Click any letter for a look at my prize-winning essay from the Erma Bombeck Writing Competition. You don't even have to buy a vowel.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Snowman's Land

In South Carolina this week the snow fell up to our shoetops. That’s counting our high-top sneakers and the weather-proof hiking boots we bought to wear wading in the puddles last spring.

Rare occurrences such as snow that doesn’t melt on impact or a decent bullpen for the Braves make the news in the South. We don’t interrupt Wheel of Fortune every time a tornado sucks up a trailer, but in a section of the country where people remember snowfalls by how many children they had at the time, that means only one thing.

Everybody stops to take part in the miracle.

The miracle of how to keep feet dry that skip out to play in the snow 72 times in one day with changes of gear in between. (Turns out kids’ tootsies need extra looking after as well as Captains and dogs.)

The miracle of the Replenishing Cup of Hot Chocolate. No matter how many sets of cold fingers come through the back door, there is always a steaming cup of hot chocolate for them to wrap around.

The miracle of the birds and the. . .other birds. At the Mullis birdfeeder buffet, the larger birds sling enough food off their plates that the smaller birds on the ground have plenty to eat. On Wednesdays chickadees eat free.

The miracle of how to keep the dogs from eating the snowman’s eyes. Although the snowman at our house boasts walnuts for eyes, rendering him slightly nearsighted and unable to react quickly to danger, this has not been an impossible miracle to experience. Dalmador Labmations like to lick walnuts, not eat them. This also results in an admirably smooth complexion for the snowman.

The miracle of finding the Dachshund in the snow drift before she becomes an ice statue. This miracle is documented on digital media, although the expression on the Dachshund’s face does not lend to flashing such evidence around as if it were clever baby pictures.

The miracle of an entire county buying enough bread to keep America’s Breadbasket in business. I am two peanut butter sandwiches away from financing secondary education for every person in Kansas.

And the miracle of how to make one roll of toilet paper last a week. (Even though I personally witnessed a Wal-Mart shopper hurrying toward the register with a 72 pack. I don’t know what other provisions he stocked, but I do NOT want to be snowed in at his house.)

In a few days, the snow will fade away and our lives will be filled once again with red mud and kudzu. Until then, we believe in miracles.

And even after. Because the Dachshund will never let us forget.


gypsyscarlett said...

Drats! I would have loved seeing the Dachshund pictures. :)

Amy Mullis said...

Too scary. I spent the entire day trying to convince her she couldn't "hold it" for a week while we waited for the snow to melt. She was NOT a happy girl.

Anonymous said...

Hi, Amy,

Just got an e-mail from my mom, who lives about twenty minutes from you:

"We got out!

"About one today, Dad came in from shoveling snow and said we would go
to the grocery store about two, that we could get up the hill. I
suggested we wait until tomorrow afternoon, but he said we could make it, and we did. We have milk, bread and bananas and even have some peanut butter, Amy Mullis style. That was a great writeup about our snow."

Ah, the Blizzard of '11. They'll be talking about it for years in the South Carolina Piedmont.

Love ya,

Linda and Da Pug, Birdie