How Do You Feel About Snow Days?
Growing up on the east coast of Canada, I’ve lived through my share of winter’s school-cancelling snow days. I’ve identified four different types of snow days; each one different from the rest.
When I was a kid a snow day meant school was cancelled; the best kind of holiday! Could anything compare to the joy of hearing your school district number announced on the radio? It didn’t matter that we might have to shovel because when I looked out around the neighborhood, I could see our neighbors doing the same thing. There was a sense of community like on Christmas Eve, when you know what everyone is up to and you feel a certain kinship with strangers.
Snow days at university were disappointing. The city schools cancelled but the university rarely closed on a snow day. Putting on my warmest clothes I’d make my way down knee-deep, un-ploughed paths to learn the professor couldn’t make it in to work. I would declare my own school cancellation, turn around and go back to residence for the day.
I rediscovered my childhood when I had young children at home on a snow day; when school was cancelled I saw the same incredible joy on their faces and felt the same excitement in our home. Our business was at home so we were always able to “get to work” on a snow day but the kids were so happy to miss school it was impossible for us to get any work done. So for us it was a holiday too.
Now it’s very different. The kids are grown and gone so we don’t listen to the radio in the morning to see whether or not school is cancelled. We’re already at work and now we have no excuse not to work. Don’t get me wrong – I LOVE my work, but I love snow days. To be quite frank, this stage of life isn’t as much fun as the three prior stages when it comes to snow days. Unless the power goes out.
Then, ah! I feel like a kid again! Work grinds to a halt. There is a peaceful hush about the house. The quality of the silence is challenged only by that deep perfect silence in the winter woods. No refrigerator humming, no computer tower fan whirling, no furnace or television, no sound from any other electrical appliance. The day stretches out in front of me, lazy and fun. When the storm ends, all that sparkly snow beckons. Bliss. The day darkens, the candles are lit and the end-of-storm shoveling finished. We heat water on the wood stove to make tea and hope that the power will stay off for just a little while longer.
We’ve got a storm on the way today. If I don’t reply to your comments right away, its because we lost our power (fingers crossed). I’d better click “Publish” but first…
Snow days: what phase of life are you in? How do you feel about snow days?
photo credit: Lori – yep, it’s one of mine!