I’ve Always Wanted to be One of the Boxcar Children.

01 February 2011

When I was a kid, I used to make my sister Lyndsey and my cousin John play like we were poor and had to fend for ourselves.  My Meme had an old heater in the basement that looks like a stove, it was usually the basis for our house… either that, or we’d make the area behind the bar our ‘house’ and I’d cram them both onto the shelves underneath it like they were bunk beds.  Good times.  Sometimes we let John be our younger brother and sometimes we’d strong-arm him into to being our dog.  We would wear old towels… you know, for warmth.  And to eat?  We’d catch fish in the form of old wooden clothes pins that we would throw on the floor and use the shuffle board sticks as fishing poles.  It was endless entertainment. 

Oh sure, they went along with me because I was the oldest, but I have to think, they probably thought I was fucking nuts when we had tons of real toys to play with and yet, there we were huddled around a fake campfire pretending to be freezing.

How did it start?  The Boxcar Children, of course.  It was a story about four kids who were orphaned and to stay together, they run away and just happened to find an abandoned train car in the forest to live in.  They furnish their ‘house’ by using stuff that is thrown out at the dump and forage for food, able to barely scrape by because Henry the oldest, did odd jobs to make a few cents.  They even take in an old dog as their pet and name him Watch because duh, he’s a good watch dog and protects the kids.  It was all quite dreamy to a second grader.

Why am I bringing this up now?  The snowpacalypse is descending upon us and dude, we’re prepped just in case the power goes out and we have to live like the Boxcar Children for a day or two.  It’s not the foot of snow I’m worried about, it’s the possibility of an ice storm.  And so far, it’s like our weather people have a snow boner and don’t know what the fuck to do with it.  We just don’t know what we’re going to end up with and so, I prepare.  It’s what I do.

“Ahhh the good old days when people died of Polio & got eaten by wild buffalo on the prairie.”  -my husband on being without power in a winter storm

Dave, of course, does not find the scenario of living like the Boxcar Children nearly as dreamy as I do.  It’s like he enjoys ruining my childhood fantasies, but totally wants me to still fulfill his adult fantasies.  FAIR?  I think not.

If you’ve ever been trapped with a three year old anywhere without food, a drink, or entertainment, you’ll know there is just no hell like it.  Add in a healthy dose of negative degree weather and a husband who’s going to have to snow blow up to a foot of snow off of 120 feet of driveway and you have yourself a recipe for disaster.  So, I’ll be the alarmist crazy person, I’m not one of those assholes taking my chances in the name of bravado.  No way. The reality is, if we do lose power it really will suck, but we won’t be completely screwed. We have a full fridge, a gas fireplace in the living room for heat, a power converter in the car if we need to charge cell phones {or computers for movie viewing}, we have a battery powered lantern and flashlights, and a full propane tank on the grill for cooking.  We’re also probably in the minority here, but dude we’ve still got a landline. 

My sister?  She’s coming to stay at my house with the promise of a full pot of Meme’s Beef Stew, biscuits, and many many years of playing like we were poor under her belt.  We’ve got Girls Just Wanna Have Fun on dvd and a full Netflix queue… along with hot chocolate and laughing and pointing at Dave snow blowing out the window for our entertainment.

And if the power does go out?  She knows there will be old towels to wear and a watch dog named Monty to keep her feet warm. 

How is the weather where you are?


Samantha said...

Good luck! I hope you don't have a power outage and there's no ice storm. Yucky! Sounds like you are prepared for the worst anyway :)

Katie Olthoff said...

This post cracked me up! Especially the line about you and hubby's fantasies!

Anonymous said...

I loved the Boxcar children, I also read so many books about the pioneers. I think it would be so nice to live like that sometimes. Up in the morning when the sun rises, hard work to survive, and small towns where you know everyone! My favorite book was "The Long Winter" by Laura Ingalls Wilder. Now that was survival through a blizzard!

Dave said...

Two words: Donner Party.

Elise said...

50 degrees in Lexington...just move here.

lo said...

Well, I woke up at the crack of dawn this morning to walk 30 minutes in the still falling snow to the bus stop, which sounds romantic except within 5 minutes my ponytail was encrusted with ice & I nearly ate it in front of like 7 carloads of people. Then I rode a bus for 2 hours (it usually takes 30 minutes) and then went to transfer to a SECOND bus just to hear that my college had just decided to CLOSE. It *JUST* then DECIDED TO CLOSE. I wanted to tromp over there and burn the place down just so I could thaw out my frozen fingers and flip them off.

Needless to say I am over the snow and winter in general...

Meg said...

umm, i may be coming to your house too!

Anonymous said...

I live in the midwest....no snow YET! Just 12 hours of ice,freezing rain, sleet....I have 3 kids, so the thought of the power going off scares me a little!!!! Well, maybe a little more than a little...lol

Alexis said...

70 degrees here :)
Love your boxcar children "game" we used to play games like that too! I don't think kids do that kind of stuff any more.

Debbie said...

I hope you guys are doing well but I have to say, you make getting snowed in sound like a blast! How fun that your sister came over.

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