Thursday, January 14, 2016

er mer gerd - snow!

My walk passed the duck pond last week
We've lived here for 12 years now.  The first day our kids got a snow day from school, I gave them the news as they lay in lumps in their beds.

"School's closed.  Snow day".

They thought I was messing with them.  They looked at me like, "Why would you tease us like that, you Meanie".

And they grouchily started to stir so as to get ready for school.  I  had to convince them.

"No really.  There's a bunch of snow outside.  There's NO school today. Guy on the radio just said."

Still, they just looked at me.  Maybe starting to get a little scared.  Maybe they needed to call 911 about their mom talking gibberish?

It's not that snow was a new thing, but just the opposite. We'd just moved here from Ogden Valley, Utah where we'd gotten HEAPS of snow.  But all that snow meant that we lived very near three ski resorts where the whole point was to get there and play.  The roads were always kept impeccably clear, and there wasn't a whole lot of "city" traffic anyway.  Snow day?  What's that?

Eventually I managed to convince them, and then had to deal with the day-long joyous aftermath...

...which I could understand because of my own memories of snow days while in elementary and middle school.

Some days, I just knew we'd get a snow day, and my prediction would be confirmed as we listened intently as the radio announcer said the magic words.  This was back in Ye Olde Days before internet, e-mails, texts...

Snow days typically started out with the shoveling of our sidewalks and driveway - which was relatively long.  About 5 miles uphill both ways as I recall.   Brother Guano and I had that task and didn't necessarily mind.  It was a snow day!

Then Guano usually went around with some other neighborhood boys and cashed in on the business opportunity the snow provided, cleaning up sidewalks and driveways.  I didn't partake.  That was boy work.

The remainder of the day usually included sledding or tubing with our neighbor friends, as we had our pick of choice hills nearby.  We'd come back home all damp and rosey cheeked, and totally trash the house near the back door with our wet snow clothes and boots.  Mom usually served up something warm and hearty, like grilled cheese and soup and bonus hot chocolate.  I don't remember her nagging us about how we'd totally trashed a portion of the house.  Maybe she was just glad we spent so much time outside.

Dang, now it seems like something from a Norman Rockwell painting.  Believe me, it wasn't nearly that wholesome.

If we weren't outside shredding hills on our sleds or slaving on the driveway, inside usually meant
Legos.  We had this huge set that my grandmother had bought one Christmas.  This was back in the days when Legos were just assorted bricks, not specific sets like they are now.  Our huge set included bricks of all sizes and colors along with some windows, doors, wheels, fences, trees and some Giant Lego people compared to the minis of today.

In fact, we still have most of that set here today.  Anyone want 'em?  I'm life-changing tidying up, remember?

I mainly built things like houses and stores and gas stations - places for the giant people to hang out - while Guano made race cars and race cars and race cars and maybe a truck or two (hence the gas stations).

Nowadays, I hear anxious statements about trying to attract young girls to "building toys" by utilizing pink marketing or incorporating fashion and such.  Unnecessary tactics IMHO, but maybe that's a whole 'nother blog post...

Anyway, eventually another snow day would be in the books.  I appreciated them very much.  Getting a snow day was like finding a five-dollar bill on the street.  Maybe not as poweful as winning the lottery - not that I know ANYTHING about that - but a nice little gift.

Linking up again this week with Mama Kat

4. Describe what snow days were like when you were a child. What made them memorable?



  1. I loved snow days. We would build a snowman or make snow angels after we were tired from sledding the big hill behind the house. However, living in SC we got more "ice days" than snow days!

  2. Your snow days sound delightful. Especially grilled cheese, soup and hot chocolate.

  3. I remember when Legos where just Legos. A bunch of blocks and your wild imagination. Now my kid has instructions that come with instructions and if his girl friends come over they want nothing to do with his sets because they aren't the pink ones.
    My son rarely gets snow days because we live in the city and the city laughs at snow days. But super cold days when frost is INSIDE the house...yeah we get those days...because Canada and skin protection :)

  4. You have such a great memory for detail. I don't have any memories of snow days, but yours sound good to me.

  5. I didn't think you guys had snow days up there. I figured you'd be cross country ski to class. Musta been a lot of snow. Heck, down here, we get snow flurries and half he city shuts down.

    Great memories. Reminds me of my younger days in New Jersey. I don't recall too many snow days, but I do recall trying my brothers and trying to kill ourselves on the neighbor's hill in our toboggan.

  6. Like Joey, I don't remember many of MY snow days, but I remember my kids' snow days like they were yesterday. When they were little, it was fun because we had actual snow. As they got older, our snow days turned to ice days, so really, we were just stuck inside and getting on each others' nerves.
    A little part of me envies your snow, but the majority of me wants to move to Florida. :)

  7. Love the Legos!

    Ye olde days little brother turned 20 today. He has grown up in the era of cell phones, email, internet, and not being able to meet people at the gate in the airport.

  8. I have similar memories of snow days. There was a radio that sat on top of the refrigerator in our kitchen. We'd kneel on our chairs around the table and wait impatiently for the announcer to make his way through the alphabetical list, hoping desperately to hear our school's name called. Once it was, we were off for a day of building forts with multiple rooms that spanned half the backyard.

    We didn't have legos at our house. We had a giant bucket of some sort of off-brand building blocks. But we had fun with them, boys and girls alike. And like yours, they're still around today.

  9. Although I live in Toronto, where we get a respectable amount of snow, I have no memory of snow days. I do remember one winter when we got a lot of snow, then some really warm weather, then back to a deep freeze again. The backyard turned into a literal skating rink; I went out onto it with with my ice skates and cruised around. That was fun.

  10. Oh I remember waiting on those news shows for school closures with bated breath!! Best feeling ever to get a snow day off of school!