snow days, past and present


Last night when I got in my car at 6pm and started to leave campus, the inside of my windows frosted over. That doesn't happen very often, even up here in Rochester. The subzero temperatures (no, I'm not exaggerating) had chilled my car to the point that the moisture from my breath was instantly freezing on the inside of the windows, making it impossible for me to see. I cranked up the defrost (not very helpful when the engine's still frigid), and when that proved useless after nearly ten minutes, I used a credit card to scrape the frost off before proceeding out onto the roads.

Apparently the local school district officials noted the effect of the plunging temperatures, too, because most school districts in the county are closed today.

I think my body knew I should have had a snow day today. At 6:45am I started trying to wake up, but sleep kept reaching up and pulling me back under. At 7:10 I finally got myself into the shower, and as I emerged from the steamy bathroom, I heard the phone ring. My 9-year-old shouted "I got it!", and a few moments later I heard a shriek of delight. "Snow day! It's a snow day! Jackson says it's a snow day!!!"

This was followed immediately by my 7-year-old saying "Well, Lane, we really shouuld check the web site and see if that's true."

My, how things have changed.

Back in my day, growing up in Buffalo, I can remember clearly how we hoped for snow days in the winter. I had a clock radio by my bed (one of the early ones, with the numbers on little rolodex-like pages that actually flipped every minute), and before I'd climb out from under the warm covers, I'd turn on WKBW radio (1520AM) and listen to Danny Neaverth read the school closings. There were usually a lot--this was Buffalo after all--and my school district came late in the list. I'd listen to him drone through the list..."Akron Central...Albion Central...etc...Starpoint Central..." And that's when I'd perk up. Starpoint was almost always closed, since it tended to get a lot of lake effect snow. But if my school was closed, it would follow right after Starpoint. "...Sweet Home Central..." Woohoo! Sweet freedom! Off went the radio, and after shouting "Mom! It's a snow day!" I could burrow right back under the covers and go back to sleep.

No such luxury for me today. I kissed the kids goodbye at 7:40, and headed out into the frigid weather for my 8am web design class. And now I'm safe and warm in my office, coffee mug nearby, looking out at the gray skies and drifting snow. There are worse places to be on a cold day than in a warm office. But all things considered, I'd rather be home, like Weez, drinking hot chocolate with my boys and sitting by a warm fireplace. That much hasn't changed much since I was their age.


Elizabeth - What a sweet post that took me back to "my day" waiting for the schools to close. Such promise of nothingness for a day like that... doing whatever you wanted because the world (or at least my little part of it) had shut down.


U Buffalo doesn't have snow days. I mean, we do, but it (literally!) requires the governor's signature, I believe, and that usually doesn't come until too late in the afternoon to matter. I've held class while there was a driving ban in effect within a hundred-mile radius of the campus.

I don't think I've ever been this cold. Maybe coming down off a peak while skiing once or twice, but that's self-inflicted, and there is at least some reward involved. There's nothing like sitting out in -1 weather (-20 with the windchill) trying to convince the dog that it's not the best time to play in the snow.

I remember waking up and listening to the radio while eating breakfast at 6:00 in the morning... "Arlington Central School District, closed" were the most beautiful words one could hear at the time. :-)

One of the disadvantages of having been homeschooled... no snow days! Blah! :)

Wow....that was such an interesting story, professor!! Although I am not old enough to remember a period of paper-like flipping minutes on an old timer, I am rather old enough to remmber the pre computer area where I would often have to relay on a non captioned television news program (before captions became law in the late 80's) or relay on my mom to tell me what the radio had said about whether or not school would be closed for the day. Though we lived (and still do) in maryland at the time where tempatures are normally never as frigid as up here, we were often given a much needed break when the weather was in a non drivable condition. I dont recall ever having to drag myself out of bed in such conditions....

Years later, here I am, hitting 35 a short distance away, body more fragile and vurnable to illnesses with a more aged immune system, yet gotta report to an uncaring insitution for class nonetheless. I think the only way RIT would even consider closing due to the weather would be if it snowed to the line of my eye sight, at which point they would have no choice but to. Then again, knowing RIT, probably not.....

I'm 24, and I remember owning an alarm clock with flippy numbers. But then, my family never throws anything away.

Here in Seattle, we had a snow day last week, the first I've had in many years. Even though it snowed much more when I was in college in Massachusetts (Mount Holyoke), we could all walk to class so it was never a big deal. Besides, there was no class in January, and the snow was mostly gone by February. Not very exciting. But here, everyone was out playing in the snow!

Hey, I'm 19 and I still had a "flippy number" alarm clock. You know, they
actually are pretty nifty things...

I remember listening to the radio to see if schools in my area were
canceled. And then going out, shoveling the driveway, coming back inside,
and doing schoolwork. Yes, the joys of homeschooling... Though, my Mom
usually did let us skip a few things if we spent a lot of time shoveling
the driveway.

I enjoyed your comments about the cold Buffalo mornings. My tribute to WKBW Radio has actual recordings during the Blizzard of 1977. Talk about cold...windy...and snowy! You may want to take a "listen."

I am from Britain and so the concept of snow days is new to me. Now in Nova Scotia I am snowed into the house. I didn't even know this was possible. Great! A day off. If I didn't run my own business, from home, this would seem like a bonus... Photos of snowedinness on my site if you wanna see snow.

Love the site!




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This page contains a single entry by Liz Lawley published on January 15, 2004 11:21 AM.

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