This past weekend I got a snow day. Two of them, actually. And boy did I enjoy them.
Most people old enough to know better have a certain attitude about living in the midwest: “I like having seasons and all, but as far as I’m concerned we could skip winter entirely.” But you already knew it – I am not like most other people.
I like snow. There. I said it. I have liked it since I was a kid. Why? Because snow is an adventure. Our modern lives are so smoothed and homogenized and refined that everythinig is easy. There was a time when the desire for a pizza at ten o’clock on a Saturday night might have required at least an hour of food preparation. Not now – we pick up the phone and one will be at the door in thirty.
I don’t mean that every little niggling snowfall is an adventure. Those small ones are pretty when the begin and messy and ugly by the time they go away, and are more nuisance than anything else. I am talking about The Big One.
By The Big One I do not mean to say what most other people in the more southerly areas of the midwest consider as The Big One. These are the people who fly into a panic when the forecast calls for three to four inches, sending them out like locusts to the grocery stores to lay in all the bread and milk they can fit into their carts. No, that is not The Big One because after the forecast the actual snowfall comes in at about 2.5 inches. Which, where I grew up, was kind of an average winter day.
No, The Big One is that once-a-decade snowfall that shuts the world down, or at least your little part of it. The one that closes schools and day care centers and churches. The one that cancels social plans and results in announcements that if you are not on-the-clock emergency personnel you need to stay indoors. If you can shovel out and be at work the next day it isn’t The Big One.
I am not greedy, and do not expect The Really Big One. That one only comes once a generation. I experienced The Really Big One in 1978. The result has been that every big snowfall since has been kind of “meh”. Maybe I will get one more of these in my lifetime. The odds says that I will, so here’s hoping.
So for now I am good with something in the 8 inch range that will shut things down for just a couple of days.
It was fun when the kids were small. Pancakes, board games and movies on the VCR were the order of the day. And of course going out to play in it. Frankly, I have outgrown that part and had more fun standing inside watching them play in it than doing it myself.
But while the kids are grown and gone, I still look forward to getting snowed in at least once for the winter. I don’t think that this past weekend counted for that kind of snow, but when it was coupled with my getting over the flu it was a good weekend for staying inside. Actually, the second snow day was a bit of a stretch, but I was still recovering and didn’t have to be anywhere.
A hot meal from the slow-cooker and a steady supply of old movies on TV can make a snow day a great time. Of course for those of us on the more introverted end of the scale, any excuse to wall ourselves off from the world is a good one.
The weather forecasters are promising another similar storm this weekend. Frankly, I am betting against it. Most people will be happy if we dodge The Big One, but I will feel cheated. January is half over already and we will be running out of time for a major snowstorm before you know it. There is pancake mix in the cupboard and The Maltese Falcon saved on the DVR so come on winter – bring it!
Photo credit: January 2016 photo by Jarek Tuszynski of the aftermath of Winter Storm Jonas in Fairfax, VA, via Wikipedia. CC 4.0 license