Snow Day!

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.

 

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13 thoughts on “Snow Day!

  1. Kim @ Tranquil Dreams

    Maine and Montreal..always the same weather forecast. How much snow are you expecting tomorrow? My coworker was panicking about it today and she doesn’t even need to go into work tomorrow.
    I’m hoping it won’t be as serious so that I can get to work. Remember the massive snowstorm at the end of December…man, stood waiting for the bus for 30mins. Although I’m not exactly sure when this storm is supposed to hit us :) But at least it’ll be pretty after ;)
    Enjoy the day tomorrow and have fun! :)

    Reply
    1. Jon

      We are supposed to get 2 feet or so, but I’ll believe it when I see it. Your co-worker is typical, panic, worry and then it isn’t so bad. People need to relax. I hope you can go to work, if that is what you want. I still have work to do, but snow days are still pretty awesome. An unexpected change in the routine. Nice. There are no buses here so we have to drive everywhere. I am a good snow driver but the other people on the road are not. That is what makes it dangerous. I hope you don’t get all kinds of snow and the buses run on time,Kim. If you do, you can fit in some extra movies. :-)

      Reply
      1. Kim @ Tranquil Dreams

        Haha! I work in a high stress job..haha! I can’t NOT go to work..not an option. I have a little fortress of files surrounding my desk when I left the office last night. February is a crazy month..can’t wait for March to come around!
        Its not too bad around here. I was supposed to be 15 and right now around 10cms if forecasted. So I’m thinking that its probably not going to be too horrible.

        I don’t usually understand the panic. You’d think after living here all your life, you’d get the flow of things. Its snow and its cold outside, normal winter weather, right? ;) Shoveling is super de-stressing on top of that..haha! Bring it on, snowstorm! :)

        Reply
    1. Jon

      I can’t believe you have never experienced snow. It is worth the experience, but then it should go away. It is nice at Christmas time, and of course for snow days but not for anything else. Floods would be a much worse reason to close schools. Snowstorms are just brief interruptions of life, 24 hours or so. :-) I’ll send you a snowball.

      Reply
      1. istopforsuffering

        Yay, I want a snowball!!! :D. It’s something that I do find odd – that at my age I have never even seen snow. I guess though living in Australia it’s not that unusual – it’s a rare concept for us most of the time! I hope you enjoyed your snow day!!! Meg

        Reply
  2. PATRICIA PICKARD

    I loved this piece. Loved it. Your description of snow days from a teacher’s perspective is spot on. And even though I’m retired after 40 years of listening to the radio or getting that 5:00 AM call, I STILL get a charge out of hearing the no-school announcements. A detail: I’ve decided that people must make a lot of french toast during snow days what with all the make-sure-you’ve-got-milk-and-bread-and-eggs. (And thanks for reading my other blog http://www.isabeltellsherstories.com. More to come there. I’ll have to give her a snow day when–if–they get to winter!)
    Patty

    Reply
  3. hopemaltese

    I have always laughed at the people who go out and buy $400 worth of groceries during a “snow storm”. I don’t understand it. Also, the people that act like they’ve never seen snow before when they’re driving. What gets in to people?! I thought it was hilarious that you mentioned
    42 layers of clothing! I did also. Most likely, I would enjoy snow days like I did when I was a kid if I actually GOT them! haha

    Reply
  4. djmatticus

    Oh come on! Big meanie… Alright, fine, I will enjoy my beautiful southern california weather while day dreaming about what it would be like to live in a place where it snows. And tomorrow morning when I get up to enjoy my Saturday perhaps I’ll send a smirk your way because I won’t have to shovel off a driveway or walkway…

    I actually did get one or two snow days a year as kid. The desert town I grew up in was high enough in elevation that it was just within the snow range. So, I got to experience those free days in my youth. Now I live on the coast and snow is just something I go visit a couple times a year.

    Reply
    1. Jon

      I am enjoying it, although right now I am just reading blog posts and learning about creativity. I am glad you know what a snow day is all about! Great experience. No need for a smirk, I am envious of that sunny southern California weather already. I have been ready for spring since Christmas. But enjoy that weather, I will be shoveling, driving slowly and looking out for people who can’t drive. Thanks for the comment and taking time to read this post.

      Reply
  5. ramblinann

    Jon I feel your joy and your pain. Growing up and living in MA my whole life I laugh at the forecasts that speak of doom when 6/7 inches are predicted. Having had 4 kids I was used to stocking up for a storm just because we live in a rural area and maybe we couldn’t get to a store (that still had anything on its shelves) for a week after it stopped. Peanut butter toast, pancakes, and spaghetti are easy to make with no electricity or water.
    I have driven a school bus for pretty much the last 17 years. I used to hope for snow days too. Now they just mean a day with no pay.
    We bought extra eggs, bread, and bologna this time around. The kids are all grown, but my 84 year old mother is here. She can’t live on my Twisted Teas or hubby’s beer.
    We are equipped with a generator to keep the pellet stove running, and a gas stove for cooking. All good to go.
    PS. They just told everyone not to go out and play in the snow. They could get hurt and emergency vehicles might not be able to help. We have become so whimpy. :-(

    If you dare to venture out make sure you don’t fall into a snow drift. They are also warning of that.

    Reply
    1. Jon

      Thank you for the great response. I appreciate it. All these people are definitely whimpy. As for going outside. I will watch out for snow plows. If I get plowed up then I deserve it. Nice to haviqe you visit my blog. Don’t be a stranger. :fe-)

      Reply
  6. DaVida Nature Photography

    Jon, having grown up and lived in Upstate New York for twenty years, I know about snow days! They are the best!! In 1966 a huge winter storm was predicted, School and businesses didn’t even open that day. By noon, the snow started and snowed and snowed . . . we were snowed in for a week and a half before the plows finally made it down our city street. It was great! Now when storms hit the old hometown, even though I currently live in Ohio, I am watching it unfold! After nearly a week of trying to predict the effect of the latest storm on my area, we are only getting cold and slushy rain, maybe another one to two by morning. I think a snow day would be in order!

    Reply

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