Today my children had their school buses cancelled because we had a major winter storm on the way. I repeat. A. Major. Winter. Storm. It seems to me that we are always staring down the barrel at the next big weather system, that invariably, never materializes. Snowmageddon! Snowpocalypse! Snowtastrophy! The weatherman has become the boy who cried wolf.
Don’t get me wrong. I love snow days. I am snow day’s poster child, it’s just that the weatherman and Mother Nature are kind of making me look bad. I mean instead of the 20cm they were predicting, I’d be surprised if we got a couple. Really guys? I survived the Blizzard of ’77. Bring it on.
That morning in 1977 my parents went to work and I headed off to school as usual. By the time my parents arrived at work, the weather had taken a nasty turn….fast. Schools were closed and kids were sent home. The problem for me of course, was that my parents could no longer get home. The storm has gotten so bad that all buses were cancelled, roads were impassable and my parents were stranded at the hospital where they worked. I was one freaking-out 8 year old, let me tell you. My mom called the house and told me to pack all my essentials because my Uncle was coming to get me. My Aunt and Uncle lived less than a block away, on a normal day a 3 minute walk. On this day, easily a half hour, with the risk of getting lost. Hurricane force winds were whipping the snow around so intensely that you could barely see in front of your face.
My poor Uncle arrived freezing, flustered and honestly, I think a little worried about making it back to his house. He looked at my grocery bags overflowing with my essentials, Barbie dolls and stuffies, let out a big sigh and looking me dead in the eyes said “Don’t let go of me!”. Walking a route I knew so well, but not knowing where I was, was one of the scariest things I’ve ever done. At the time I was all cool with my bad self, pretending this was so amazing to not be in school, but don’t forget, I was eight. I was scared to death on the inside. In the end my parents were stranded for three days before they could get home, and I had a great big sleepover with my cousins. Now, THAT was a snow storm. Everything since then has been a little anti-climatic, you know? The Blizzard of ’78 made a valiant attempt, but didn’t quite pack the punch of ’77.
I’d say there have been very few snow days that my children have had that I would actually consider valid. Remember, storms have big boots to fill in my eyes. Still, I give my kids those days. It’s fun. Today we made Maple Oatmeal Scones, and despite many parents complaints of having their kids around, I didn’t see mine. They were too busy playing on the “mountain” their father built them in the front yard. They came in three times today, long enough for me to throw their snow gear in the dryer and to eat. The day ended with a movie and snuggle on the couch. There’s snow way that’s a bad thing.