Snow days are not what they used to be for me, and for most adults, I think. This winter has been extra-super-awful so far, all across the country for the most part. It’s rare for businesses to shut down and for the governor to say, “Stay off the roads!” So most of us have to try to get to work through the aftermath of snowstorms or spend hours in traffic (or on stalled trains) trying to get home. I end up tired, cranky and sore from shoveling my car out of its parking spot.
When I was a child in Tennessee snow days were a rare treat. Even an ice storm was welcome as long as the power didn’t stay off very long. If we got one or two per winter we were thrilled. Mother always said, “You won’t be so glad when you have to stay in school this summer,” but summer was far away. A day out of the normal routine was well worth making up in May.
Once the snow stopped falling we usually managed to get out and visit my aunts and uncles on the neighboring farms. Daddy’s truck could go most anywhere once he put the chains on. He made sure everyone had groceries and would make runs to the little store at Stringtown, which never closed for anything (except the owner’s whim.)
Often Aunt Eunice would have us up for lunch, for her version of chili spaghetti, made in a crock pot. Don’t ask! It bore no resemblance to either dish, but it was tasty and warming on a cold day. Mother and Daddy would then play Rook with Aunt Eunice and Uncle Tip, while I read a book. Then we would slowly grind our way down the hill in low gear all the way home, the chains on the tires smacking the pavement.
If it was cold enough I would get to let our dog in the garage for the night, which was a huge thrill for him. Normally he slept in his doghouse, or in warm weather he slept in a hollow he dug below my bedroom window. He was never allowed in the house per se. Mother thought having animals indoors was dirty and was impervious to pleading on this subject.
I remember getting up early the next day and listening to the radio to see if school would be out again. I don’t think we ever got more than a couple of days in a row. So I’d have to get bundled up and stand out at the bus stop in the dark, waiting for the sun to come up and the bus to come. Back to normal again–with hopes for another snow day soon.