Today was supposed to be the biweekly meeting of Literature club. (The Ladies Literature Club of Hastings is a most venerable institution and in fact this year we will be celebrating our 100th anniversary, having begun in 1909. Since then we have met on alternate Wednesdays and even with the advent of working women, many of us manage to keep those alternate Wednesdays sacrosanct. Back in 1909 all the ladies were Mrs. Somebody, wore white gloves and their maids served the luncheon. Things have changed. More about Lit Club anon.)
I was supposed to be hostess(a rotating position), which means that at this very moment I should be putting the finishing touches on with the crustless cucumber sandwiches, removing the saran wrap from the egg salad and sundried tomato sandwiches, arranging on the smoked turkey sandwiches symmetrically upon a plate used only on these occasions.
I should be setting out the coffee urn and teapot, making sure the cream in the creamer doesn’t smell bad, and slicing the lemons so thin they are transparent.
But I am not.
Because it is freezing rain out there. (An early morning email from our village government announced this fact. I am especially fond of the alarmist use of all caps.)
FREEZING RAIN ADVISORY IN EFFECT UNTIL 11 AM EST THIS MORNING URGENT - WINTER WEATHER MESSAGE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE UPTON NY 327 AM EST WED JAN 7 2009 ...ADDITIONAL ICING EXPECTED TODAY...SIGNIFICANT ACROSS THE INTERIOR... .LOW PRESSURE TRACKS ACROSS THE GREAT LAKES REGION AS ITS WARM FRONT LIFTS NORTH ACROSS THE REGION THIS MORNING. A SECONDARY LOW FORMING ALONG THE WARM FRONT WILL PASS JUST SOUTHEAST OF LONG ISLAND BY EVENING. THIS COMBINATION WILL RESULT IN THE CONTINUATION OF FREEZING RAIN THIS MORNING...AND INTO THIS AFTERNOON ACROSS THE INTERIOR. A FREEZING RAIN ADVISORY MEANS THAT PERIODS OF FREEZING RAIN OR FREEZING DRIZZLE WILL CAUSE TRAVEL DIFFICULTIES. BE PREPARED FOR SLIPPERY ROADS. SLOW DOWN AND USE CAUTION WHILE DRIVING.
Ah freezing rain. CSB went out and returned with the intelligence that our driveway was a sheet of ice. And because the ground is colder than the rain, ice will continue to form on the roads. At least on our driveway.
Meanwhile, CSB went to work and said the main roads weren’t so bad. In fact the most treacherous driving anywhere is in our driveway. When I emailed news of the cancellation to D-- she wrote back to say that no, her road was the most treacherous.
So instead of lunching with the literary ladies and discussing Books We Recommend and then settling in to hear today’s program on Rumi and the Sufists, I have this block of four or five hours that have – so it seems – been dropped in my lap. Onto my laptop. And what do I do with such a gift of time?
Thus far I have read an article in the Phi Beta Kappa journal (no, it is not mine but my father’s) about the bad message inherent in the adage: Curiosity killed the Cat. I have read what happens when fish ingest Prozac. (More on that anon.) I have read/looked at pictures of Cypriot Icons. Mostly, I am trying to read Levi-Strauss’s From Honey to Ashes, which I firmly believe is very interesting but there are more technical and scientific symbols in the text than fit in my comfort zone. But I will keep trying.