Chilly memories on a frigid Houston day.
There’s not much I miss about the Midwest, but every so often, this time of year, I get wistful about one element from my childhood.
Yes, Snow Days with a capital S and a capital D. They deserve that distinction because they were better than holidays, better than weekends, better than the prom (come to think of it, looking back, wasn’t everything better than the prom?). Snow Days were spontaneous and spectacular, given to us on a moment’s notice while triggering absolute euphoria that affected everyone the same way, whether age eight or 18.
Ah, Snow Days.
I try to explain Snow Days to my friends in Houston — at least, to the ones who grew up here. They get it, to a point, but it’s simply impossible to explain how fantastically awesome they were, especially for a certain teenage kid whose best subjects were Study Hall and Typing and who vowed never to set foot in a classroom again once her formal education was complete.
The chain of events was simple. We’d stand at the window the night before, hands clasped, and watch the snow dump all over our neighborhoods. And we’d pray to the Snow Gods, for three things: a blizzard, a little ice, and no break in the dumpage until morning. No messing around: make the streets impassable, and the driveways unshovel-able, and do it in such dramatic fashion that the superintendent had no choice but to tell everyone not to come in that day.
Then we’d get up in the morning, run back to the window and assess just how bad — and by bad, I mean, good — it looked out there.
Next step: turn on the TV, cross fingers, and listen for our school’s name to be mentioned among the dozens of closings.
Those minutes can be agonizing. I’m sure it was the same for every kid in Dayton, Ohio but I swear, it seemed like my school was always the very last one mentioned.
And then we’d hear those four glorious words: “Northmont High School. Closed.”
Occasionally, the closings wouldn’t be announced until we were already on our way to school. That was irritating, but after we were of driving age, it could also be highly entertaining. I carpooled with three friends, and often, after we’d get the good news over the radio, we’d turn the car around, head to Bob Evans and eat pancakes (except for my friend Jennifer. She usually ordered the cherry pie.)
What do Snow Days have to do with baseball, you ask? Nothing. But I was sitting in my office late Thursday afternoon and chuckled a bit when a company-wide email hit everyone’s Inboxes at the same time. It was from our president, informing us that due to extreme weather, our offices will be closed on Friday.
Perhaps not so coincidentally, the level of chatter from cubicle to cubicle seemed to get slightly more animated.
(Stay safe, everyone.)