I'm Lindsay Ferrier, a Nashville writer with a passion for family travel, exploring Tennessee, and raising kids without losing my mind in the process. This is where I share my discoveries, along with occasional deep thoughts, pop culture tangents and a sprinkling of snark. Want to get in touch? Use the CONTACT form at the top of the page.
February 24, 2021
First, there was ice.
It poured from the sky, covering the streets of Nashville on Valentine’s Day evening. In ordinary times, this would have caused a whole lot of chaos and grumbling across the city about ruined date nights and cancelled reservations. But these are not ordinary times. Since there’s nothing romantic about dinner for two with face masks and hand sanitizer, most of us were planning to stay home anyway, and so we all watched the ice fall from the safety of our windows and porches. As it began to accumulate on the roads, my husband and I decided to head out for a walk to enjoy it.
“You know, I think we could sled on this,” I told him, stomping hard on the inch of powder already blanketing the street. After about three seconds of discussion, we headed back to our garage for sleds.
It was 10:30 at night, but we didn’t care. We had only been able to sled on the streets one other time since we moved to this neighborhood 20 years ago, and we were determined to make the most of the situation, no matter the hour.
By the next morning, so much ice had fallen that it looked as if it had snowed outside — but the ground was much slicker and making snowballs or snowmen with the ice was impossible.
Sledding, on the other hand, had never been better.
With a forecast of below-freezing temperatures for the next five days and another winter storm expected Wednesday evening, the city shut down and we all settled in for the long haul. We spent the next few days taking lots of winter walks, doing a crazy amount of sledding, drinking hot chocolate, and eating every kind of comfort food I could come produce from the kitchen.
Wednesday evening, as predicted, fat flakes of snow began to fall on top of the ice.
By the next day, we had nearly four inches of snow on the ground.
After this round of winter weather, we could throw snowballs. And we could build a snowman.
What we couldn’t do was leave the house.
Although the main roads were plowed by Friday, most neighborhoods were not. It wasn’t until Sunday that we were able to get out with ease. We were snowed in for nearly seven days, and in years past, this would have been unthinkable. Social media feeds would have filled with posts from moms (myself included) complaining about the kids being underfoot day after day and friends moaning about how much work they’d have to catch up on when they could get back in to the office. News anchors would breathlessly report school closures and we’d all tune in each night to see them. After just a few days of being trapped in our houses, we’d each start to feel like we were going to absolutely lose our minds if we couldn’t get out of the house soon.
But if last week taught me anything, it was how much the last year has changed us. We’ve now grown so accustomed to staying home, working from home, going to school from home, and making do with what we have that when we were snowed in for a week, for the first time ever it was no big deal. I heard zero complaints from my mom friends. Very few of my neighbors attempted to drive in the snow and ice compared to years past. None of my neighbors ran out of essentials and needed to borrow something. We didn’t lose power or water and our pipes didn’t burst, thank God, so we were all completely comfortable and very accustomed to staying at home.
I also noticed when my husband and I walked around the neighborhood for exercise that for the first time during a snow week, we saw dozens of neighbors out doing the same thing. Every time we went sledding, at least half of the other sledders on our big hill were adults. That was definitely different — While I’m generally the only mom out sledding with the kids, this year parents, grandparents, and young married couples all skidded down the ice-covered streets on sleds, inner tubes, cardboard boxes, baking pans, and anything else they could find.
Like me, you’ve probably wondered how this pandemic year will change us as a society. Last week, I saw noticeable differences. We are far more resilient and resourceful than we were this time a year ago. We are way more comfortable co-existing in close quarters with our family members. We are more appreciative of nature and the outdoors. We have learned to be grateful for small pleasures and silver linings. We are better at telling the difference between a crisis (hello, Texas!) and an inconvenience.
Last November, I wasn’t sure whether we’d all come out of this thing better or worse. Today, I’m feeling hopeful we’ve made some positive changes, some of which just might stick with us for the rest of our lives. The long pandemic winter is coming to an end. Spring is right around the corner. And like the rest of you, I’m ready to take what I’ve learned from this last year and move forward.