Hurricanes are not fun…well, maybe a teensy bit of fun, if it’s a Cat I hurricane you’re dealing with, and it causes nothing more sinister than a small craft advisory. But in the present case scenario, Hurricane Sandy is/was not fun. The sustained high-velocity winds and the uncharacteristic cold and ice, made it a miserable storm.
As the wind howled, and the disenfranchised leaves smacked the side of my house, I thought to myself: “Wouldn’t this be the perfect time to make soap? I could call it Hurricane Soap, or Soap Storm…something weather-related for sure!”
Ideas began to take shape in my head, and I quickly gathered ingredients, all the while looking anxiously out the window. Time was an issue, since I knew that we would lose electric power at any time. I really only needed enough time to heat my oils. Everything else required mere brain power, timing, and finesse.
I worked swiftly, now committed to the soap I had created in my mind. My Mother-in-law, (who was staying with us for the duration of the storm), watched me working, and shook her head at least once. “The power is going to go out, and you’re going to be stuck with a pot of oil,” she said. I shushed her (politely, of course), and continued to work. I hovered over the oils as they warmed, and pre-measured everything else. It was now a race against Mother Nature. Would the storm cut my power prematurely? Would I be stuck with a pot of oil? Would there be soap? Would my Mother-in-law finally realize that her son had not married a goose-brained girl? Only time would tell…
…and there was soap. The oils warmed, and melted. The mixing progressed without mishap, and I successfully poured my soap…just as the electricity finally cut out. The timing was poetic. I managed to look smug, as I sat down with my Mother-in-law that evening. We sipped Cabernet, and watched the storm raging outside in the intensifying twilight. “What are you going to call your soap?” She asked. “I haven’t decided.” I said. “I want to name it something weather-related.” “Oh,” she said. “How about Rain Soap?” I looked at her balefully. “No. That’s not going to adequately describe my soap,” I said. “Naming Soap is an art. I take it quite seriously. You’ll have to just wait and see what the soap’s name will be.” Now it was my Mother-in-law’s turn to look at me balefully. “It’s just soap, Sarah.” [Oh, the humanity!] “Thank you for pointing that out,” I said. “I’ll keep that fact in mind.”
Now sometimes, when I make soap, I try to begin with an inspiration or a theme. In this case, the hurricane was my impetus. In fact, as I mentioned above, I considered calling it hurricane soap. But, as I put the finishing decorative touches on the top of the soap, I realized that I was also thinking about winter, and Christmas. So, after choosing and discarding several names I chose a rather simple name, but I believe it eloquently describes my soap…
And so, drum roll (rimshot) please…I give you Snow & Ice Soap.
For the record, my Mother-in-law loved the soap, and I promised her some, once it had cured. She kept picking it up so that she could inhale the fragrances I had added to the soap, and said, “This reminds me of snow and ice and Christmas!”
I accepted my accolades with equanimity, and waved good-bye cheerfully, as my Mother-in-law left for her home on the water’s edge.
Thank goodness for soap, and Mothers-in-law and stormy nights. And thank goodness for snow and ice, the dawning of clearer days, and waving good-bye…