for the roller derby team Christmas party, which has a jammies theme I've been reluctant to buy into. In fact, if you ever see me in WalMart wearing pajamas or anything that looks like pajamas, you can assume something has gone terribly, horribly wrong. Like maybe my house blew up and all that remains are my pajamas, most of which are a bazillion years old.
Sitting in my hideous and unflattering pink pajamas, I was chilled from the drafts from the two walls of windows. For one thing, I was wearing half the usual number of layers for December day wear. I drank coffee and multiple cups of fruit tea to stave off the chill and realized that unless the temperature at the jammie party is at least 80 degrees, I'll freeze my arse off. Nope, no jammies for me, unless I layer three or four pairs, which would be nuts because I don't even own that many.
I finally finished monkeying with photos, got them uploaded, and dressed with the intention of going to the skating rink for open skate, (aka in our derby circle as "Skate Church"). Skate church dress for me is jeans and a long sleeve tee shirt, and in the cold weather, like now, my team logo hooded sweatshirt. With my knit hat on, I finally raised my body temperature enough to stop shivering.
The snow was still blowing around and sticking to the ground. A herd of at least a dozen deer ran through my yard, high-tailing it from the direction of the houses and road and into the woods behind the house. I debated blowing off Skate Church, a reversal of my earlier resolve to actually get there right at 2:00 when it begins instead of my usual 2:30 or 3:00. I finally got off my butt and went.
At 4:00, the rink DJ announced it was still snowing and cautioned, kiddingly, that when we left the rink, our "skating experience might continue." At 5:00, it was blustery and blowing snow in every direction.
The roads were covered up and there was no indication any of our many salt and brine trucks had been out. The main roads were snow covered and the lane markings couldn't be seen. Several times I experienced the sensation of the pumping action of my anti-lock brakes, and uttered "oh, oh, oh, crap!" While on the tough-to-navigate 101st Parkway, I debated stopping at Kroger for milk and baking supplies and Walgreens for the photo prints I ordered in the morning. I was already out, so what the heck? And stopping then meant avoiding the agggravation of a cat meowing angrily when his cries produced no refreshing milk. He'd already been on a two-day hunger strike/meow-fest that ended only when I got more Meow Mix to replace the food he didn't like.
Kroger was less packed with people and more full of bread and milk than I expected. At the checkout, I chose the lane with the mile of empty conveyor belt. It turned out the customer had forgotten her Kroger card and gone out the car to get it. Really? I thought it was a joke at first, that we were standing there doing nothing. My few items were all arranged on the belt, so there was no turning back. When my stuff was finally being checked out, the girl packing the groceries into my ecologically-friendly reusable bags was lecturing the cashier about laying the milk down on its side "so it doesn't fall over." She packed my two bags, then left me trapped in the checkout row by my empty cart and the cart she'd set my groceries in. As she stood there staring vacantly into space, I considered shoving the cart closest to me to bust my way out, but instead, cleared my throat while thinking, "Ah ... doofus, help me out here." She helped clear the logjam so I could leave.
In the vestibule, I decided to leave the cart in the store and carry my bags two to the car. I picked up one bag and nearly ripped my shoulder out.
When I was in high school, I worked in a grocery store. In the olden days of paper sacks, we were trained in bagging -- things like "keep the bag square -- no bulges" and "don't put all the heavy stuff in one bag." Apparently, these archaic basics are no longer taught at grocery store orientation and the rocket scientist who packed my bag had a different philosophy. I've noticed, usually as the handles to the plastic store bags are shredding in the parking lot, that many baggers operate under a different model than what I was taught.
The first bag removed from the cart, the one that nearly crippled me, held a quart of coffee creamer, a half gallon of milk, five pounds of flour, four pounds of sugar (the chic new size in sugar), a pound of butter and a can of pineapple chunks (1 lb., 4 oz.). The other bag held a loaf of bread and a backage of cookies. There's some balanced packing for you. I set the bags back in the cart and began to repack them. A thought stream was tearing though my brain, the gist of which was "What idiot puts ALL the heavy stuff on one bag?" but the tone was harsher and the words were richer and more colorful. The kind that might bar my entry into heaven.