Hi. I’m back and in a very good mood, putting out a blog post for a second consecutive day (a rarity for me). What I didn’t mention in yesterday’s post about the impending frigid temps was that there was a lot of talk over the weekend about today being a snow day. (For those of you in tropical climes, a snow day is when a school district closes because so much snow has fallen overnight that driving conditions range from hazardous to impossible.)
I didn’t mention it because as yesterday wore on, it became clearer and clearer that, as usual, the weather “experts” had been creating much ado about nothing. The imminent doom of a 7-9″ snowfall total became 6-8″, which then became 3-5″, which I know from experience usually ends up being 3″: enough to turn my 25-minute commute into a torturous hour, but not enough to cancel school for thousands of students.
So I went to bed resigned to going to work today. Before I cracked open my book, though, I did that naughty thing where I looked at my phone in bed – a no-no according to sleep experts – and discovered that the husband’s school had called a snow day. With conflicted emotions, I went downstairs and showed him the good news. Perhaps you heard him whooping exuberantly and jumping up and down where you live? I checked my district again. No joy. I went back upstairs, read, and fell asleep trying to quell that resentful feeling that had formed in my gut and was starting to radiate out into every cell in my body.
Then, 30 minutes into my slumber, the phone rang. This was it! I fumbled for the light, grabbed the phone, and listened to the robo-call with a gargantuan smile plastered on my face. SNOW DAY!!!!!!
Now, how 3″ of snow last night warrants a snow day when 12″ didn’t get us the same reward two years ago, I’ll never know. As a lowly teacher, I have little insight into the complex flowcharts and multi-variable algorithms the district leaders use to arrive at their decisions. My job is to enjoy the snow days when they occur, and complain vociferously about them when denied.
For those of you unfamiliar with this wintry experience, please permit me to enlighten you. A snow day is the last bastion of childhood joy that persists into adulthood. It’s like Christmas, your birthday, eating cake without gaining weight, and finding a $50 bill on the ground, all rolled into one. Not even winning a game of squash against the husband, an occurrence so rare it makes a total solar eclipse seem quotidian (though I have won two games so far this winter, so perhaps the tide is turning), can match the feeling of elation that occurs when a snow day is called.
Unadulterated bliss aside, a snow day is a gift – a rare one at that – and must be treated with respect. To that end, there are certain dos and don’ts that, if not adhered to, can make your snow day one filled with regret rather than happiness:
- Sleeping in is definitely acceptable if that’s your thing. The husband is following this advice at this very moment. I, for one, prefer to arise at my usual early hour and squeeze as much joy and fun out of this free “weekend” day as possible.
- Cleaning and other dreary chores are not recommended. A little tidying here and there is fine, as long as it makes you feel good – the way tidying sometimes can – and doesn’t take up too much time. Save the really serious cleaning for some other day. Fortunately for me, we had dinner guests this past weekend (one of the followers of this blog, actually – Hi Michelle!), which means that my house went through a thorough cleaning and tidying on Saturday.
- Shoveling is inevitable. Wait until it stops snowing, of course, but then get it done as soon as possible. You don’t want that chore hanging over your head, contaminating the fun you are trying to have.
- Try to have celebratory donuts on hand to have with your coffee as the early morning snow day joy is still coursing through your veins. Alas, my certainty that this would be a work day meant that I am donutless this morning, and will have to make do with toast or some other equally uninspiring repast, unless I can convince the husband to make me cheesy scrambled eggs. I stink at making eggs.
- Staying in your pajamas all day – something the husband and I usually reserve for New Year’s Day – is certainly appropriate. I’ve even been known to throw my outdoor gear on over my pajamas before going out to shovel.
- Ski, snowshoe, or find some other way to enjoy the white stuff. (OK, I might change out of my PJs for these activities.) We live in this climate, whether under duress or by choice, so we might as well derive some pleasure from it.
- Think hard before you order in pizza or Chinese. Ask yourself if you can live with the guilt of making some poor schmuck drive around in conditions that several authoritative bodies have deemed dangerous and excused you from traveling in. On second thought, by dinnertime the main roads are usually cleared, so go for it!
So how do I plan to spend my snow day? Doing crosswords, travel research, and blogging, of course. I may also pull out the half-finished Scrabble® game (which we hid out of sight in the tidy-up before Michelle’s arrival) and see if I can give the husband a lexical shellacking. Right now, however, I gotta go ski! That’s a 5K cross-country ski course out there and this is the first time all winter there’s been enough snow for the groomer to come around.
However we spend it, you can be sure that we are going to eat, drink, and be merry… for tomorrow, we work.
Thursday, January 31 correction: We didn’t work the next day, actually. Polar Vortex 2019 paid us a visit and school districts near and far called off classes Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday due to temperatures that made international news with their insane lowness. Tomorrow, Friday, we go back to work. For one day. Long live the one-day work week!
April update: In all, seven days of school were cancelled this year due to either cold or snow. Four in January, two in February, and one for the “bomb cyclone” snowstorm in April. Welcome to life in the Midwest.