Save yourselves!

I remember when we used to have warm, balmy nights like the one in this picture above.  Back then, we had so much.

Disclaimer: This is a silly post, written amidst a very long, gray, and unusually cold winter. I admit, the weather has put me in a bad place (read: overly dramatized, a bit hopeless, and in no way does it reflect the person I hope I am — most of the time).

Dear Mother & Father:

I love you. It is for this reason, I think your decision not to drive here for your granddaughter’s performance of The Sound of Music is sound.

I know you probably feel torn. You love all your grandchildren, this much is certain. For you to even plan on making the 12 hour trek from your beautiful home on the southern Chesapeake – where nights below 40 degrees are rare and extremely cold – is a big deal. In your place, I don’t think I’d consider it. You did, and for that I applaud you.

It’s been years since you lived here in Cincinnati, and I know you remember it fondly. Findlay Market glitters like a gem amidst the bustle and construction of a redeveloping Over the Rhine. Charming hills, quaint restaurants and shops welcome you when you visit. Beautiful parks, world-class arts and entertainment, and smiling happy people await you. (Oh, and your loving family, don’t forget that)

Just not now.

Let me explain.

You’d hear a line like this in one of those bad post-apocalypse movies you rent from Netflix

……………………’s all …………gone.

(At least until spring)

Driving to the Midwest from your mild home off of the southern Chesapeake Bay would be like paddling a tiny rowboat into a floating field of shipwreck survivors. I’ve heard that lifeboats have sunk after turning back toward shipwrecks to try and save a few more souls. The noble aim becomes futile – even counterproductive – as panicked survivors pull themselves aboard, only to swamp the boat and ruin it for everyone.

It’s easy to see this happening to you, even now. Imagine the looks on the strained faces of the local populace when they see the Prius. Imagine the flicker of hope when they notice it’s missing the telltale multiple layers of icicles and grime – just a thin, single layer of glittering, crystalline salt over paint that has never known real suffering.

They’ll know.

As surely as if you’d shown up in tropical shirts and flip-flops, they’ll know you come from somewhere warm.

They’ll sense the hope and optimism radiating off of you right away – because it’s different than the kind they know. It’s not the kind of hope that comes from knowing you’ve got a second set of long underwear on, or that you’ve just figured out that if you coat body parts in Vaseline, they don’t freeze as easily.

Yep. Though I applaud you for the intention, and the effort, you’ve recognized that the better part of valor really is discretion sometimes.

Stay in Virginia. Take care of the dogs and the homestead. I just checked your weather: fourteen degrees is darned cold. Especially for Virginia. It’ll be back to forty there soon, though. Like the survivors in the lifeboat that managed to stay afloat – stay away.

The Prius would be surely swamped by hopeful Cincinnatians the moment it was spotted. Just like one of those zombie movies.

Only the zombies would all have last names that sound like yours….

Categorized as Essays