#100: The Snow Day

landscape photography of mountains covered in snow

Photo by eberhard grossgasteiger on Pexels.com

Yes, it’s blog #100! Isn’t this special? It sure feels that way. Knowing I’ve kept up writing 300 words a day for about 100 days in a row now, the feeling fills me with determination! Not to mention that I’ve skipped a few days here and there, but for the most part, it’s been a consistent streak.

The snow day I had on Tuesday was so necessary, after a long, dry winter season without much snow. Although I had only just started following a school-based schedule again a few weeks ago, the snow day felt like the perfect stress relief after some time of hard work. It leads directly into February break, which I’m super looking forward to. February break lasts only a couple extra days (it includes Thursday, Friday, and Monday off) but even those extra days will be cherished and appreciated for what they are. Needless to say, bring it on!

Snow has always been associated with school for me. It’s hard to separate them in my head, considering I’ve always been operating under the typical school-based schedule of life. Summers are off, winters are variable, and fall and spring are work time. After graduating high school, I went to college for five years, earned my undergrad and graduate degrees, and then went to work in a school system. The only break I’ve had from the school schedule was in 2018, during the few months I spent unemployed. So, when I hear snow, my mind always thinks about whether or not it will result in a snow day, a day off of work. Is it any surprise that, as soon as I return to working in a school, the year’s supply of snow finally begins to drop down from the sky?

Snow days are special.

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Reminiscing on the Snowstorm of 2011

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While the blizzard of 2013 snowed me into my dorm and made traveling around inconvenient, it affected the other people that I know and love much more, causing me to worry for their safety.

At college, I somewhat enjoyed being snowed in. I managed to share time with my roommates and other friends in the same dorm.

The blizzard made its presence known quickly and it seemed as if everyone sought somewhere safe to rest until the snow had stopped. The record-breaking Snowstorm of 2013 brought a great deal of wind, which in turn brought snow drifts.

As soon as I caught sight of snow, I noticed it drastically increase in size, piling up everywhere. Snowstorms bring people together, but with those who carry the responsibility of protecting others from the hazards of snow, snowstorms are dreadful. My family lived the snowstorm nightmare for a long time every winter until I went to college.

Since I was able to hold a shovel and push snow around, I helped my Dad shovel around the house and sometimes plow other driveways. He trucked through the driveway with the plow, and then I grabbed a shovel and finished the sidewalks. For every snowfall above three or four inches, we were out all day clearing twenty or thirty neighborhood driveways and sidewalks for safe travel.

The worst snowstorm I experienced was in 2011. In the 2011 blizzard, my father and I plowed, shoveled, and cleared each driveway (including our own) twice, both occurring in the middle of the night. It continued for what seemed like days. The snow drift flew in our faces, and the night sky tired us. When the blizzard halted, we sighed relief, only for another, lesser blizzard to arrive the week after.

At college, I knew I wouldn’t be available to help out at home during snow season. While there have been a few snowstorms in the general area, my father was capable of doing the work on his own or with a work partner. I didn’t bother worrying.

When I heard that a blizzard was arriving last week, I was unsure how devastating or drastic a toll it would inflict. By the time I awoke last Friday to find snow surrounding the dorm, it was too late for me to return home and help with the plowing. At that point, I was worried.

I remembered the snowstorm of 2011 and how it affected us. The money for having to plow each house twice on two consecutive days was great, but the hard-work was, at times, back-breaking. I called home often to check in and see how things were going. I called my father to see how he was feeling.

Once the snowstorm subsided on Saturday, the long, thirty house plowing spree began. I heard from home that Dad was dreading it. I know I would have felt the same in his position. It was difficult to move out of the driveway because the roads weren’t cleared. However, he managed to do the job regardless. That’s an act to appreciate and respect.

Although I already appreciated my father, I appreciate what he does for our family much more after this blizzard. I had forgotten what it was like to be on this end of a snowstorm, having to clear it out of people’s driveways and passageways for safety from the dangerous winter hazards. I worried for my family, but it was fine in the end.

I will remember this snowstorm for my increased appreciation for my family, for holding through a winter storm and then some. At college, it was much more relaxing than at home. I wish I was there during this past weekend. And with a new snowstorm coming today, I am beginning to worry again.

Keeping Warm In A Snowstorm

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Snowflakes bounding across the window,

Falling, falling, falling again.

I wish I knew the snowflakes well,

Why they are so unique and bright,

And why they stormed here on this night.

A train of white dots arriving at

The station and stopping to fuel up

But the passengers are pouring out like

Rabid, savage dogs fighting for a bone,

And the bone, unfortunately, is our home.

A sea of insects gathering and spreading

Sickness and fighting against the wind

And herding each other into the pit

Where we stand and stare upwards and

Marvel at the macabre and dry sand.

A desert blasted by a hurricane

And swayed left and right,

Pushed to all sides and areas,

Endemic to our lives the sand breathes

And in our hands the warmth seethes.

Small specks of stars in the sky

Shooting in rows, in waves, and

In a group as the commoners run

Rampant and confused and overwhelmed

And the stars fall again.

The mischievous snowflakes on my

Shovel, gone down the river.

Snow I once knew very well and

Now I’m at a loss.

And I wish I could keep warm.