A storm creates a frozen landscape
|Shaking with cold that seeped throughout the house, Laura wrapped her arms inside her sweater.
The wind outside whistled as if to say, 'Oh, What a Wonderful Day".
Swirling snow dampened the miserable week that kept them inside. School closed but unlike other snow days when children romped outside, they were wrapped up watching TV. Newscasters called it storm of the century.
Hot chocolate, baking cookies, playing games; anything they could think of to stay occupied.
Laura's husband Bruce, a long haul truck driver, was likely out there in this storm. Laura hadn't heard from him which wasn't unusual but when the weather was inclement her blood pressure raised a few degrees. The job paid good money but they often talked about getting short haul work.
She jumped when her son yelled, "Mom, can I go over to Paul's house. I'm bored."
"Oh John, I don't know. I'm not taking the car out in this weather and it's too far to walk."
"I'll bundle up good. He got a new video game and I can spend the night. He already asked his Mom and it's OK with her."
"I suppose, if you must, but call me the minute you get there. I'll package up some of those cookies we made to take along. Lord knows we've made enough for the entire neighborhood."
"Thanks Mom, you're awesome!"
"Remember that next time you're mad at me; and please be careful," she laughed.
Out the door he went, cookies in hand. Laura thought how lucky she was to have such a wonderful son. He never got into trouble, wasn't influenced by peers, played on the football team and loved fishing and hunting with his Dad. He had good looks with dark brown hair, blue eyes, and dimples any girl would fall for.
Laura and Bruce also had two wonderful girls, April and Ginger.
Standing at the window, lost in thought, she watched John until she could see him no longer. In only seconds he disappeared out of sight in the storm. Sheets of snow were still coming down. When would it ever stop? Unable to concentrate, she flipped through the TV channels. Throwing the remote to the side she sighed and went upstairs to see what the girls were doing.
A quarter of an hour had gone by and no call from John. I'm sure he forgot, thought Laura, picking up the phone. No service! Instant panic! How will she know he made it to Paul's house? She couldn't leave the girls and wasn't about to bundle them up to go out and look for him. She felt immobilized, trapped. Suddenly she had a thought and raced up the steps.
"Girls, can you get on the internet and reach Paul? I need to know if John made it to his house OK."
"Sorry Mom," said Ginger. "We don't know his email and he's not a friend on Facebook. Stop worrying so much, he'll be fine."
"Well when you have a son, you will understand," she snapped.
"I'm never having kids," Ginger laughed.
"Me either, yuk," chimed April."
"Thanks Girls," Laura stated, making her way back downstairs. Maybe I am a worry-wort.
Once again she stood at the window trying to quell her nerves. Literally she could see nothing outside. Jack Frost had painted the windows with swirls of ice. Lost in thought, she jumped when the doorbell rang and hurried to open the door.
"John, what in the world are you doing here? Have you be out in that weather all this time?"
"No Mom. I tried the phone and it was out. I mentioned that I was supposed to call you. Paul's Dad insisted he drive me over here to let you know I was OK. He also asked if you need anything. It's wicked out there Mom."
"Oh John, how sweet of him. I hope it wasn't an imposition. Please thank him and let him know I don't need anything. That is, unless he can stop this storm."
"He didn't mind, we came on a snowmobile, I'm surprised you couldn't hear it. Don't try to go out in the car, it's too slippery."
"No chance of that, I'm not going anywhere. I'm worried about your Father though."
"Don't be Mom, He knows when to hole up somewhere and get off the road. He's been driving a long time."
"I guess you're right. You better go and not keep Paul's Dad waiting. I love you, thanks for checking in."
"Love you too Mom. See you tomorrow."
Now that she knew John was OK she was resigned that she wouldn't hear from Bruce tonight and thought she'd shower and crawl in bed with a good book. Reading always made her sleepy. Hopefully the storm would end tomorrow. She checked on the girls, kissed them goodnight, and then retired.
Waking early to the phone ringing Laura answered. "Hello."
"Laura, it's me, Bruce. I've been trying to reach you but apparently the phone service was out there. What a storm! Are you and the kids OK?"
"Bruce, thank God, I've been so worried about you. We're fine."
"I pulled into a truck stop for the night. I've got a load to deliver this morning. How is the weather there today."
"Gosh, I just woke up, let me look out the window."
She'd never seen the trees so still. "Bruce, it's magical, looks like a winter wonderland out there. The snow has stopped but apparently there was an ice storm last night, all the trees; actually everything, is coated and sparkling with ice. I'm afraid the roads may still be slippery but the sun is out, making everything look like a rainbow."
"By the time I make it there it will most likely be thawed. See you soon! Love you all!"
"Love you too, bye."
Word Count: 970