Snowstorms. There’s something about the forecast that fosters excitement—at least early in the season, and even if you’re not a winter enthusiast—and I’m not—I have to admit that the first predicted storm makes my pulse race a little.
Word is, we may get a Coastal Storm the day before Thanksgiving, “…on the busiest-travel-day of the season,” the dire-faced weatherman purports. “It may be rain, or, depending on the temperatures, we may get, you know, the white stuff.”
How delightfully frightening! He can’t even say the word!
And so, on top of the long-list of groceries needed for the holiday table, we’ll need to add, let’s see… seven loaves of bread, several gallons of milk and water, candles, batteries and don’t forget the snow-shovels! Stock up. Clear the shelves. After all—it’s going to SNOW!
Still, there’s tummy-tickling anticipation when the first real snowstorm arrives. “Oh look! Snow flakes…!” We run to the windows every little while, checking accumulations, and like little children, we’re amazed afresh at the transformation of a formerly dull-brown landscape.
Again, I am deeply grateful for a warm, safe home, a supply of firewood carefully stacked and covered on the front porch, a pantry full of soup-makings, and a cozy chair to curl up in and do my ‘spectatoring.’ I know-I know… that’s not a word, but I’ll bet you knew exactly what I meant!
Speaking of words, we have a new member of MouseHouse, Olaf, a nephew on Fivelina’s side—her sister’s boy. He’s been looking for work since he finished school in the summer and Uncle Fivel kindly offered to apprentice him in the carpentry business. He will board with them until he can get-on-his-feet and find a place of his own.
Olaf has a speech impediment though; he wists-his-twords! It’s rather startling at first. Fivelina, even though she was pre-warned, nearly choked on her bonnet strings when he greeted her with, “It’s a seasure to plea you again! Thank you for your kindness in making me tin… er, taking me in…” And the more nervous he is, the worse it gets. Where-may-I-put-my-things came out, “Mere way I thut my pings?”
In seconds, Bic and Ben were rolling on the floor, giggling, and little Bitsy hid behind her mama’s skirts, a little horrified by the sounds coming out of this stranger’s mouth. Olaf’s cheeks flushed in embarrassment, his head hung in shame. “Morry, sa’am… er, sorry, ma’am…” he whispered plaintively.
“Now children…” she scolded gently. “This is not a laughing matter. Olaf needs your help, not your ridicule. He can’t help twisting the words like that, and we’ll need to help him feel at ease here so he won’t be as nervous—it’s then that it happens, you see. Now please apologize to him for laughing.”
Ben straightened himself immediately, extending his hand to shake Olaf’s. “I’m sorry for laughing, Olaf. It just sounded funny and we thought you were doing it on purpose.”
“S’okay…” Olaf replied. “I knew you didn’t hean any marm, er, mean any harm…”
At that, Bic’s attempt at sobriety dissolved. He held his breath, clenched his teeth, his face getting redder with the effort, but despite his efforts the giggles erupted anyway. Doubled over, clutching his fat little belly, the chortles rendered him helpless. And pretty soon, Ben was sniggering at his brother, and before long, little Bitsy let a little squeak-giggle slip too.
Olaf soon joined them, slapping his leg in an all-out guffaw session, and soon Sir Fivel and Fivelina joined in. They hugged and patted each other’s backs, all the while laughing helplessly.
When they all calmed down, and were able to welcome Olaf properly, they showed him where to put his things. He will bunk in with the boys, while Bitsy and Betina room together until the upcoming wedding. Then Bitsy will have the room to herself.
So members of MouseHouse are settling in, comfy and cozy, unaffected by impending snowstorms or dire predictions. They have prepared well. They too enjoy a safe home, an ample wood supply and bulging pantry. We are all blessed.