M kids experienced their first ever snow day earlier this week.
They have had “bonus” days off school before, when we lived in Scotland, but those were down to high winds and power failures. This week was their first experience of being liberated from school because of snow.
The first day they just had a two hour delayed start but on the second day there was no school whatsoever. And lo there was much rejoicing in the Pict household as four boys got to stay home all day, building a snowman in the garden, having a snowball fight and then getting cosy indoors with hot chocolate. It was also special that Daddy did not go into work that day, also because of the snow, and worked from home which meant he was home to eat dinner with the rest of us. As a consequence, they are now hoping for more snow days – but not so many that they need to make up for lost time in the summer break.
For my part, I am impressed with the school district’s notification system. It is not especially pleasant to be woken by a phone call of a recorded message at 4.30am but at least it is adequate notice that there is no need to run around in a frenzy trying to get everyone ready for school on time (because we may live next door to the school but that does not eliminate the need for nagging and cajoling every morning). What was a bit annoying was that the home phone went, then my husband’s cell phone and then my cell phone, all staggered just enough to mean there was no chance of us nodding off back to sleep. But that was cool because at least, even wide awake early in the morning, we didn’t have to leap out of bed and start barking at our kids like a sheep dog herding a flock. And just in case we missed the phone calls, I also had an email telling me there was a phone message from the school district. They definitely wanted us to stay at home.
This Winter could prove to be very snowy indeed. What I am already appreciating about Winter here, however, is the light. Even now, in mid-December, the sunlight is strong and the skies are crisply blue and bright and the sunsets are spectacular. By now back in Scotland the days would be dark. I often remember one year when I was teaching in an internal classroom, with just a skylight, and I was travelling to work in the pitch dark and travelling home in the pitch dark so was going for five days straight without seeing daylight. It was horrible. I realised then that being a vampire would never be for me.
Winters where we moved from were harsh. We normally didn’t get much snow because of the salt air from the sea loch but what we did get was brutal winds, hail stones that could dent your skull and rain. Relentless rain. Rain so hard that the sky should have become parched like a prune. And then even more rain. Cold and rain is not a pleasant combination. Being soaked to the skin from freezing rain so that your skin is blue where it is not blotched with white is not a pleasant sensation. I would moan every single Winter about how hard the winters were there. So it will be interesting to see if I prefer this climate as we progress through the season. If the snow days keep up then the mini-Picts certainly will.