A snowstorm swept through last week. And then another. And another. And then an ice storm. And then another snowstorm. The icicles hanging from our roof are a mile if they are a foot. Or a foot if they are a mile. Is that how the saying goes? I don’t know, but I’m nervous those ice shards are going to pierce my spleen when I walk out the backdoor. I should order a spleen protector from Amazon. Anybody know where the spleen is? Or what the spleen is? Or why the spleen is? Anyway, old man winter must be pissed. Old woman winter, too.

The East Coast wasn’t the only victim of this raging winter. I’m told Texas is an apocalyptic hellscape. What’s new, am I right? Zing. Just kidding. What’s happening in Texas is no laughing matter. I’m told people are fleeing the state for Cancun. Run, Teddy, Run.

Yes, the United States turned into Minnesota last week. Hold the lutefisk. And the niceness. A winter wonderland. There’s real suffering in Texas. And down south. I don’t mean to make light of all that devastation. I always think of Kurt Vonnegut when bad things happen. He thought there were two reactions to misery. Laughter or tears. I choose laughter when I can. It isn’t always an option. Sometimes things get too heavy. Weeping and the gnashing of teeth become necessary. But, for now, I’m laughing. Especially about spleen. What a funny word.


All this snow (and ice) have caused a few complications in the Tanner household. Not the least of which is my sore back. I’ve shoveled my driveway a million times. And my elderly neighbor’s driveway a few times. I’m a good samaritan. Not a great one. But a good one.

Beyond shoveling the driveway, this weather has had a few more drastic effects. Young Solomon and Samson David Tanner returned to in-person school last week. They went to Ferguson Township Elementary for the first time in a year. Well, they were scheduled to go back. Tuesday was a snow day. Talk about a letdown. And Thursday was another snow day. And Friday was a two-hour delay. Still, on Wednesday, we drove the boys up to school.

The boys can’t ride the bus. The capacity for social distancing has been met. No room for Solomon and Samson. So I’m the new bus driver. No talking back there, kids. And don’t put your gum under your seat or I’ll kill ya.

Solomon and Samson masked up. Packed up all their supplies. Went to school. Samson’s backpack was so heavy, he almost tipped over on his way into the building. The aide in his classroom came out to greet him. She was so excited the Tanner children were returning to school. They boys spent the day hosing down with hand sanitizer, keeping their masks in place, and being around other people. For the first time in a year. They were exhausted when they came home. But also overjoyed. They love school. So it was a letdown when school was cancelled the following day. But they went back after a two-hour delay on Friday. And they loved their second day of school, too. So that’s good. I’m glad we were able to get the boys back in school, even if the weather tried to keep us out. Fingers crossed for next week.

Another complication? Old man Samuel Jaye Tanner was scheduled to get his second dose of the Covid vaccine last weekend. Hashtag Moderna. Alas, the shipments never made it. Because the East Coast is an ice rink. So I’m still only half-vaccinated. I remain hopeful they’ll stick my arm with the good stuff next week. And no, I’m not talking about heroin. I might look like Kurt Cobain, but I steer clear of drugs. Aside from caffeine. I suppose I’d inject coffee into my arm if I were able.


So school was cancelled last week. And so was my second shot of that tasty vaccine. Poor Ted Cruz even had to cancel his vacation to Cancun. Is this what cancel culture feels like? Hashtag cancel the shot into Sam’s arm. Hashtag no school. Hashtag run, Teddy, run.

Do you remember when Trump told Cruz that his wife was ugly? What a country.

Anyway, fingers crossed I can get the second dose of the Moderna next week. And fingers crossed you get a shot of the sweet stuff too. Die, Covid, die. There’s more snow scheduled for Monday. And these folks out here in Pennsylvania are overwhelmed by winter. Hearty Minnesota folk like me don’t bat an eye. We shovel our driveway. And sometimes we shovel our neighbor’s driveway. Only sometimes.

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