Monday, February 7, 2011

The Luxury Of A Snowbound Day

A snowy day. Really snowy day. Blizzard like snow. I love it. Like a little kid waking up to hear school is out. Lots of snow. State police are warning against travel. Don’t go out. It is such a storm that you know even the boss did not make it in to work. Everything is closed.  The perfect day to be an adult. The kind of day you can enjoy without guilt. No reason to go anywhere. In fact it would be actually life threatening to go out.  Just have to get rid of the nagging feeling that there are things to do indoors right here at home. The paper and/or report really can wait. The novel I am writing can be put on the burner for tomorrow. Today I can’t/shouldn’t/am not able to be outside. Have to be indoors. It is still snowing like crazy so shoveling or snow blowing can wait till tomorrow. Perfect, perfect, perfect day. Now what do I do.

You woke up to news that outside is a disaster. You accept that and reveling in the news roll over and sleep some more. If you are of the driven persuasion you may get up at some point and actually work on your report/novel/etc. But to truly enjoy this kind of day you don’t. 

You finally roll out of bed and decide what to have for breakfast – or brunch –if that is what is called for. Pancakes, anything with bacon (if you have prepared) or that scrapple in the freezer you have squirreled away for just such an occasion. And the bag of real grits to be made with cheddar and romano and butter – lots of butter. So eggs over easy, cheese grits and scrapple. Eaten looking out of a window at the wonderful opportunity to enjoy life that nature is providing. Can’t do this in a hurricane in Florida or a tornado in Oklahoma or an earthquake in California. This is a blizzard. Natures gift to the indolent. Have to be in the blizzard/lake effect areas of America to enjoy this. Eat brunch then take a nap.

For the nap and the rest of the day you need a chair. You know – your chair. Chair, recliner(best)  or couch potato couch. It doesn’t matter. And you do need electricity or a fully charged laptop. That will be key. Electricity is better of course. One needs some working devices, but the laptop will do IF you have prepared for such a day. Those of us in the north of America have prepared, if we are smart.

You do have some choices, book, TV or music. There are wonderful arguments for all of the above, but the latter is my choice. Then there is the choice of refreshment. But first our entertainment choices. Some will go for a DVD with some favorite movies. I will only go for this if I have a collection of Three Stooges DVD’s. Some unenlightened people will sneer at this choice, but I’m sorry – if you can’t go into hysterical laughter at Moe hitting Curly (and only Curly) on the head with an iron pipe with the attending sound effects then you have a heart of stone. This is not the time to make a case for the Stooges or the Marx Brothers. Definitely some other time. This is great for early afternoon, but later in the day – say around three or so I need to change entertainment and refreshment. I need music.

Turn off the TV and put on something that is worth leaning back – closing one’s eyes (important) and losing oneself in totally. I love rock music, but this isn’t the time. I love opera and chamber music. Sometime this is the time. It depends on my mood, Mozart, Verdi, Handel all are worth the reverie and attention. Most often though I will go for the likes of John Lee Hooker, Muddy Waters, Little Willie Dixon, Little Walter, Big Joe Turner, etc., etc., etc. If I am in a very mellow mood Sinatra, Torme, Torch singer of your choice, etc., but the blues are always my first choice.

Sitting back in my chair, eyes closed, music playing one needs a bit of refreshment. This is not the time for soda, water, wine or beer. This is sipping time. As I have aged my choices have become more picky and expanded quite a bit. But essential to the true enjoyment of such a day.  Bourbon was, and still is, a top choice. Just some in a glass with a bit of water – no ice. I have discovered this is the perfect way to enjoy all brown whiskeys or whiskys. There are those of you who do not approve of such drinks. They say this leads to drunkenness. You are absolutely right. Alcohol will alter ones brain chemistry true, but there is a world of difference between the  buzz from a few ounces of libation and drinking till one is drunk. Here we are talking enjoyment – which takes a certain age to acquire.

I remember seeing a comedian perform and talking about how great it was to get older to be able to enjoy beer – as opposed to being old enough to drink beer. He was spot on about alcohol. There is a difference between drinking alcohol and enjoying alcohol. I am no saint. Name the liquor and at some point I have thrown it up, but I am older now. I wish to enjoy. Yes there is a buzz. Frankly that is one of the main reasons people drink any alcohol from rotgut to thousand dollar bottles of wine. Sorry,  it is a reason and like it or not it is pleasurable. Besides we are sitting in a chair, not driving,  so go away with your complaints.

Back to me and my chair, blues wafting in my ears, and sipping something fine. First one should have special bottles for blizzard days. You do not pour Pappy Van Winkle's Family Reserve or Courvoisier Exclusif and toss it down like in Animal House. If you want to do shooters this is DEFINITELY NOT the time. Every good whiskey deserves a little water and small sips. Most people, even seasoned drinkers, will be surprised at how a bit of water in a good whisky enhances the taste and enjoyment. I have a good buddy who shares a love of good drink with me. I poured him some of my favorite and in my opinion one of the best rums, Zacapa XO, had him taste it without water then with a bit. He was astounded. He never tasted brown sugar and maple in his rum before. He is now trying to convert me to single malt scotches. Some day I will but for now Bourbon, Rum or Brandy are my snowy day choices.

So you sit, eyes closed, listening to Little Walter sing My Babe or Julie London Crying a River, a little Pappy Van Winkle slides down your throat and you can reflect that no matter how miserable it is outside, how bad life can be at times, we live in a country and era where a little real pleasure and happiness can happen to us (like all pleasure and happiness-small doses) and sometimes it even doesn’t involve sex. That of course is another wonderful use for days like this, but will have to be the subject of another rumination. I think I have exceeded Facebooks limit.

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