(almost) funny, Living Abroad

Surviving Snow Days

surviving snow days

Finally, Global Warming is over. It’s snowing!


If your days are like mine, you’re buried in the bedroom, reading several great books, watching reruns on HBO, and art therapizing to keep the next funk at bay. No?

You’re weird.


I’m giving my inner child plenty of space to play, and my outer-introvert some much needed time away from people. Not all people, just real people.


Normally, this is where I’m supposed to say, “It’s not you, it’s me.” But Facebook just told me that it’s snowing everywhere. Cars are covered in snow, schools are closing, and yet again some ass is showing me a better way to get through those obstacles that block me from getting where I need to go. (Sure, that last one isn’t really relevant, but this post is going to be short on pithy insights. You deserve your money’s worth.)


The art of productivity in the absence of activity

Six days ago, temperatures dropped here in Bucharest, and the snow began to fall. I had no idea until Monica threw back the blankets over my head with a giddy excitement that kinda freaked me out.

Her pleas to get me all the way over to the window morphed into frustration. “Love, just get up for a minute and look… It’s snowing!”


The bleak and industrial Bucharest I was used to seeing was buried under a thick, muffling carpet of white. No sirens. Barely any traffic. It was beautiful.


I crawled back in bed feeling the kind of satisfaction I vaguely remember after a hard day’s work.  By the time I turned my Kindle on, I’d mentally checked just about everything from my to-do list as though I’d actually done something. It’s a snow day.

Watching Monica wrap herself in multiple layers before heading out to engage with other productive members of society reminded me of something.

“Don’t forget to pick up some extra coke and Snickers on your way back… Love you.”

surviving snow days

Don’t know about you, but my favorite part of this storm is not having to explain why I haven’t been outside for 6 days…

Inside is where the action is

There’s a fine line between the depressive funks that drive me into isolation for days (weeks) at a time, and laziness. From the outside, not much difference. I don’t move very much. Even after editing prolonged pauses and vacant stares, any conversations we might have are exercises in patience. From the inside, however, beneath my bedhead, a quick peek at the current of my thoughts will tell you if we’re dealing with raging rapids, or a lazy river.   


This time, my thoughts and I cruised contentedly as the world did it’s thing just outside our window. And it’s been glorious. I know I can’t stay huddled inside for much longer (Monica only picked up enough Coke and Snickers to get me through the next day or two), but for now, I’m going to suck the marrow out of these Snow Days. And I hope you can too.


Hey what about the Ass you mentioned earlier!

I haven’t been completely sedentary for the past 6 days. I’ve been sketching so much, I strained a muscle in my neck (so it must be exercise), and I read one of the funniest books I’ve read this year: The Sellout by Paul Beatty


Then there’s this video. Put packs on these hikers, add a few white blazes, and we’re back on the Trail.



Video courtesy of Paradase Onlus


  • Reply susielindau January 10, 2017 at 9:16 pm

    I laughed out loud at that video. Hilarious.
    I spent too much time indoors last year while working away. I’m scheduling time OUTSIDE this year. So far, I’ve stayed on schedule and I feel much better!
    You need a follow blog button!!! It’s in your widgets.

    • Reply Gabriel January 11, 2017 at 3:30 am

      Welcome Susie! It’s great to see you here. As a blogging/writing rookie, it’s a wonderful boost to receive feedback from those that have already found footing on the virtual terra firma.

      I’ll find my footing eventually as well. However, terra firma is buried yet deeper under a new snowfall here in Bucharest, so I’m on my way back under the blankets for a bit.

      I also think you might be right about the need to get back outside. A wise siren is promising that the “sun’ll come out tomorrow.” While I’m sure it’s an optimistic outlook, I must be getting a touch of Cabin Fever if lyrics from Annie find their way into my responses…

      • Reply susielindau January 11, 2017 at 7:02 am

        Believe me, as hard as it can be sometimes, you’ll feel a lot better too!

  • Reply susielindau January 10, 2017 at 9:17 pm

    I just found the follow blog link at the top!

    • Reply Gabriel January 11, 2017 at 3:32 am


  • Reply hann182014 January 11, 2017 at 4:19 am

    I love snow days especially when you don’t have to go anywhere

    • Reply Gabriel January 11, 2017 at 4:47 am

      Hey Hannah, and I was pretty sure this post would resonate with a few people. Yay Snow days!

  • Reply Joanne Mallon (@joannemallon) January 11, 2017 at 4:43 am

    We haven’t had a snow day for about 3 years here in Brighton so I feel like I’m due one. Only trouble is, I live 5 minutes away from work and would still have to go in!

    • Reply Gabriel January 11, 2017 at 4:49 am

      Sorry in both counts Joanne. If it makes you feel any better, I’m willing to take a few extra on your behalf…

  • Reply the incurable dreamer January 11, 2017 at 9:24 pm

    HA!! That ‘ass’ was having none of it! So funny!

    • Reply Gabriel January 15, 2017 at 9:32 pm

      This is the first time I’ve tried to add a video to a post. I’m disappointed WordPress didn’t send me some sort of tech genius merit badge…

  • Reply Julie January 14, 2017 at 9:39 am

    I miss snow days! I grew up in the Boston area but now reside in Hawaii. Can’t really complain though 🙂 Aloha!

    • Reply Gabriel January 14, 2017 at 8:39 pm

      Well, I guess you still have to worry about getting sand between your toes. Aloha!

  • Reply thecoffeebeanbrain January 14, 2017 at 10:36 pm

    So we don’t have snow but we’ve had two storms so far and that makes up for staying in and the best excuse to ‘avoid’ people, read, write and just think productively. 🙂 Hiking is going to be on my ‘list’ this year and I hope I get to do it and write about it. Even If I don’t, reading your blog is already an adventure. Thanks for following the brain. 🙂

    • Reply Gabriel January 14, 2017 at 10:43 pm

      Absolutely! I’m working on a piece of prose that doesn’t necessarily “fit” here, but seeing your work has me motivated to stretch my boundaries a bit. Reminds me that some of our best adventures take place on the page (or I guess screen in this case, but you know what I mean).

      I’m looking forward to reading more of your poetry!

  • Reply restlessjo January 15, 2017 at 2:05 am

    Sorry about the ongoing head stuff but your sketch/paintings are glorious! That’s some talent you have there 🙂 Thanks so much for coming over to mine. It’s appreciated. I’m not a great hiker but I do love to be out there. But snow? That’s much better through the window 🙂 Though the child does like a swift romp in it now and then, but only if it will disappear at my command.

    • Reply Gabriel January 19, 2017 at 9:37 pm

      Sorry about the delayed response RestlessJo, for some reason, your comment got lost in the spam folder.

      After careful review, I don’t see any links directing me to the latest news about Kristen Stewart’s views on artificial intelligence, so this can’t be spam.

      Besides, I really appreciate the compliments on the sketches!

      Feel free to stop in anytime you’d like.

      • Reply restlessjo January 20, 2017 at 1:07 am

        I often seem to land in spam, Gabriel! 🙂 No worries…

        • Reply Gabriel January 20, 2017 at 1:19 am

          I’ve had a stern talking to with the spam ppl so feel free to stop by whenever the mood strikes!

          • restlessjo January 20, 2017 at 1:22 am

            Thank you kindly 🙂 I’m nursing a coffee and a lot of aches and pains this morning and feeling a bit sorry for myself. I wouldn’t mind if I had a long hike to blame 🙂

  • Reply Robin January 15, 2017 at 7:29 am

    Thank you for the laugh this morning. The video did a better job of getting me off on the right foot than the cup of coffee I was drinking. I do enjoy snow days. We don’t see them often here, and because of that, the roads don’t get cleared. Pretty much everything shuts down, and the world becomes quite peaceful.
    Thanks for stopping by my blog and for your lovely comment. 🙂

    • Reply Gabriel January 15, 2017 at 9:43 pm

      “Everything shuts down, and the world becomes peaceful” so true. Now we’ve just got to find a way to keep the peaceful aspect without having to stop the world. That’ll have to go on my to-do list…

      In the meantime, I’ll plan to stop by your place regularly for a great start to my day.

  • Reply Green Global Trek January 15, 2017 at 8:31 am

    Gabriel are these all of your paintings? If so….I am absolutely blown away! They are fabulous!! This one of the snowy day…I love the unique perspective, the colors, the brushwork…. Am going to look at the others.

    This is so well written, conjuring up memories of very snowy days when we lived in Chicago, before Sri Lanka where it is summer all year round. I do miss the seasons, the snow, but not the extended cold months. When does Spring arrive in your part of the world?

    Thanks for stopping by our blood g and commenting…

    • Reply Gabriel January 15, 2017 at 9:29 pm

      Thanks so much Peta, the digital art is mine. I’m still learning, but fortunately I can use photo manipulation, filters and editing to improve my digital paintings. Don’t spend too much time on some of my earlier sketches though, most aren’t fit to be stick on the refrigerator…

      Thanks for the positive feedback on my writing as well. This blog began as a means of keeping friends and family in the loop while I hiked in the woods for 6 months, but somewhere along the way, I’ve caught the blogging bug.

      Spring will probably sneak up on us here in a few short months (March?). Until then, I have hundreds of miles worth of stories to ruminate on and share.

      And now I can also live vicariously through you via your blog. Looking forward to being a regular visitor!

  • Reply Green Global Trek January 15, 2017 at 8:33 am

    Oops this ipad has a life of its own…that should read our “blog” not “blood” sigh. 🙂

    • Reply Gabriel January 15, 2017 at 9:30 pm

      hehehe spelling errors are expected here.

  • Reply Lana_SHON January 16, 2017 at 8:31 am

    Great post!

    • Reply Gabriel January 19, 2017 at 9:26 pm

      Thanks! I’ll do my best to keep writing the good stuff. Hope to see you back!

  • Reply Miriam January 17, 2017 at 2:46 am

    Indoor snow days, huddled under the blankets and cosy with Coke and snickers and scintillating conversation … sounds pretty good to me. Here on the other side of the world the temps are sweltering. Have fun!

    • Reply Gabriel January 17, 2017 at 5:37 am

      It has been good. Possibly even great.
      Thanks for stopping by Miriam. Next time I plan to head out an about, I’ll know where to check first for additional perspective!

      • Reply Miriam January 17, 2017 at 1:19 pm

        Haha, you make me laugh!

  • Reply Stephanie Faris January 17, 2017 at 1:15 pm

    I love your perspective on things! Yes, snow days do give us an excuse to not see other people. I work from home, so that’s most days…I don’t even feel bad anymore if I don’t talk to other people. I do listen to a lot of podcasts and audiobooks, so maybe that helps keep that lonely feeling at bay. Or maybe I’ve just come to accept my introverted nature!

    • Reply Gabriel January 18, 2017 at 11:29 am

      Thanks for stopping by Stephanie!

      Isn’t working from home amazing? There’s something to be said for putting in a productive day’s work, maintaining many of our important connections, and keeping up with current events, all from the comfort of our favorite writing chair (and on the really good days, from bed). Everyday is uber-casual Friday when the uniform of the day is mostly hoodies, and sweat pants. The pay not be great, but the intangible benefits are priceless.

      Podcasts fall under new-fangled technology in my little world and I only follow one regularly right now. But I keep hearing great things so I may have to get with the program…

      In the meantime, when you find those lonely feelings creeping back in, or you just want to check in with a tribe of fellow introverts, I hope you’ll stop back by.


  • Reply broadsideblog January 24, 2017 at 6:35 pm

    Yes to all of this…I work alone at home and there are entire winter days I don’t even step out of the apartment. I do take Vitamin D now because I worry I’m not getting enough sunlight — and likely am not these days. As I write this (in suburban NY) it’s freezing rain outside and we haven’t had a sunny day in a week.

    • Reply Gabriel January 24, 2017 at 8:48 pm

      Welcome! It’s a thrill to meet a fellow Indoor enthusiast. I’m even more honored that you would stop by and leave a comment. I enjoy your blog and as an aspiring blogger/writer, I hope you don’t mind that I plan to keep returning to your site for insight to improve my writing skills.

      Keep taking that Vit D and don’t forget the sunglasses after sunrise!

      • Reply broadsideblog January 25, 2017 at 5:30 am

        Thanks…I’m actually LEAVING my apartment this morning to go to a work meeting with clients, so I also get to wear real clothes for a change.

        If of interest (?) I do offer a couple of specific webinars that a lot of people have taken, one on how to blog better. They’re $150 for 90 mins. and we can do it via Skype/Paypal. I’ve been doing this now for 8.5 years.

        We’re supposed to get sunshine today. Cannot wait!

        • Reply Gabriel January 25, 2017 at 10:22 pm


          I’m clearly a blogging beginner but eager to grow into a big and strong bloggernaut (I’m claiming credit for making up a new word here btw). Based on your review of my posts, do you think I would benefit from your webinars?

          • broadsideblog January 26, 2017 at 4:38 am

            It can’t hurt. My blog was chosen for Freshly Pressed (old name) 6 times and named as one of their 22 best on culture…so I guess it works. 🙂 My goal isn’t to make others like mine, but to offer general principles that work, and work well with other blogs I read.

  • Reply Bun Karyudo January 25, 2017 at 8:56 am

    Oops! Something odd just happened with my screen, so I’m not sure whether my previous Coke and Snickers-related comment went through. Oh well, if it did, I apologize for sending two comments instead of one.

    By the way, that third donkey was pretty smart. The smartest of all was the fourth one, though, letting the third one do all the heavy lifting.

    • Reply Gabriel January 25, 2017 at 10:23 pm

      Stupidcomputers. They always mess with our otherwise perfectness.

  • Reply Dimi Jani February 15, 2017 at 12:10 am

    Hey Gabe! Thanks for dropping by my blog earlier today via Susie’s blog party!! It has been a pleasure reading some of the stories you have here! Tried commenting on the ‘About’ page but for some reason I wasn’t able to. Anyway, I really do look forward to catching up on your bucket list adventures. Off you go! x

    • Reply Gabriel February 15, 2017 at 6:19 am

      Absolutely Dimi and love your blog as well! Please feel free to stop by for a visit anytime.

  • Reply Lucid Gypsy March 8, 2017 at 10:18 am

    Your art is fabulous whichever way it’s created. now? yuk, we rarely get any but when we do I try my hardest to stay indoors!

    • Reply Gabriel March 8, 2017 at 2:39 pm

      Awwww this was a wonderful storm. I sure wish we’d have one more. However, it doesn’t look like its in the cards…

      Guess it’s time to get ready for Spring!

  • Reply forgivingjournal May 13, 2017 at 3:25 pm

    Gabe, you have such a fun way of writing and especially depicting the thoughts that go on inside of your head! Thank you 🙂 You make me smile.

    Funny, I moved to Southern California from NY a few times. One of the things I LOVE about SoCal is that the weather is amazing. I’m not much of a snow girl. Though I do remember once I went for a run in the morning in NY just after it snowed. It was so gorgeous, still and peaceful.

    Have a wonderful day – it must be springtime in Bucharest now! Lots of blessings to you and Monica, Debbie

    • Reply Gabriel May 18, 2017 at 10:12 am

      Thanks Debbie, it’s great to revisit this post. I already miss winter. Yes it’s deep into spring here in Bucharest, and time for us to jumping another Travel season. But those Snow Days will always be close to my heart.

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