So today it’s snowing, it’s actually been snowing for two weeks. Battle-gray skies for two weeks. And it’s really starting to affect me. I don’t want to leave the house because that will involve putting on a huge, to-the-floor down coat, but first wrapping my nose and chin in a tight scarf and pulling on gloves. I feel only slightly like that poor kid in a Christmas Story. Then I’ll tramp down to my car and scrape and scrape. Then hold the wheel in a death grip and hope I get where I’m going without killing myself.
You see snow here isn’t all that special – in Richmond when I was a kid, snow meant something because we didn’t get it all that much and when we did we usually got dumped on. A lot. So we’d at least get a delay of some sort. Or more than likely a snow day. There’s nothing like that feeling of waking up on a Monday morning and hearing – nothing. Because when it snows a lot and you’re a kid, you notice how quiet it is, unusually quiet. It’s so quiet it’s deafening. So you peep through the blinds and the whole world is white. These days you can jump on the Internet and find out if your school is closed but back then we’d sit by the radio and shush people when the commercial was over and they began to list the school closings. They’d say, “Albermarle………Charles City, Chesterfield, Hanover…….then a little pause that seemed to take forever. Then jump for joy when they said, “Henrico County Schools – closed.” Yippee! Back to bed to sleep some more.
We’d spend the day sledding, well, more like pulling each other around on sleds because where we lived was flat. Then throwing snowballs, and drinking lots of hot chocolate. Didn’t matter that it was dried up old Swiss Miss and the marshmallows were like little pieces of gravel, it was a snow day. It was like a surprise holiday out of the blue. You were forgiven your sins and didn’t have to do schoolwork, or chores, you could eat junk food. It was like God wagged his magic finger and said, “Everybody gets a day off today – nobody’s going nowhere, stay home and rest.”
My freshman year of high school it snowed so much we were out of school eight days in a row. I didn’t care that we had to make up the time in the summer – cold, crappy winter was when I felt like staying holed up in bed all day. It was just before exams and I’d spend every night studying up for geometry only to find out that we had no school. Yay, one more day of reprieve. Eventually, they canceled exams altogether and I was ecstatic. It was the only time in the history of our school where they had done that or would ever do that again. It was awesome. I was failing geometry and now I didn’t have to take an exam. Thank you Jesus.
I miss snow days. Adults need them too sometimes. Here it snows just enough to make it a pain in the ass, but not enough to keep anybody from doing anything. People just make do and scrape their cars and drive like normal and have a shitload of accidents as a result. They should just do like we did, and take a snow day. When you have to go out in it, it takes all the enjoyment out of snow. Maybe this is why a lot of people who used to love snow as a kid, now hate it. Because now they have to actually go out and deal with the snow. I’m one of those people. I hate snow now – and I know it’s because I have to dig, and scrape, and go to work anyway. I never get a chance to just stop everything for a moment to watch it fall.