I love snow days but I am having trouble making sense of southern snow days. Oh, I understand they don’t use snow removal equipment enough to warrant the purchase of said equipment. I understand Southerners don’t know how to drive in snow. What I can’t understand is the need to cancel everything 2 days in advance because there might be bad weather. Most of the time you get what my colleague calls a “fake snow day” where nothing happened at all. What is the fun in that?
Has The Weather Channel and local radar ruined the perfect snow day? Part of the excitement surrounding a snow day is the anticipation of whether or not school will be canceled. If you know two days in advance you wake up to just another day. Back in the 1950’s and 60’s, in the land of snowy winters, the school superintendent waited until the last possible minute to cancel school which was usually before the school buses started to run. If for some reason school would still be open but the busses didn’t run, bus riders just didn’t come to school that day.
I could always tell if it had snowed over night. The world outside was quiet and I could smell the icy dampness. Of course the first thing I did was find out if there was enough snow to cancel school. If there was I would rush through breakfast. Then it was time to get bundled up in layers of clothes, put on hats, mittens, and rubber boots (how did we ever survive without Uggs?). The whole neighborhood gang seemed to make it outside about the same time, ready to build a snowman, perfect snow angels, and find the slightest incline for sledding. My mother always made snow days special. She seemed to know when we would be tired of the cold and would have hot chocolate waiting and sometimes fried biscuit donuts. After several more snow outings, the day ended with homemade soup. Then we would go to bed wondering if tomorrow would bring another snow holiday.
We lived in Virginia until our children were 3 and 7. I feel bad about moving them to a three season climate where if it snows, it rarely lasts long enough to enjoy it. What were we thinking taking them away from the perfect sledding hill right outside our front door? We denied them snow days! They’ll never remember looking like the Michelin Man, barely able to move, or making really big snowmen, snow forts, and snow angels. The only snow day memories they got from my childhood are the hot chocolate, Pillsbury biscuit donuts, and the homemade soup……but sadly, not on a snow day………….