How to Survive when Snowbound…

…without REALLY trying!

Exactly two nights after I wrote “On the Front Porch With You” (, it began snowing, supposedly the winter storm of the century. And the forecasts were correct! Pictured above is Miss Sunday’s rocking chair on Tuesday morning, the very same chair where she sat the previous Saturday, barefoot, contentedly eating her jam sandwich. It was nearly a full week later before we emerged from our home or saw a human face aside from the ones that sit upon our own necks. Inspired by these events and motivated by the apparent desperation and misery of my fellow men, I have composed a survival guide for the next Storm of the Century, due next…century, I suppose. Let us begin.

1. Become at stay-at-home mom with children aged 3 and under. You will be so very accustomed to being cooped up all winter, you won’t understand what all the fuss is about or why everyone is complaining of “cabin fever.” And then you can say old person things like, “Pshaw! I haven’t had cabin fever since the winter of 2007!”

2. Have lots of costumes on hand. The children will feel transported for a bit, to a desert island or a castle or a pirate ship. But you might beware of putting your son in Captain Hook garb and your daughter in a dragon costume that looks an awful like the crocodile that ate the poor Cap’n’s hand. She WILL get chased down and whacked with a sword several, if not a hundred, times.

the pre-whacking photo

3. Buy snacks, not food. I noticed a lot of people at the grocery store stocking up on bread, milk and eggs. I was on a different aisle buying chocolate donuts, powdered donuts, wafer cookies, fruit snacks, Twinkies and mini marshmallows. I do SO wish I had picked up that box of Bottlecaps that was calling my name, though…

Mrs. Gore’s Pantry of junk food ~ my Granny would be so proud!

4. Have some toys put away for times of emergency, for instance, a giant blue inflatable dog full of plastic balls. My son was amazed when he came upstairs and saw what Papa had dug out of hiding: “WHERE did you get this?!” Oh, you know, just something that we had laying around, son… This one toy kept us from an entire morning of stir-craziness. Thank you, Uncle Matt, Aunt Kaci and Christmas 2008.

an experiment in fun

By the way, this will also entertain you, as it might do crazy and scientific things to your daughter’s hair…

an experiment in electricity

5. Paula Deen’s snow ice cream recipe ( It tastes just like the homemade kind, but no rock salt, no giant freezer to clean up afterward and no loud and obnoxious grinding noises. Really, it is snow good and snow easy, even a snowman could make it. (But not eat it, or he would be what? A cannibal.)

Snow Ice Cream makes Rebekah say “Cheese!”

6. Duh, Hot Chocolate. For when your little boy comes inside after three minutes (literally, three minutes) of playing in the snow, wailing “My hands are so cold…I need some hot chocowate to make them feeeeeeeeeel better!!!” Comin’ right up!

Snow and hot chocolate buddies

7. Patience (Or obliviousness?…complacency, maybe?). Then you’re able to continue to read your Kindle when a 1 1/2 year old ragamuffin is perched on your shoulder, pulling your hair.

Well done, Mr. Gore.

8. Don’t just buy snacks! Buy food, too, and completely fill your refrigerator up with unnecessary things, like 5 boxes of cream cheese and a bundle of leeks. Truly, this happened by accident, but it is my new standby advice for preparing for a snowstorm – find a stack of new recipes you’d like to try and buy all the ingredients ahead of time. Every day of our “captivity” my husband and I got in the kitchen and cooked something new together, resulting in good food and a couple of hours of distraction each day. Plus we learned something new together, like how to clean and slice leeks! But don’t pat me on the back for being well-prepared; I’m just pregnant and very hungry and happened to buy a huge bill of groceries the day the snowstorm hit. The only thing I forgot to buy? Meat for the meatloaf. Which is kind of important.

Mr. and Mrs. Gore with our first pizza, ready to bake. Thank you Pioneer Woman!

9. Bring a little springtime inside – another accident that happened because my Mom went grocery shopping with us on the day of the snowstorm…the same Mom who buys Gideon most anything he asks for. He wanted to buy me flowers. Those flowers on the table there brought me a week’s worth of sanity and inspired me to iron the table linens underneath them and painstakingly scrub the living room…and the powder bathroom…and the office…and the kitchen and dining room…and the children’s room…and my calloused feet.

Mrs. Gore’s rarely-clean living room

Which leads me to #11…

11. Be so behind on your housework and laundry that you will have plenty to do to keep yourself occupied. It is hard work to be a sloth, but it really pays off in times of statewide disaster.

10. Have 63 episodes of Little Bear, 16 episodes of Little Einsteins and 20 episodes of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse on your DVR. You know, the DVR that sits on top of the shelves that house your 35 Disney movies, 6 Little Bear DVDs, and 4 Baby Einstein shows. This. is. crucial.

We adore you, Little Bear!

12. Have a brother who lives just down the hill with a 4-wheel drive pick-up truck and is married to a lady who lives for planning and having FUN (i.e. who has enough sleds for all the neighborhood children AND their dogs!). They’ll come pick you up and give your son something to smile about. I can’t imagine how sweet were the naptime dreams of Gideon Michael Gore on this day…

Every kid should have a day like this one.

13. Go ahead…when cabin fever does come upon you, give in to your crazy urges, like falling out of your bedroom window into the massive snowdrift outside….

Yes, he is barefoot. Yes, he is wearing shorts. Yes, this was the 5th day of his captivity.

…or laying in the backyard with birdseed scattered upon you to see how many birds will land on you at one time.

Mr. Gore, after he lost his mind, in the winter of 2007. He laid there for almost 30 minutes while my Mom and I watched from the window.

(Notice that Mrs. Gore has no such crazy urges, or at least no pictures to incriminate her).

And the most important rule of ALL?…

14. Always, and I mean always, do your best to get snowed in with a buddy.

…it takes the “OW” out of “snowbound.”

Here’s to you, Oklahoma Blizzard of 2011. Thanks for nothin’!…and everything.

3 thoughts on “How to Survive when Snowbound…

  1. wonderful read, when my first child was 8 it dawned upon me that 1/2 her life with me was probably gone and true it was. I loved it when my kids were little, but grandkids was also good. But great grandkids is wonderful again. enjoy each cycle they are too short.

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