2013-02-07_1708by Jonathan Hilton

It is difficult to explain to someone who lives in a warm climate the power and majesty of a snow day.  Sometimes they are a surprise, and sometimes they are expected, but they are always awesome. It is like having extra holidays in your life and you never really know when they are going to hit.

Definition of a Snow Day

blizzard of 1978What is a snow day? I guess that some explanation is needed. When mother nature decides to pour down many inches of the white stuff, the entire area that is covered generally shuts down and there is no work, no school, no NOTHING!! All there is to do is hope the power doesn’t go out, watch the snow fall or play in it.  I personally can drive well in the snow, but it is the other people who can’t I fear. I would just as soon wait.

Being a Kid Praying for Snow

kids snow dayThere were many nights when I was growing up that I would gamble that the snow would come and I would not have to have my homework done. In the town I grew up in they had a fire whistle that you could hear everywhere. (very small rural town in Maine) They would blare out a special signal, three short blasts for no school.  As I got older and moved, I relied on the radio for this vital information. (no internet then).

It was so comforting to be able to fall back asleep, somehow the blankets were warmer, and the pillow more comforting.   Finally you would inevitably get up, dressing in 42 layers of clothing and going outside to play until you got frostbite or hungry which ever came first.  I was fortunate enough to have two brothers and about 40 neighbors to throw snowballs at and go sliding with .Then finally after a long day of play with your friends, you had to do the homework you put off. Snow days were a free day, probably the best thing about dealing with winter.

A Snow Day for Adults

adult snow dayFor much of my adult life I was a teacher, and the snow day magic persisted. It was even more intense and fun. I would wait to get the call, school was cancelled. Then happily sleep until I felt like getting up. A lot of days, I would go meet some fellow teachers for breakfast, because it is never too snowy for that.  The great thing was, no work, no rules, nothing to do but have fun. Snow days as a teacher were 100 times better than snow days as a kid.

For other “normal” people, it takes a lot but they occasionally get a snow day too. When there is just too much snow, then everything closes. The mood is usually set by the state government, if they call off work, most everyone else does as well. Businesses might as well close, because nobody is coming to buy anything. Snow day is here.

The Hype of the Snow Storm

empty shelves

This picture is from the blizzard of 1978.

Now with the news and social media there are no shortage of the impending storm.  What will happen is that it will snow like crazy tomorrow, Friday February 8, everyone will stay home, on Saturday the roads will be clear and it will be business as usual.

People are strange because they will stock up like there will never be another trip to the store, in the near future. The stores run low on food.  The warning of a snow storm is great for business. Everywhere you go, people talk about the storm. Strangers conversing about the impending doom that is on its way. This is the biggest storm since 1978.  I heard the following nonfactual statements this morning:

*This is the biggest storm since 1978

*It is going to snow for two days. (That never happens)

*The world is most likely going to end anyway, so let it snow.

People get all hyped up about the storm, probably from latent feelings of loving snow days in their youths, and then the event is usually quite a let down. It only snows 18 inches instead of 24.  If you live in a snowy area then you know what I mean.

Reality of A Snow Day

no school tomorrowTomorrow has already been cancelled in Maine. Schools are going to be closed, stores are going to be closed, roads are going to be slippery, the state is going to shut down and it is going to snow a lot.  I am not going to have to go to work. I will get to sleep in until 6:30, the latest I am capable of sleeping.  I will be able to spend the day doing stuff like reading, writing, and learning. It is going to be awesome.

So if you live in a warm climate, enjoy the heat and enjoy your normal day at work. I will be busy doing whatever I want and can do with snow up to my rump.