Remembering Snowmageddon 2010

11 years ago today we were hit with the biggest snowstorm I’ve ever experienced. Here are some of the pictures I took after the storm.

Out the back door. I had to shovel a path so the dog could go out.

I don’t need to experience another storm like this one.

My Long Awaited Snow

The beginning

For the past few years I have been desperately awaiting my snow day. I love snow days and I hated my job. I kept waiting for that day when we would get the big snow and I could stay home to enjoy it. Of course, the snow comes a month after I left my job. It was going to snow but I had no job to get a break from and no kids at home to play with in the snow. I woke up Sunday to no snow on the ground, but eventually it did start to fall. I spent the day on the couch watching TV, reading, and watching the snow. It was going to be a two part storm. Sunday was the smaller beginning with the chance of major snow totals the next day if the storm hit perfectly. I didn’t want crazy amounts of snow. I just wanted enough to make it feel less like every other day.

The middle

As you can see from the picture above, we did not get any blockbuster snows. I woke up Monday to more ice than snow. There was nothing to shovel. My driveway was just a solid sheet of ice. My old place of work was closed. They got my snow day. My day was pretty much like all of my days. The only change was a walk outside a few times to see if I could scrape the ice off the driveway. My wife worked from home as usual. There was nothing special about the day. There was a slight hope of bigger snows that afternoon. I only had freezing rain. It eventually turned to snow again, but not early enough.

The end

Above is the final result of the snow. It was a decent amount, but a little disappointing since they had talked about a possible foot of snow or more if the storm hit properly. It wasn’t enough to justify my days after Sunday being any different than any other day. That’s the downside of my current normal. If you are home all day every day there is no reason for a snow to change anything unless there is enough to sill your day with shoveling My former coworkers got two snow days. I didn’t even get enough snow to shovel.

The sun is out now and we are expecting a warm up. The possible storm for this weekend has trended away from us now. The midweek possibility also seems to be gone. We are vey close to the point where I’m just ready for spring weather. At least then I can sit outside to write and I will have yard work to fill my days.

Keeping My Snow Days Special

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This is the view out my front door this morning and it is still snowing. Almost everything is closed today, my work included. My kids are also off today, but they are in their own house/dorm today so we are past the days of playing in the snow together. I am going to make an effort to keep snow days special even without kids in the house.

It will be hard as my wife has a telework-friendly job and will be working all day. I’ve already been told that she has an important interview from 10-11 today so I should make sure the dog is quiet. If you knew my dog, you would know this is not always easy. I’m sure there will be other times today when she is on the phone and my job will be to make sure the house is quiet. When I have to leave the house for work I always wish I could telework. When we have a day like today I’m glad I have a job that allows my snow day to be an actual day off.

It would be easy for me to give up on the sanctity of the snow day. I have no kids at home. My wife is working. I’ve got friends coming over Friday night. I could use this time to get a start cleaning the house for Friday. I could use this time to be productive. I could, but I won’t. I want to keep the snow days special. It’s a nice, surprise break from the real world. It’s a good time to stop, take a step away from the to-do list and just relax. These types of days don’t happen that often. I am going to take advantage of it. I will watch some TV, read my book and maybe take a nap. I will have an afternoon coffee. I will watch Jeopardy All-Stars. I will watch Survivor. I will do nothing more taxing than cooking food and making coffee. Now I just need to get my wife to agree that this will be my day.

 

Snowvember

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This is my deck this morning. A week before Thanksgiving and I’m still at home because work has a delayed opening due to snow. I know a lot of people are complaining that it’s too early for snow, but if we are going to keep getting precipitation I would rather have this than more rain. At least the snow gives us closings and delays and a chance to pause and relax for a bit. With rain we keep going as normal, just in terrible conditions. Unfortunately, the rain/snow line is getting perilously close to my house and soon the nice, white, calm snowy day will turn back in to what we’ve had all year – heavy, flooding rain. I will trade my nice, calm snow delay morning for a terrible, wet, slow evening commute home.

So, I am not complaining about the snow. I’m enjoying the nice respite from work and wet before everything goes back to normal.

Why I Want a Snow Day

I have not had a proper snow day this year. I’ve had a couple of days when I got to report to work a little later than normal. I’ve had one day when I got to leave at one instead of five. It was nice having that little bit of extra time, but it’s not the same as a snow day. I have plenty of leave and I could use that to take a mental health day once in a while(I really should do this, both for my sanity and the sanity of my coworkers). I take regular vacations. I’m not someone who works all the time and needs the snow day to feel like I have permission to relax. I still want a snow day.

A snow day is different. A snow day isn’t a scheduled day off that you might end up filling with errands and housework. A snow day isn’t the same as a preplanned vacation with a destination or activity in mind. A snow day is a sudden, unexpected gift. A snow day is a day when you can justify staying at home and doing nothing(not that I should feel the need to justify that). A snow day gives your permission to relax and enjoy life. A snow day is a simple, quiet interlude in a busy, loud life.

There’s nothing like waking up and looking out the window to find a fresh blanket of snow on the ground and the anticipation of the texts telling you work and school are closed. It’s even better when the snow is still falling and you can spend the morning drinking coffee and watching the snow fall. I also watch the local news coverage of the snow with the closings ticker running at the bottom of the screen. I’m weird. It was more fun when the kids were little and we would spend the afternoon playing in the snow, but an excuse to never go out is also good. I don’t even mind shoveling the snow(unless it is a foot or more). I like the exercise and the coffee is extra good after being out in the cold that long.

A snow day makes up for the miserably cold weather of winter. I need a snow day. We have one more shot Sunday night/Monday morning. I’m trying not to get my hopes up, but I’m already anticipating the possibility of a break.

Closed Due to Unusually Clement Weather

I think it’s time the world adopt my idea I’ve been pushing for a while. Clement weather days.

Every winter schools, offices and businesses close down due to inclement weather. Everyone gets a day to stay at home. Most of us are happy. When you have small children, you spend time outside building a snowman or just watching the kids enjoy the snow.  It all sounds nice and fun and it is, but there are problems with this scenario. It is cold outside, eventually you will have to shovel the driveway and the kids will grow up. I still like my snow days. I have no problem with the new reality of spending them with my daughter binge watching some sitcom on Netflix. I will still enjoy them next year when she’s away at college and I will be watching TV alone. I will still enjoy them, but I will still have to shovel snow eventually and it will be cold.

Today it is in the 60’s here. This is after a long stretch of very cold weather, some snow, and a little bit of ice. We had wind chills of below zero. Today feels like summer in comparison. Today is the day I want to stay away from work. Not the days when you don’t want to go outside. So, I propose clement weather days. When it is forecast to be 60 degrees and sunny in the middle of winter in an area where it is usually cold schools, offices and businesses will close down so everyone can enjoy the brief respite from winter. I think it would improve the mood of the entire community and relieve winter stress.

Sure there will be the same issues with this as there are with snow days. Some years schools will call a clement day early and it won’t get as warm as forecast or it will rain. Not every plan is perfect.

I think this is a winning idea. I might win a Nobel for this one.