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First of all, let me apologize to any one north of Arkansas who routinely lives, drives, goes to work, school and church in spite of the treacherous ice storms like the one we survived in the Dallas/Fort Worth area.  Having had my first driving experience in a St. Louis suburb, gone to college in D.C., worked and lived a short time in Boston and more than 10 years in Chicago, AND braved taking the wheel of a car in my mom’s native Jamaica, I can honestly say there’s no cold, rainy weather or harrowing traffic condition I haven’t taken on.

I hang my head in shame for (A) caving to the MetroPlex’s meteorologists’ madness and (B) allowing my sons to believe that the poor excuse for snow/sleet/ slush/ice warranted missing two full days of school!

Yep, from Thursday afternoon until Tuesday morning, my boys, my dog and me, were pretty much on lock down.

Yep, after living in Dallas for six years, I have sympathy for the Cowboys, bundle up when the temperatures go below 60 and actually have thought about hitting the brake when I approach ice instead of sliding the way my dad taught me.

Thankfully, I wasn’t completely locked in though. Our office by the way shut down on Friday but as an early am warrior, I was already half way through my morning shift before the memo went out at 6:30 a.m.

I got another reprieve on Monday morning when I risked “life and limb,” defying the ongoing warning to stay inside from the media and drove to work.

I’m ride or die for sure!

Outside of those two “get out of free” occasions, I certainly had plenty of time to get introspective and here’s a top ten list of what I learned during those four days of being cooped up also known as spending quality time with my kids.

1.    Cold weather causes carbs to mysteriously manifest in every area of our lives.  Chips, potatoes, processed cheese and bagels were my solace.

2.    Warm weather friendly clothes don’t help!  Everything is stretchy!!! Pajama bottoms, sweat pants, sweat shirts, robes, and if I had a pair…pajama jeans just encourage you to eat more comfort food.  See #1.

3.    Snuggling, cuddling, canoodling, wallowing, vegging…are all very passive verbs that don’t burn any calories.  See #1 and #2.

4.    There are too many Christmas/holiday specials and almost none of them have anything to do with the real reason for the season. How many times can someone’s life be changed when they realize that the spirit of “Santa Claus” lives in their hearts?  I’m sure Santa was somewhere catching up on “Orange is the New Black” before the new season starts. Speaking of which…

5.    If you can’t be “iced in” with Idris Elba or a reasonable facsimile, having Netfllix is a close second.

6.    I may have watched every Idris Elba movie and TV series on NetFlix.

7.    I now know everything I ever needed to know about boys aged 10 through 12, and one male dog age 3…good and bad.

8.    It’s a good thing that Bluebell Ice Cream doesn’t deliver.

9.    Weather reporters don’t have to get down on one knee and physically touch the frozen pavement on the highway to make us believe the roads are icy.

10.    I don’t want to become a cynic.  Prayers out to anyone who was a victim of the bad weather over the weekend!

Bonus: Everybody should be forced to spend at least 3 days with the people they love most at least every four years.  It does wonders for the soul!

Double Bonus: Sitting on the couch four-deep eating nachos and watching tributes to Nelson Mandela, priceless.