Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Snow Day, Snow Day, Snow Day........Please!

Snow days. Remember those? If you grew up in any province besides B.C. you surely experienced at least one snow day in your lifetime. What better way to spend a snowy blowy winter day than laying around inside the house all morning in your pajamas watching daytime TV instead of going to school? By afternoon, your mother had had enough of seeing your lazy ass laying about, so she would say "Get your snow pants on and get outside and make a snowman or something." Reluctantly you would layer up and before you could step over the threshold, a momentary guilt would wash over her and she would wrap a woolly scarf around your neck, tight enough to constrict your breathing, but not enough to kill you, and pat your ass on the way out the door. Surveying the lay of the land as you stepped out into the deep pristine powder, your eyelashes thick with flakes in a nan0-second, you would go forth into the backyard and into a world of wonder and magic full of possibility. Snow fort? Snow man? Snow woman? Snow angel? Stopping to snap off a low hanging icicle, tasting it, drawing with it, dueling with it, using it as an appendage on your snow person - again - endless possibilities. The only sound, that of your thick snow pants rubbing as you walked about - only silence when you stopped, or the sound of your own breathing under your now wet woolly scarf. Wet with melting snow and your nasal drip, annoying but warm. For the first while, you remained fairly dry and warm beneath all your layers. Sixteen snow angels later, not so much. No matter how tucked in you thought you were, some snow always made its way into your boot tops, creating a red ring of cold skin where it stopped and packed in on the way down. Now the lining of your boots was starting to get a bit damp, but you didn't care. You carried on. "I know," you thought to yourself, "I will build an igloo just like the Eskimos do and I will sleep in it tonight with a small fire burning in the centre, just like they do." After about a gazillion attempts to create perfectly firm packed "snow bricks", that idea sort of fizzled, but at least you had given it a shot. By now, you had mostly flattened the entire yard, uncovered a bit of the dormant lawn when you rolled the body parts of the snow man you made and were in search of some virgin powder. Now you were starting to notice the damp and wet beginning to annoy you a bit, but not enough to head inside quite yet. Not before you ate a couple more icicles, threw a few more snowballs at various targets and could not stand to go without a tissue for another moment. By now your mother would probably feel sorry enough for you to let you in, so you headed in, stripped off all the wet clothing with the chunks of snow clinging to it here and there, your reddened cheeks, hands and ankles burning as you unthawed. If you had a good mom, you got hot chocolate, a snack and sat back and enjoyed the scent of your woolly mittens and hats steaming on the rad where they were placed to dry off, ready to face another day of a Canadian winter. I hope that at least some kids do this tomorrow - just like I did more than 40 years ago. My own daughter is praying for a snow day tomorrow. Hard to believe, but she has never actually had one. Sure, she has played in the snow, but never had an official snow day in all her years at school. If she does get one, I doubt she will be outside making snow angels at her age, but if she plays her cards right, she may get some hot chocolate in front of the fire and we could both stay inside and enjoy the beauty of the snow falling outside the window. What are the chances we will both get one? We're praying. Fingers crossed. C'mon "snowmegeddon"!

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