For someone who has broken so many bones, I live in a silly part of the United States.
For those who haven’t been playing the home game, I live near Boston. We kind of had Snowmageddon this week, the first real snow of the season. The weather always seems to run along a wide spectrum in New England, which can physically devastate me.
My chronically-plagued body would do much better in the dry heat of Arizona or New Mexico. That’s partially the reason why I haven’t traveled to that part of the country since becoming perpetually injured; I know deep down that I would never, ever leave. So I live in a frozen tundra in the winter and a humid wetland in the summer. It’s the pressure changes that hurt the most, I think.
Husband and I were mostly housebound during the storm, watching trashy television and eating food just because we could. He even baked a pie. We had a glorious time shoveling the almost-two-foot snow drifts — meaning he was shoveling and I was standing there, watching him shovel. Or I was playing.
While trapped inside, I tried to exercise on the recumbent bike, the only exercise machine that doesn’t decimate me these days; my legs felt like puzzle pieces that only vaguely fit together. I couldn’t move without feeling echoes of earlier exertion. It wasn’t the pleasant burn you get when you’re exercising after a long hiatus. This was deep and angry. I transitioned to gentle yoga. All in all, it was a quiet day.
The greatest moment of Snowpocalypse 2015, however, came when our cat, Fattie, decided to venture outside with us.
To the best of my knowledge, she has never experienced snow. She hated the outdoors when we lived in an apartment, and her previous owner had failed to get her into nature. So that tentative pawstep onto the snow by our front door elated me.
“Come on, Fattie!” Husband had stopped shoveling. This was momentous. When the first flakes had started falling, my plan all along was to throw Fattie out the door to see how she’d react.
She took one step, then two.
Then with no warning, she flung herself off the steps and FWUMPED right into a snowbank.
Only her tail was visible, like a periscope on a submarine. She tried to extricate herself and somehow only dug in deeper, so she stopped moving and started crying.
I struggled through the snow drifts to reach her, at which point she actually stopped thrashing and let me scoop her up. She was very still against my puffy coat, as if offended by nature. Husband and I laughed for probably a solid five minutes.
People ask why I stay in the northeast when I hurt as much as I do. It’s for moments like that. If Fattie had gone whole-hog outside in Arizona, she’d probably just land in the dirt and get eaten by a coyote. Massachusetts has the best and worst of every season. I grew up skiing down the mountains, getting snowed into our house, and digging our way out. I walked downtown in the summertime, baking in the humid heat.
The last thing I want to do is fly to always-warmer climates, like an old retiree waiting to check out. Plus, I adore the clothing options that the cold brings; I like to accessorize.