Thursday, February 11, 2010

Feeling Nostalgic for a Snow Day

Hearing about the snowmagedon experienced by my friends on the East Coast, and seeing their Facebook updates of snow days made me nostalgic. Growing up on Long Island, I remember listening intensely to the radio in the early morning when it was snowing, praying that my school would be announced during the list of school closures, providing us with a Snow Day.

Snow Days were unlike any other day off. It was a gift of unexpected time and an experience of grace. Upon learning that we were having a Snow Day, we would pull out a jigsaw puzzle and start cooking a pot of soup on the stove. The day was spent alternating between sledding and snowball fights (as a child), cross-country skiing and snowball fights (as an adult) and warming up with hot chocolate while tackling the jigsaw puzzle. In and out of the house we would dash all day, returning to the house when we were too cold and too wet and heading outside once our snow clothes had sufficiently dried (having a definite crusty feel to them after a while!).

But the best thing about Snow Days was that everything that was planned that day was gone—erased. The Snow Day suspended time. You didn’t work twice as hard once the Snow Day was over. You just picked up where you left off. That is what made a Snow Day so grace-filled.

I have spent the last 20 years in San Francisco, where our seasons are marked by fog or no fog. I suspect (and my East Coast friends could probably confirm) that Snow Days are not what they used to be. Technology and the internet now allow us to work from any where, at any time. A Snow Day no longer gifts us with an uncluttered day (except for that jigsaw puzzle begging for completion on the card table) but simply allows us to work in our flannel pajamas.

Oh, to experience a Snow Day of days gone by!

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