Snow Day!

A snow day! I loved snow days when I was a kid. Mostly because I didn’t like school but also because I loved change. The routine of school, every day the same, was boring and drudgery to me. I liked anything that changed the routine, from field trips to film strips to snow days.

When I was a kid, we’d watch the news the night before the storm, hoping the meteorologist was right (or wrong, depending on his forecast). We’d awake in the morning and run to the window to check the snow amounts. Then came the moment of truth: listening to the radio for the magic words, “North Penn School District, closed.” The wait was excruciating. It went in alphabetical order. At least we weren’t in the Wissahickon School District. When the magic words were heard, there was a moment of glee, followed immediately by a return to a nice, warm bed.

After an extra hour or two of sleep, it was time to take advantage of the reason for the snow day, SNOW! We lived only a few blocks from the local park, which just happened to have the best sledding hills in town. Bundling up in long johns, extra socks, sweaters, snow pants, coats, hats, scarves, and gloves, it was a wonder we could walk the few blocks to the park, dragging our wooden Yankee Flyer sleds.

Arriving at the park, we found our friends, and the snow day shenanigans commenced. Our park had everything from gentle hills for the younger or less adventurous kids to some seriously steep hills for the older, crazier kids. And one notorious run dubbed “The Nutcracker” that had a jump between two trees. Only the craziest kids attempted that one. Sledding was the main event, but you could also expect to build a snowman and participate, however unwillingly, in a large-scale snowball fight. After several hours of playing in the snow, we would make our way back home, hang our wet clothes on the line in the basement and lay the gloves, hats, and scarves to sizzle on the dining room radiator. Finally, we would sit down in front of the TV with steaming cups of cocoa. That was a good snow day.

As an adult, I still look forward to snow days. When my kids were young, snow days weren’t much different than the days of my youth. But now that my children are grown, snow days are very different. I woke up this morning to a snow day. My morning meeting was canceled because the local school district was closed. Nevermind the fact that there was no snow on the ground and only a few inches expected in the late morning, changing to rain before school would end. This would never have qualified as a snow day when I was a kid. But, whatever, it’s still a snow day.

Nowadays a snow day does not include sledding or snowball fights. For me, a snow day means no makeup, hair gets to do whatever it wants, sweat pants, and work (tapping away on a computer is not affected by snow—real or imagined). There is still something about not needing to go anywhere and changing the routine that appeals to me. I started my day with a hot, Epsom salt bath, while finishing up an online class. Good thing I can see them, but they can’t see me. I’ll get a lot of writing done today, which will make me happy. And my day will probably end with a cup of steaming hot cocoa—some things don’t change. It’s gonna be a good snow day, albeit, minus the snow.

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