I got up 3 times last night to check on the snow. I wanted to make sure it was still coming down… kind of like insuring that the party was still going on. I’m a little girl when it comes to snow and still feel the rush of excitement at morning’s light to see the ground blanketed in a fresh layer of white powder. There’s a sense of familiar and nostalgia that is coming into play with this for me, first and foremost is the possibility of a snow day that a few inches of snow might bring. Here in Summit County, CO, snow days are virtually unheard of, namely because the plows pretty much have the roads cleaned up by first light and well, it is CO and snow is supposed to happen on a regular basis, unlike Kansas, where it still feels like a bit of a surprise.
When I was in school, a pre-dawn telephone call at our house meant we got to roll over in our beds and sleep in knowing that the day ahead was ours and ours alone. It meant leaving on our PJ’s until lunch time and eating grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup in front of the TV while watching “As the World Turns” with Mom, then piling on layers of clothes and playing in the snow until our yard’s snow was all used up, our mittens were wet and our boots sloshed on the inside with snow. Once 3:30 rolled around, the magic of a snow day was over and time returned to normal, regardless of the projects we were in the middle of because 3:30 was the end of our school day and at 3:31, we were on real time, once again. Even with a 3:30 end, snow days were longer than any other day because they were 100% bonus and were ours to spend as we wanted, unlike Saturdays, or even weekdays, that came with the dreaded list of chores or have to’s, such as going to school. Because my parents subscribed to the philosophy that if it was too snowy to go to school, it was too snowy to go out (as in outside via a car), we were “stuck” at home all day, which really was a good thing as our creativity was put into play out of boredom. Empty shoe boxes were refashioned into hip homes for Barbie and her girlfriend, Midge, four pieces of furniture in the bedroom I shared with my older sister were arranged and rearranged in an effort to make a small room seem big and magazine pictures were glued onto poster board (or whatever we could find) and tacked onto the wall. I once made a collage of only eyes, which I thought would be straight up cool. It wasn’t. Neither was the one with lips that followed. Ahhh, snow day crafts. You worked with what you had, which was always an ingredient short, it seemed.
My Dad was the high school guidance counselor and unlike today, when the school closings scroll across the bottom of the TV before you even go to bed, the phone call from the school superintendent came early in the morning. I don’t know if that meant that Dad then had a list of people to call in a phone tree fashion, or how it was that the superintendent called him and not someone else, but that’s how it worked and honestly, I didn’t really care. All I knew was that getting to go back to sleep for another few hours was a gift like no other and could only be appreciated during that brief roll over in a warm bed moment. There have been mornings in my life that I swear I’d empty my bank account to have that option…. a feeling like no other.
When we had a snow day, Dad had one too, which made the day even more special. His snow day routine always started with making homemade bread, a scent that still makes me feel warm and squishy inside, and takes me right back to the deliciousness of sleeping in while life continued on around us… bread getting made, for one.
There was no early morning phone call from the school superintendent, or the smell of freshly baked bread to wake up to this morning, but I did experience the thrill of throwing open the curtains upon wakening and getting to bask in the beauty outside of my bedroom window of 6 inches of snow blanketing the ground this morning. Pure joy.