Snow Day

It’s day two of being snowed in and I am completely bored with it. I am sick of looking at people’s pictures on FB of how much snow they got. I already know how much snow you got. I’m staring at it outside my window right this moment.
Ok, I know you are posting pictures for people that don’t live here. Wanting them to feel one of two things.
Either jealousy because they live somewhere where they never get to experience the wondrous joy of sledding or making snow angels. They don’t understand the feeling of creating a snow fort and tossing snowballs or making a giant snowman that looks like Frosty. However, today people are making snowmen that look like a fat Pharell Williams instead. Or they are super creative and are making snow dragons or super cool ice sculptures.

The second reason that you are posting all of these “look how much snow I got at my house!” photos is because you want sympathy. Don’t you feel sorry for me because I’m snowed in and can’t do my daily run, or ride my bike or whatever else you want us to know you are missing.
If truth be told, you probably wouldn’t be doing any of those things anyway.

For me, I’m just bored. I’m tired of rummaging through the pantry and the refrigerator looking for comfort food. If you know my wife, this is a very hard task indeed. She doesn’t keep Oreos and potato chips in the house. “If they aren’t there you won’t want them”, she says all the time.
It’s not true, I still want them. But thankfully I have to resort to more nutritious forms of comfort. Veggies and fruit. Good thing too. I would be enormous if she kept buckets of Chunky Monkey in the freezer.

I saw a great video recently of someone coming home from work and parking in their snow-packed driveway. The snow was piled up for ten feet and he could barely make it to his front door. One of his kids (I’m guessing) had made the most adorable snowman in the front yard. A Frosty look-alike with the carrot nose and the cute scarf and adorable hat.
As he walked past the snowman he swung his briefcase as hard as he could and knocked the head clear off the snowy creature.
I laughed out loud. The caption was “anyone else getting sick of all this snow?” We can relate buddy.

There is a good side to snowstorms, no really! For instance, I’m listening to my wife right now talking on the phone with her mom. They have been at it for over an hour now. Maybe two. I keep catching little bits of their conversation and little bits of laughter. They are talking about everything under the sun. It’s a good catch up talk. My wife knows she needs to call her mom more. She loves her mom very much but calling her requires a great deal of time. And when you aren’t snowed in there doesn’t seem to be enough time. Of course there is, but on snow days there seems to be a lot more of it.
Another good side? For me I always make excuses not to write. I did everything I could over the past two days to avoid it. I read. And read some more. I caught up on all those silly videos that I have been saving on my phone. I read blog posts from friends and strangers. I attempted to shop on line. And realized I don’t need a thing. Not sure why I avoid writing. Once I start I enjoy it.
And I hope the people reading this enjoy it.

So back to snow day. Please don’t get me wrong. I don’t want you to walk away from this and think “man that guy is depressing!” It’s just that as an adult, snow for days, means shoveling the driveway, especially since my snow thrower wouldn’t start today. I was actually looking forward to using it. We finally have enough snow to justify me breaking out the machine and gloat at my neighbors that are stuck using shovels. It hasn’t been started in two years. And it wasn’t about to start now.
So I let my wife keep manning the shovel. I know what you’re thinking- “jerk, why are you making your wife do the shoveling?”
Before you condemn me to the “crappy husband” category, she likes doing stuff like that. She wouldn’t give me the shovel. I asked, really I did. I didn’t keep asking. It’s kind of like when you offer to pay for something, a lunch or dinner, or offer someone gas money and they say no. I usually ask once more and if they say no, I’m off the hook.
Don’t try this with me though. If you ask me a second time I will take your money.
Snow for days also means having to drive in it eventually. I’m actually a good driver in the snow. I know not to lean on the brakes when you start to slide. I know to turn the wheel into the skid, the most non-instinctual thing about driving on ice and snow. It’s the other drivers that you have to contend with.
Those people that don’t live here or are coming from those warm weather places that you have been trying to impress with your “look how deep the snow is here!” pictures. The ones that are stranded on the side of the road because they didn’t want to spring for snow tires.
The ones that bought a four-wheel drive and think they can drive as fast as they please. And you can drive fast with a four-wheel drive. But at some point you will need to stop. Those are the ones that I pass by that are in the ditch with their front ends all twisted up. Or the ones that are having their vehicle towed to the shop for an alignment or new rims because they slammed into one too many curbs.

But it’s not all frozen pipes and busted water mains.

I was reminiscing about some of the snow storms I have lived through. Thinking about when I was a kid and we would take our sleds out at the first sign of the white stuff.
I remember a place when I was around ten years old where the local fire department would run the fire hydrants for what seemed like days to make an ice skating rink. They would mark off one side for ice skaters and the other side for sledders. This worked out remarkably well until some of us boys got the great idea that if we got enough of a running start, we could play ice bowling with the less nimble skaters.
We had those great old-fashioned sleds made of wood and steel, with handles on the front that you could actually use to steer if you applied enough pressure and leaned just right.
So off we would go, running as fast as we could run. This wasn’t really all that easy. We were running on a sheet of ice after all. But we would get moving as fast as our feet could go and leap onto our sleds. Man, we would glide for what felt like miles. And we would steer for the kids that weren’t looking. If we got someone to fall we would shriek with laughter.
Bowling for skaters. We’d wind up getting sued by the ACLU if we tried a stunt like that today.

I thought about the time my dad took me and my brothers sledding in the forest. It was a big deal. This was no ordinary find a hill that we could walk to and have to share it with a thousand other kids outing.
This was loading up a toboggan and those round metal discs into the back of the pickup truck and driving up to the mountains sledding. This was the real deal. This was living the scene from Christmas Vacation when Clark Griswold greased up the disc and headed down the mountain.
We didn’t catch on fire but we had to dodge our fair share of trees. It took us a few runs to pack down the snow and create our makeshift bobsled run. We probably almost lost our lives several times that day but all I remember is dad took time off to take his kids sledding.
And that’s a memory I still cherish. It brought a few tears just now thinking about that simpler time in my life. A time when nothing else mattered but getting in another run and hanging on for dear life. Well that and trying to stay warm. That was really the only reason that any of us would stop sledding. That was the only reason we would stop a game of bowling for skaters. That, and because someone’s mom or dad would come out and yell at us to stop hurting their kid or they were going to call the cops on us.

So yes it’s cold outside and the snow is getting deeper. And I know you would rather have a snow day on a weekday. Who doesn’t like getting out of a day of work now and then?
But take the time and read a good book, grab a hot chocolate, watch a good movie. Make a few phone calls. Snuggle with some of the people that you love.
And if you’re feeling really ambitious, make a snow fort and have a good old-fashioned snowball fight. Make a snowman or a snow dragon. Or maybe take the kids sledding. They just might write about it some day and it just might bring a tear to their eyes too.

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