Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

March 3, 2014

Enough snow already!

Cathie Shaffer
The Independent

ASHLAND — My friends have accused me of being a Pollyanna, that not only do I see the glass as half-full, I also see it continuously refilling itself.

Yet, I’m a bit down in the dumps. More accurately, I’m a bit down in the snow drifts.

I am heartily tired of the white stuff. Over the cold and chilly winds. My snow boots and heaviest jacket have gotten a real workout this year, and I fear that they may still be needed before spring arrives in all its glory.

Knowing I am not alone in my despair is no help at all. Mopping the salty residue from shoes off my hardwood floors is a lonely exercise in futility, even if I am aware lots of other people are doing the same thing.

I sleep under an electric blanket, which means I cuddle down in a warm bed each night. My Sheltie has always slept with me, but this winter, the three cats have decided they love me — and the blanket — so much that they must also hunker down with me.

The result is a cozy nest that’s hard to leave in the morning. I usually turn the blanket to its lowest setting before I go to sleep, but combined with the body heat of the pets, I am cocooned in a nest I find hard to leave. Compounding the getting-up problem is that I keep my bedroom cool by preference because I sleep better that way.

Warm bed plus a chill in the air equals my hitting the alarm’s snooze button a little too often.

To counteract that, I have my alarm clock set ahead by about a half hour. I figure even if I do slap the button a time or two, I’ll still be getting up at the right time.

Good theory. Bad in practice. I know the clock is fast, so even after I turn off the alarm, I tend to linger beneath the covers. I pretend I’m lying there preparing myself for the day. You know, deciding what to wear, remembering what I have to do before, after and at work, even contemplating  what I’ll have for lunch.

Of course, I’m just stalling. I know that once my bare feet touch the uncarpeted cold floor, my idyll is over and rude reality will take over.

There is a pattern to my mornings. Once I’m up and dressed, the first dog goes out. The cats get fed and the second dog is let out of the crate where she sleeps at night.

Dog One comes in; Dog Two goes out. I fill two dog bowls. Dog One starts eating her food in the kitchen. Dog Two comes in and goes back to her crate to eat so Dog One doesn’t steal her food.

By now, the cats realize the water bowl is empty. So I hurry to fill it before the dogs catch on. Sometimes that works, sometimes it doesn’t. But I can distract the dogs by offering them puppy biscuits while the cats sneak in and get a lap or two of water.

I dig the keys out of my purse and make sure the cellphone goes in. Then I begin the process of preparing for the cold — jacket, thick socks, boots, winter gloves, stocking cap.

By the time I reach the office, I’m warm again thanks to my car’s super-duper heater. And I stay that way until it’s time to bundle back up and go home again.

Where two dogs wait to go out, the cats are demanding to be fed once again and I turn on the TV and hear more blankety-blank snow being predicted.

CATHIE SHAFFER can be reached at cathieshaffer@zoominternet.net