December 04, 2007

Snowday

My mother, this morning

High winds, icy roads, and steadily falling snow made driving difficult last night. All kinds of events were cancelled, including my belly dancing class. I stayed home by a crackling fire with a cup of hot tea.

When I woke up this morning, fluffy snow was piled on the cars, the trees, and the roads, making everything look clean and white. As we listened to the school closings, we were disappointed to hear that East Snowstorm-Traintrack Village School, where my youngest two kids go, was not on the list. Our school district likes to save its snowdays until absolutely needed, a policy which always leads to rumors that the superintendant is from Alaska. Many schools were closed, but my kids had only a one-hour delay.

Older Neighbor Boy and Philosophical Boy, who live nearby but go to the Catholic High School, had a snowday. Schoolteacher Niece, who teaches in an elementary school northwest of us, had a snowday. Every school in the city was closed. But not East Snowstorm-Traintrack Village. We kept listening to the list, hopefully, waiting for the announcement, but it did not come.

Teenagers in the district decided to take matters into their own hands. Blonde Niece and Skater Boy chimed in messages over the computer announcing that they had both decided to take the day off. Shaggy Hair Boy, who had been up late writing a paper for English class and was proofreading it one last time, looked sleepily over at his younger brother: "Hey, maybe we should take a snowday. You got anything important today?"

With-a-Why looked up from his bowl of cereal. He was half-asleep, but didn't even pause to think about what his school day might hold. "Nope. I'll stay home."

My husband had already left for work: he doesn't have very far to go. And my college was open, of course. I drove to campus slowly, thankful for the snowtires we put on the car last week. The students were in good spirits, building snow figures and throwing snowballs, and running and sliding on the slushy sidewalks. Students from other parts of the country are always excited about the amount of snow we get here, and their enthusiasm is fun to watch. And the kind of fluffy snow we get this time of year is pretty, coating branches, piling onto surfaces, transforming every building and fence post.

By the time I drove home again, it was dark. I hate winter driving, but once I was off the highway, I was able to relax and enjoy how pretty the night was. My headlights picked up the swirling white snow that was still falling. My own street was quiet, with no tracks at all on the white road, which means I gotten home ahead of my husband. We have no street lights, but the white snow on the pine trees glowed. As I pulled up to my own mailbox, I saw my two hooky-playing sons had shoveled the long driveway. I felt grateful for their unlimited energy as I came into the warm house to put on sweatpants and settle into the comfy couch, ready to retreat from the snowstorm.

The photo is a picture of my mother, taken by my father, out behind their house.

16 comments:

Linda said...

The snow is beautiful!!!

Anonymous said...

I am at college now, but when I heard that schools at home were being closed I hurried to check our high school's status. I have to say, I was not at all surprised to see it was not closed, but my heart went out to those poor kids that listened to the closing list over and over in the hopes the powers that be would change their minds! Hope your boys had fun on their day off!

-Sweet Funny Extra's sister.

jo(e) said...

Hey, nice to hear from you, Sweet Funny Extra's Sister. I can't believe you're all seniors now.

Yeah, our school is always the last to close. It was like that when I was a kid too.

Inside the Philosophy Factory said...

I feel for your kids -- I went to one of the only schools in Minnesota that didn't close during one huge storm... we had a 1 hour delay, so all the busses could run after the sun came up... sigh. I remember waiting for our bus, we were at the end of the route and it was over an hour late. By the time we got to school, it was almost time to go home.

The rumor was that our superintendent lived on a very sheltered street, in town and that the parents arranged for it to be constantly plowed so we'd always have to go to school...

thirtysomething said...

Beautiful, glimmering snow. Oh how I miss it.
Your blog is brilliant, hope it is ok that I crossed over. Came from Niobe.

Anonymous said...

I would LOVE a snow day. I gotta move up to wear it really snows first, though!

PPB

anonymous blog reader said...

you look just like your mother!

kathy a. said...

that snow looks so fluffy! good for the boys, clearning the driveway.

i've never lived in a place where it snowed. except this one freak storm in charleston, s.c. -- it was barely a dusting, and didn't last 2 hours on the ground, but the whole city shut down for the afternoon. no kidding.

SusieJ said...

We just had a few inches -- but it's still coming. I love reading your description while watching the snow fall from my window.

Rana said...

I love the picture. Your apple clearly didn't fall far from your dad's tree. :)

Snow is falling today, for the first time this winter. It's not sticking to the ground yet; I'll be interested to see how well this city handles it. (I'm voting for "freaks out because it is in denial that it snows here").

Wayfarer Scientista said...

Well, if the rumor about the Superintendent is true he probably wouldn't ever close the school on account of snow as here in AK they only close the school based on temperature. If it's too cold for the kids to stand outside at recess which I think is around -30F. I think it's great that you let your kids take it into their own hands - I think we forget to teach our kids that sometimes it's okay to take a "you" day.

Cathy said...

You come by your picture taking skills honestly.

I would think a snow day would be cool. However, we have never had one. If we do, I will blog about it.

Neophyte said...

Oh, Jo(e). You have a winter. From the southern coast of England, can you hear me sighing?

After too much time in temperate southern climes, I am losing my Northern-girl roots. I grew up in Minnesota. I had snow and ice in my blood. Now at the first sign of a chill wind I glower and turn up my collar. I want my cold blood back.

Unrelatedly, I think it's highly enlightened of you to allow your kids to make their own choices about the day off. Well done.

Songbird said...

We have a new superintendent, and I am almost certain that's why our kids had the day off on Monday.

Colleen said...

That is such a cute picture of your mother! Your parents have great sense of humor!

Silver Creek Mom said...

We're getting another blasting, but it won't be a snow day here tomorrow...being it's Saturday. I hope we get a few more this year. I love them. Tea Fire and a book!