Excerpt from The Butter Pecan Diaries
As we all know, the worst Snow Storm of the year had arrived. Though it had been forecast for a week, most people remained unprepared as did the Young family.
I left work and slid in about 7:00pm. Jerry and I ran to the grocery for a few things. Forty-five minutes at the checkout and $185.32 later we had finished. When we exited the best, biggest, hugest flakes of beautiful snow had started. We decided to walk and bathe in the quiet. We threw the groceries on the table, grabbed our coats and out the door. We walked for about a half an hour, got soaking wet and happy, and grudgingly, went home.
It was about 2:00am when we finally went to bed. Since I’ve been in menopause for sixteen years and maintain a constant body temp around 104° I always have a window cracked – usually 12 – 14 inches. With the snow, traffic had ceased and it was dead calm. Jerry drifted off and I was about to do the same when out of the quiet of the night I heard screaming. I mean screaming. “Oh, my God, someone help me. Please help me. Please someone help me.”
My hair stood on end and I instinctively dove for the window. I was in the “almost asleep position” in my cotton nightshirt that barely covered my hips. The fetal position where I had comfortably stuck my ankle under Jerry’s thigh and had the sheet wrapped around my other ankle so my foot could stick out for cool air. And we were in a full wave waterbed.
Bolting is not something you think about before you do it. You simply BOLT. So, I did.
My mind said jump straight up and land on your feet. My aged body said — rip the tendons in your left thigh, sprain Jerry’s ankle, cause motion sickness for the household, pull the sheet completely out the end of the bed and grotesquely fall over the side with your naked, dimpled arse staring at the ceiling – which I did!
Jerry had been in deep REM; however, now, he was flailing the air trying to grab his injured body parts. He valiantly tried to get out of bed, but the waves from the waterbed prevented him from steadying his foot on the floor and he desperately grabbed for the dresser. The screams were still coming in the window; my shirt had now gravitated to my armpits and Jerry decided it was easier to ‘fall’ out of the waterbed.
I tried to cover my back end with my left hand while Jerry asked, “what is that?” As though I knew and wanted to keep him in suspense. I had visions of a roaming Satanic cult taking up residence in the backyard and holding a snowflake ritual.
We finally limped to the window as Jerry called 911. You might think a 911 call would be a simple action, but consider – our bedroom had five large windows – a large bay with two full side windows and double side-by-side windows all facing front. Since I wanted to see the blanked snow when I awoke, I had opened all the blinds. Thus, at 2:00am if a light were turned on in the bedroom, everyone south of Washington could see in. Jerry flipped the closest light switch – the bathroom light that contained ten vanity lights under which you could do brain surgery. Lights that showed him in his underwear and me kneeling, with a large naked arse hanging out the window.
We grabbed clothes, ran down the stairs and automatically pushed open the front door. What if Hells Angels were parked in our driveway waiting for us? We stepped onto the front steps, barefoot. I assumed Satanists were already in the house and we would soon be an ingredient stored next to the “eye of newt.” The girls awoke and when I told them the police were coming they ran for clothes. I wondered if the police knew just how much people cared about their wardrobe choices when they were called for an emergency.
As we scurried about checking our clothing the screaming stopped. Jerry decided we would be arrested for a false police report and decided we should call and cancel. We didn’t make it to the phone. Two police cars arrived in front of my house – no sirens, but lights blazing. Yup, my development — Yuppieville, Virginia. Generally the loudest noise heard is the annoying fizz of opening Perrier bottles. I could not wait for the next development board meeting.
Thankfully, the screaming started again – I was vindicated. One cop looked up, drew his gun and told us everything was fine (like I believed him) and please go back in the house — they never noticed our choice of clothing.
Sleet had started, but our curiosity was insatiable. We opened the kitchen windows and fastened our ears to the screen trying to listen to the police radio. They determined the screams were from a drunk that had been locked out of his house. Thirty minutes later Jerry and I limped back to our bedroom. The waterbed was still moving and the sheets were hanging from a lamp. The screaming had stopped, the police had left and the snow continued. We just closed our eyes and drifted off.
About 9:00am Rosie, guitar on her hip, entered our bedroom:
How about a ride to Ashley’s house. Everyone is going over there to play in the snow.
It’s a blizzard outside.
It’s not that bad. I saw a car on the road.
No, we’re not going out! It’s a mess out there.
Fine! Than just drive me halfway and I can ride my bike.
There’s two feet of snow. Your bike won’t move.
Yes it will.
No it won’t.
Okay, I’ll walk!
Scarlett — Run away, get married and have your husband drive you. Daddy and I are going back to sleep.
My butter pecan was safe on the back porch under the snow.
Love ya — Scarlett