Snow day

I remember my exact words when my brother suggested that as a newly divorced guy I buy the family house where our mom was living alone so that she, whose only income was a meager Social Security check, could spend her remaining days there.
I remember those words mainly because of the many times I wound up eating them.
What I said to him was: Sure, it’s not like I need a bachelor pad at Newberry Estates.
I was 45 and after being with the same woman for 22 years, could not imagine a future love interest. Or even a little tryst for that matter.
It wasn’t long, however, before I found myself thinking how I wished I had that bachelor pad at Newberry Estates. But by then, it was too late.
And not only was my mom living with me, but so too was Aunt Elizabeth, my ex-wife’s great aunt whom I got in the divorce. She got the Volvo wagon, I got Aunt Elizabeth.
I used to joke that I was running Ed Ackerman’s Home for Elderly Women. Not that it didn’t have its perks. As I left the house each morning, I’d get a kiss from Mom and Aunt Elizabeth and they’d spend a good portion of their day praying for me. Pretty good deal.
Except when, much to my surprise, I found myself interested in a woman, and even more surprisingly, sensed she was interested in me. Cocktails at Ed Ackerman’s Home for Elderly Women wasn’t much of a date.
Mary Kay, however, the girl I’d eventually marry, understood this. Actually, she seemed to enjoy the old gals’ company. But how I wished we could get a little time for ourselves.
Enter Old Man Winter.
A storm much like the one we’ve been dealing with the past two days was forecast. As A college professor I was certain I’d have the day off. As an operating room nurse, Mary Kay was not so lucky. Still, there was an opportunity for a romantic getaway we simply could not pass up.
Mary Kay’s sister and her husband, who lived in a charming home in the country, were going to be out of town and had asked us if we’d babysit the house and keep an eye on their dog. They were fully aware the prospect of being alone for a weekend was all the selling point they needed.
Sure enough, my classes were cancelled. It was a Friday. After getting Mom and Aunt Elizabeth squared away, I picked up a pizza and a couple of bottles of wine along with other snacks and items for a leisurely Saturday morning brunch and headed to our temporary love nest out in the woods. I knew where the key was hidden and got a warm, slobbery greeting from the family Lab, Tiffany, Tiffie for short.
Mary Kay would be on her way when her shift ended at 3.
As the saying goes, the best laid plans.
By 3, nothing was moving. All roads were impassable. The second shift of nurses couldn’t make it to the hospital and those who were already there were unable to get home. Having them stay for another shift was a no-brainer.
I drank the wine alone and shared the pizza with Tiffie, who undoubtedly remembered it as the best weekend of her life.
The next morning I got up early and shoveled snow. I wasn’t in the mood for brunch.

Ed Ackerman