We have been snowed in for three days.
At first, it was just a hint of being snowed in, people stopping and talking in the grocery store. Not that I would know. Because the farmer told me I should probably go buy extra food in case we're snowed in and I ignored him. Melissa and I were too busy scheming, figuring out how we can do a business together. Finding a good idea for a business takes a lot of thinking, and arguing, and diagramming failed ideas on big sheets of paper.
Then it started snowing. A lot. At first it was fun. School got out early so the farm kids could get home before the roads were unpassable. Unpassable spellchecks as not-a-word, and my editor hates that, but I swear that's what they call snowed-in roads in the country.
The blizzard was fun. I tucked in my goats and then my kids and then Melissa, who is from Texas, needed extra layers and long underwear to sleep. I told myself it was okay that I was getting no work done. Some days are like that. All days cannot be equally productive. And anyway, I’m an ENTJ, so I’m happy as long as I’m taking charge of something—starting a company, running a family—so as long as people follow my goal, I’m just fine.
When we woke up, the blistering wind made the house feel cozy warm. I showed the kids how to build obstacle courses through their bedroom and we invented recipes for cookies that sometimes came out right.
We baked and baked until we ran out of the sprinkles.
Then I started sneaking glances through my in-box between movies that I warned the kids were too gruesome to watch. But that was before it was a snow day.
The farmer does not take snow days well. He is an ISTP, which means he’s great with a snow plow and most other machinery and he almost never calls for help. So I knew the snow drifts were really high when the farmer had to wait for some other guy who has a bigger plow to come clear the snow. Another thing about an ISTP: they crave action-oriented tasks. So the farmer spent a lot of time outside, walking through the cold, longing for the more regular rhythms of the farm.
The next day there was no snow falling, but the snow piles were six feet high. Melissa is an INTJ. She needs to build systems to improve stuff, but it’s hard to be organized with stir-crazy boys, freezing animals, and a too-soon depleted pantry. But, proving that all personality types find their true-to-self way of working from home, Melissa spent the day calling airlines, switching tickets, telling agents that a snowstorm is a reason for a refund. And when she finished with her own tickets, she started rearranging for her friends.
Finally, the snowplow guy arrived and transformed the barren landscape to a winter playground. And while you’d expect me to take my kids outside with me, I can’t think unless I have alone time. It’s my favorite part of working from home, in fact. That I can be alone whenever I want. Except on a snow day.
One of the most important requirements for a successful home office is staying stimulated—making sure we experience new things all the time. So I slipped outside without a word to the kids, and tested the terrain.
Photos by Melissa Sconyers.