Crow's-Feet Chronicles: Snow and soup on the stove
By Cindy Baker Burnett
Jan 22, 2018
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Winter Vortex means mittens, school closings, and a nibble marathon. The most recent Texas winter blast came with plenty of warning so that most homes were stocked with a plethora of food. In fact, the common sound coming from most houses was the soup pot covers chitti-chattering jazzily on the hot pots like drummers’ cymbals, chicken-cha, chicken-cha, chickety chickety chicketty cha. When the soups boiled over, it added sizzly shi sha to chicken-ch-boom boom. 

A cold house of my childhood could be converted into a warm home with a pot of hot soup. It was an inexpensive type of central heating, and the varieties were infinite. I am a survivor of Mama’s molten-lava treatment. One spoonful of her soup and I became a dragon, puffing smoke, some of it through my ears. I could feel the hot fluid mainlining it through my blood vessels, even into the fine capillaries of my eyeballs. If I ever made the mistake of trying to put out the fire by swallowing cold water, I became a percolator. But to a kid of the 50s, there was no warmer reception than soup vapor spelling out “Welcome home!” Frozen foods could only mean “Come back later.” 

My sister, my brother, and I had no necks during the winter months. All three of us were cold all the time and trying to keep warm. We played thermostat roulette each night. Mama said it was healthy to sleep in a cool room. I said, “Mama, who sleeps? I’m afraid to nod off for fear I’ll never wake up again.” 

That was then. After two days of mindless Facebook, cover-to-cover reading, and Netflix nausea during the recent bad-weather days, Lanny and I ventured to the grocery store. Not because we were out of food, but because we longed for at least a conversational threesome. 

Frigid temperatures affected everybody---even banks. I pulled up my bank’s website on my computer and saw the notice: “We apologize for the inconvenience, but all branches of our bank will close early today, due to inclement weather. This will result in deposit postings being delayed. Checks, however, will continue to process at lightning speed. That is all.” 

Who knows what size I wear anymore? Since last weekend, I have only worn hooded sweatshirts, sweat(?)pants, and Uggs. Before Lanny and I went to Jackson Hole, Wyoming in January 2015, I bought a pair of earmuffs. Perfect for winter weather. Not perfect for hearing. Because I couldn’t hear what Lanny was saying in the car, I pushed one of the muffs off my ear. When we arrived back home from our no-grocery shopping trip, Lanny rudely suggested that I suffer from partial hearing loss. 

At least I think that’s what he said.