What is the utter appeal of a snow day? For some, a night and day of heavy snow must be a huge burden, an annoyance, a danger, an upset. For others, it may be a nice surprise, a joyful experience, a novelty, an occasion to celebrate. For some folks in my family, snow has been a money-making opportunity. For me, it is an unexpected day off from school.
I have always found snow days to be as exciting and delicious as most children find them. School children cheer at the thought of falling snow, early dismissal, or a day off from school. Some of the staff probably does as well. My close friends and I LOVE a snow day. We always have—even as new teachers, for some of us almost forty years ago. I don’t see us as slackers. These are not lazy, careless, disengaged teachers. These are dedicated, hard-working, organized folks. So, why are snow days so welcome?
#1: You can’t do anything about the falling snow, so why not learn to make the most of the experience? A bunch of teacher friends from different schools usually meet for lunch on a snow day. Guess what we talk about?
#2: A snow day is a perfect gap-day in an otherwise full-to-the-brim week. To me, a snow day is a gift. An entire day with no expectations and no timeframe. No place to go, no appointments to keep, no one to meet. The day is what you choose to make of it.
#3: Snow is beautiful. When I travel, I want to go to a place that is somehow quite different than the place where I live and work. Appearance is a big part of this. Two of my favorite places, Italy and Arizona, look totally different than northern Delaware. That is a big part of their appeal for me.
A snowy day can completely transform the landscape. The view right now out of my kitchen window is extraordinary and worthy of a fine photograph: horizontal branches of old hemlock trees laden with snow; black and white lines crossing and re-crossing like woven fibers, with several totally vertical lines of thick green-black bamboo canes. The out-buildings behind the house are blocked from view by this amazing collage.
I love to drive around on a day with new-fallen snow, just to see familiar places made slightly strange and different. Today’s snow is the kind that sticks. A striking scene.
#4: A snow day is a day for special projects. Cooking, baking, tidying and reorganizing, catching up on reading or a movie. If you work all week, then your weekends, like mine, may be full up with household tasks, like laundry and shopping and cleaning, which never seem to get done in the evenings. But a snow day is extra time—a window in the week that suddenly opens. It’s like “free time” ready and waiting for you.
#5: Finally, a snow day can be time to spend with your kids and family. I loved snow days with my boys when they were young. Everyone went out to shovel the driveway and free up the cars. My husband has a small front-end loader for clearing snow, so with a big snow, he could pile up snow from the driveway on to the top of the yard to make a snow mountain for the flying saucer. Snowsuits and mittens and scarves and boots. Hot chocolate and popcorn. A fire in the fireplace. Nobody expected us to do anything or be anywhere. Ahhh,…