That’s not to say we won’t have a bad weather day or two this winter (that’s official school district speak). Most likely, we will. Ironically, I’ve experienced more snow days here in Texas than I did when I lived in Chicago, simply because we’re really not prepared for even a few inches of white stuff. Cities don’t keep snow plows on hand, or salt for the roads, so the littlest bit of ice shuts everything down.
What do you like to do with that occasional unexpected day off work?
My relatives in Minneapolis report sitting inside and having marathon Scrabble tournaments between sessions of shoveling snow. Where I live, snow is such a rarity, we like to go out and build pint-size snowmen that last about five minutes. Last year the kids loaded up their wake boards to go sledding down the neighborhood hill. Then it was home to make snow cones out of what was left on our back porch.
Growing up on the Gulf Coast, I remember schools closing a few times when we had a hurricane headed our way. Now that was a bit scarier. A sense of urgency permeated the air. We’d stock up on canned goods and batteries, fill the bathtubs with water, and board up the windows.
I remember sitting in a stuffy, dark room in the sweltering August heat and listening to news of the storm on our battery-powered radio. My sisters and I would shine the flashlights at night and tell ghost stories while the rain drummed down and the tree limbs lashed against the side of the house. Then when the eye would pass over us, we’d run outside to look at the strange blue sky and get a glimpse of the damage nature had wrought.
My grandmother grew up in Pasadena, California, where a cold snap could wreak havoc on the orange crops. She’d tell me stories about being dismissed from school to go help smudge the orange groves (they would burn oil in big pots to get soot on the fruit and hopefully insulate it against the cold).
Have you had a snow day this year? Or maybe just played hooky because you needed a break? Tell me what you did with your unexpected day off and be eligible to win a signed book (your choice from my backlist) to curl up with on a cold (or warm) winter day.