We have been snowed-in for the past 5 days.

The view from our balcony this morning.
The view from our balcony this morning.

It’s not that it has actually snowed all that much.  But Amman is a city of hills.  And when it snows, those hills turn to black ice, making it nearly impossible to get anywhere.  Things got bad enough over the weekend, that the government actually went so far as to ban driving.

So, because I’m a list-maker, here are 10 things I have been grateful for during these days stuck in our apartment.

1.  In-floor heating.  I love in-floor heating!  I prefer it to central heating, radiators or wall heaters.  Warm floors mean warm feet.  And warm feet bring pure joy.

2.  Our small, cozy apartment.  Since we moved abroad, we have lived in much smaller spaces than we did in the US.  And I have come to love these smaller homes.  At about 2300 square feet, our apartment is the perfect size for our family.  When I’m back in the US for the summer, I feel that our house is way too big.  I have come to love living in a smaller space and having my family closer together.  And in the winter, it is just so cozy.  Of course, the in-floor heating contributes to the coziness.

3.  Our downstairs neighbors who continually send up homemake cookies and sourdough bread.  They’re the best neighbors ever!  All we ever send down to them is our 10 year-old.

4. Our treadmill.  This way we can work off the calories bequeathed by our benevolent neighbors.

5. Netflix, Hulu, AFN, a VPN and YouTube; all of which can just be lumped into two words: the Internet.  Besides catching up on entertainment, I’ve also used the free-time and the Internet to put all of my recipes on Evernote–something I should have done ages ago.  The Internet has also provided home-bound schooling for the kids–something our international school is requiring so that they don’t have to do make-up days.

6.  Good books.  Right now I’m reading The Pickup by Nobel Prize-winning writer Nadine Gordimer.  It’s the story of a woman’s transition from South Africa to the Middle East–the same transition I will be making this year, but in reverse.  Maybe I should write a novel … and win a Nobel Prize.

7.  My favorite produce stand.  It just happens to be close enough that on Saturday, Jason and I were able to walk along the ice-covered roads and sidewalks and pick up some fresh goods–which has saved us from scurvy and other diseases caused by eating nothing but canned soup and cereal.

8.  Yoga pants.  I’ve worn them for 5 days straight.  My husband tells me they look good on me. I know he’s lying, but I appreciate the effort.

9.  Makeup.  Which I have not worn for 5 days!   My 10 year-old keeps telling me how scary I look, but I DON’T CARE!  She’s a lot more honest than my husband.

10.  My hilarious teenage boys who keep me laughing with their irreverent humor.  I get after them for their inappropriateness, but inside I’m laughing my head off.  (Please don’t tell them this.)

Tomorrow we go back to work and school.  We will still get to sleep-in because they aren’t starting until 10:30 and 11:00, respectively.  Though I know that all good things come to an end, I wonder if the ambassador would mind if I wore my yoga pants for a few more days.

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