Let’s Talk About Snow Days!
Growing up in Alabama, snow was a rarity. About every four years or so, we’d get warnings that we might get snow. Grocery stores would empty out of milk and white bread, schools would close, and we’d all hunker down in the house to await what was surely going to be the blizzard to end all blizzards. In the morning, we’d wake up to lightly dusted grass… if we got anything at all. We’d try to make a snowball, fail to find enough snow, and then go inside for some milk and sandwiches. By the end of the week, temperatures would be back into the 60s.
But we always wished we actually got snow.
Suffice it to say, since I moved up here, we have actually gotten snow. Real snow. The first winter I was here (2006) we got 10″ in one night! I know this because I finally got to wear my brand new winter boots that were… 8″ tall. So that was my first, calf-chilling step into a proper snowfall. (My second step was when I found the icy patch at the top of my mother-in-law’s steps.)
Now, 14 years later, I think I have the hang of snow. At least as an adult. We keep a stock of big candles, firewood, and we make sure the generator is fueled up and ready in case we lose heat or power. I have a handful of different shovels that are all supposed to save your back (they don’t). And I have a snowblower that is too much of a hassle to break out for small jobs, and never cranks when I need it for larger falls… which apparently is a PA tradition. And with salt, I am forever either just about to run out or burdened with more than I can easily store. There should be a way to keep this at a happy medium, I just haven’t found it yet.
I would like to say I am so accustomed to winter weather now that my truck has rust marks from the salt. But… I drive a Ford. Rust is something they do anyway.
I’m still not sure how to play properly in the snow, so I’m relying on my daughter to teach me. She’s grown up here. She’s a snow-native. We can make some fierce snowballs, she makes amazing snow angels, and we’ve gotten pretty good at making sled hills. I told her I’d teach her how to snowboard—which I don’t know how to do—fully confident that she’d forget about it in a week. She didn’t, we now have a snowboard, and today was spent with me “teaching” her (translation: watch her fall, tell her “you almost had it”, wash, rinse, repeat).
And snowmen still give us trouble. The whole “roll a ball of snow through the yard until it’s big enough” doesn’t work. Last we tried, we ended up with more of a vertical… shaft… of a snowman… no arms, no distinguishing features… in the yard. We got calls from the neighbors. Township didn’t show up, though.
But, the important thing is… we actually got snow.
Who knows how many more snow days we’ll get? Both in terms of snow (global warming) and in terms of formal “snow days”. The technological leaps we all have now allow us to work/attend school from home seamlessly, and may render “snow days” obsolete.
Enjoy them while you can!