I crept into the kitchen, turned on the coffee maker and reached for my favorite mug. While my pot of vigor brewed, I poured cream into the mug and heated it in the microwave oven. A slight impulse told me to peek out the window, but I ignored it. The surprise would be ruined. When the final puff of steam whooshed out of the coffee maker, I mixed the black liquid with the cream and watched the white froth rise to the top. After taking a sip, I went into the living room. It was time.
I turned on the TV. When the commercials ended and the news began, my eyes shifted to the bottom of the screen--the crawl area where all of the school closings are announced because of inclement weather. The alphabetical scan was on the "N's" and I had to wait for the "A's." My lips tightened and swallowing became more difficult.The names of school districts scrolled along and the newscaster said something about treacherous roads--a good sign.
Then, I saw it. My school's name in bright yellow letters. It was officially a snow day. I jumped up and shouted, "Yes." In that instant, I felt like a kid again. Nature had just handed me the gift of a carefree day. A day where everything I had planned was canceled--no primping, no commute, no meetings, no rushing around.
I pulled the sash on my robe a little tighter around my waist and clicked off the TV. I picked up my coffee mug and went into the den where there is a big picture window. I curled up on the couch and watched the dawn turn into day. A day where thousands of snowflakes flew out of the sky making the world seem like a peaceful place. No cars or people buzzing about, just a quiet, white, animated canvass. I stayed there for awhile.
|View of my backyard at dawn during a snowstorm.|
My husband grumbled a bit as he headed out the door to confront the slippery roads and traffic. I did feel guilty, snug under a blanket with my hands wrapped around my coffee mug, but it's not my fault. Yes. Snow days are one of the perks of working for a school system. I believe all companies and agencies should offer these lighthearted days to employees as part of their benefit package. Let all share in the joy of an unexpected time out from "the plan." The result would be refreshed workers, less car accidents, unanticipated family time--you know, one of those win-win-win deals.
Start the buzz of implementing official snow days in your workplace. How do you think your employer would react? If you don't get snow where you live, what type of weather causes everything to shut down?
KICK BACK BOOK OF THE WEEK:
The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey, a beguiling story about love, loss and hope. It was selected by Amazon as the Book of the Month Selection in February 2012. I haven't read it yet, but will buy it. Watch the trailer below:
KICK BACK SONG OF THE WEEK:
An oldie that will never die, A Marshmallow World. Here it's sung by Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra - very funny:
A LITTLE SOMETHING EXTRA:
An excerpt from The Memory Keeper's Daughter by Kim Edwards:
“On an impulse he went into the room and stood before the window, pushing aside the sheer curtain to watch the snow, now nearly eight inches high on the lampposts and the fences and the roofs. It was the sort of storm that rarely happened in Lexington, and the steady white flakes, the silence, filled him with a sense of excitement and peace. It was a moment when all the disparate shards of his life seemed to knit themselves together, every past sadness and disappointment, every anxious secret and uncertainty hidden now beneath the soft white layers. Tomorrow would be quiet, the world subdued and fragile, until the neighborhood children came out to break the stillness with their tracks and shouts and joy. He remembered such days from his own childhood in the mountains, rare moments of escape when he went into the woods, his breathing amplified and his voice somehow muffled by the heavy snow that bent branches low, drifted over paths. The world, for a few short hours, transformed.”