Snow Daze


I had to look through my window yesterday to make sure the four horsemen of the apocalypse weren’t galloping this way. I swiveled my head in every direction and even listened for hoof beats, but once I was sure I didn’t need to stock up on bottled water, beef jerky and flashlights, I gave thought to the matter at hand. School was being canceled for the next two days. The reason? Snow days.

For those of you who live north of the Mason-Dixon Line, I’m sure those two words are part of your winter vocabulary. Not so for those of us who are still slathering on SPF 45 during the month of December. When we hear that particular grouping of syllables together, the effect couldn’t be any more magical than a UFO sighting or any more mysterious than the high ratings of the Kardashians’ show.  When you say “snow day,” you might as well say, “particle accelerator,” for all the hands-on experience we southerners have. And as for “ice on the roads,” we don’t even waste a brain cell on figuring that one out; we just close the front door and fire up the DVD player. Who needs tire chains when you have hot peppermint tea and Season Seven of Burn Notice?

All the supplies you need to survive a bitter snow day

All the supplies you need to survive a bitter snow day

But while adults are squeamish about this concept, children are still innocent enough to embrace its purity. Snow days mean vacation to them, and no amount of wet blankets in the form of pending assignments or an extended school term in May will smother their enthusiasm. When the students at my school learned that they were being allotted two extra days midweek to sleep in and snuggle under blankets, they greeted the news like the second coming of Christmas. Heralds raced up and down halls delivering the good tidings of great joy, and shouts of glory rang out as more and more worshiped at the altar of precipitation.

Their unadulterated glee reminded me of my freshman year in college. As a native Floridian on a Kentucky campus, I was holding my breath in anticipation of a blizzard and was disappointed to learn that big snows only blew in once every few years. Light snowfall, though, was still within my four year plan, and as soon as I heard the word “flurry” one December afternoon, I tore out the side door of my dormitory and stood on the lawn with all the other Sunshine State halfwits, trying to catch snowflakes on my tongue and my mittens. Life was bliss until I encountered my first ice patch on the sidewalk and nearly broke two bones standing up. My infatuation with frozen air has never been the same since.

But as I watched the teenagers and children racing towards the parking Tuesday afternoon, book bags flailing and grins arching across their faces like inverted rainbows, I remembered that childlike hope of snow days. And I hoped for their sake that dreams would come true.

And here's what a snow day looks like in my part of the world.  Notice the glaring lack of snow . . .

And here’s what a snow day looks like in my part of the world. Notice the glaring lack of snow . . .

© 2014 – Traci Carver


37 responses »

  1. I couldn’t find a link on your gravatar to your blog. I so enjoy your humor here and I am certain that I will visit more now that I have you connected to email. Sometimes, because of the weird way notifications scroll by, I miss people. I remember having 14 inches of snow in GA back in 1971. It was the first time I ever made a snowman and the last. We made ice cream with half his head.

    • I’ll have to check the gravatar link; I’m sure it’s something I need to click . . . Wow! 14 inches of snow in GA – that is one for the books. I hope you took a picture of that snowman before you decapitated him 😀

  2. I love snow days. I live in Oklahoma so while we do get some light snows in late december most of our snowfall comes in the months of January and February. This Tuesday we’re suppose to be getting a giant blizzard, I’m hopeful, but still a bit reluctant to believe.
    On the matter of extending our school year, that’s simply not possible, we have planned snow days and if we don’t use them in the winter we just get let out early in May 🙂

  3. Our snow days are much like yours here in the south of England. We do have a few inches very occasionally and one memorable blizzard a few years back, but mostly not. When we get it we don’t know what to do with it and everything grinds to a halt.

    • That’s it in a nutshell! Places that have snow and ice for five months out of the year know how to maneuver through it. We just stare at sleet in a stupor 🙂

  4. after hearing so much on the news about the snowy south I was hoping you would write about it. Kind of exciting for those of us who have lived through more snow and ice than we can possibly enjoy to hear about the “joy” it can bring 🙂 …no matter what your age

    • While I wouldn’t mind an occasional vacation week in a snug log cabin, four years of college cured me of wanting full-blown winter every year! Glad you guys made it out 😀

  5. You suckered me in all the way to the barren landscape, Traci. I didn’t see that one coming! Especially since Atlanta was snowbound it wasn’t hard to imagine flakes in Valdosta. One of your greatest posts yet–loved all the allusions, irony, the works!

    • They really were just cold vacation days! I admire anyone who can live in that type of weather for an extended period of time. Good luck on accomplishing your 30 before 30 list!

  6. I spent thirty six years in Florida, mostly Miami, and encountered snow only once – in Tampa on 1-19-77. With a brand-new four-wheel drive SUV, I became the neighborhood chauffeur – but only for one day. Like your experience, a SNOW DAY was declared. My subsequent thirty years have been in California and Arizona, thus encounters with even smatterings of snow have been brief. The most snow I ever saw was at Crater Lake in JUNE!

  7. I live in Canada…I don’t mind the snow (except when it’s past my knees and I have to shovel it…and being short, it doesn’t take long to get to my knees). I grew up in a small town where, occasionally we had “snow days”. Loved them. Now I live in a city where kids/parents/teachers are expected to die getting there on the worst of days b/c if they close, they might lose a day’s worth of funding! It sucks! Even the -30+ wind chill doesn’t give us a break. Wish I could sleep in too. But the weather in your area did make the weathernetwork news all the way up here and I thought of you! 🙂 I like your “kit”!

  8. So true! We actually did get snow in Atlanta, and this Bama girl was just as excited as the kiddos to see it coming. (Not disappointed by a few days out of school, either!)

    • It’s amazing how the weather changes sharply each hour you travel north. I lived in Atlanta for three years and saw several days with flurries. Glad you got a chance to enjoy it!

  9. Worshiped at the altar of precipitation!!!!!!!! Okay, that was a really great one, my friend. 🙂 Enjoy the other snow day!!!!!!!!!! 🙂

  10. Pingback: Snow Daze | L Davis Carpenter – Writer

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