No snow day. Snow day. Snow.

We knew weather was on the way. We changed some plans, moved some things around. We did things differently to account for possible interruption to our normal schedules. We were going to get snow, and freezing rain, and sleet, and wind. It would come at the optimum time for a snow day. Maybe, if the weather gods graced us with good fortune, we would have two snow days. In a row. We went to bed Wednesday night ready for an early morning call.

The call came at the usual time, but the online list had not included our regional schools. Maybe they hadn’t updated the list? The recorded call was to let us know that school would be held, but the hills would be closed. When the roads get slick, they close the hills to school buses. So anyone who lives on the several steep roads in town has to find another way to school. The call also said that inexperienced drivers should get a ride with someone more experienced, or take the bus. I was confused. School will be held, despite road conditions bad enough that school buses will not go up and down the hills, so take the bus if you can, unless you live where the roads are the worst, then we want you to drive.

Anyway, we all got to school and to work and we drove and rode the bus and it all worked out. There was only a little complaining around here. It snowed on and off all day. Several inches accumulated, along with sleet and freezing rain. And that night we got the call that school would be closed the next day. So we got our snow day after all.

It was a good call. One can often argue that we should have had a snow day, or that we should not have had a snow day, but this was not one of those days. We definitely were glad to be staying off the roads. I mean, we walked on some of those roads and the snow was deep. Plus, there was ice from the freezing rain and sleet beneath that deep snow. It was slick and sloppy.

And it snowed all day. It fell and fell and piled up. After dark, ready to head to bed, I reached my hand out the window to see if snow was still falling. After two days of precipitation it had finally stopped. The storm was awesome, in both the historic and contemporary meanings of that word. By Saturday, we were up to our knees in snow. The high school parking lot had literal mountains of snow once they cleared it and piled it up. Snow banks were tall, making it hard to see in places. It was a big old dump of snow.

And then the sun came out to make it all look pretty. Winter wonderland and all that. Saturday has turned out to be what they call a bluebird day. Blue skies and bright white snow. Bust out the sunglasses. We need to enjoy it. These days, it just doesn’t last. I am sure it will rain at some point and cause flooding, as is the pattern. But that is in the future. Today, let’s go make some snow angels.

First Day of Summer Vacation

School bus ready to make the last drop-off of the year

School bus ready to make the last drop-off of the year

Last Friday was the last day of school around here. That means summer, for those young enough to attend school, began today. It was a stunner of a day–warm but not hot, sunny but not too sunny. My son went off to a baseball “school” (don’t tell him that they call it that) for the morning and I spent time with my daughter while my wife went to work. I read a book to her (Lost Children of the Far Islands by Emily Raabe–really fun to read together) for a while, ate a good breakfast and had some coffee. I had already gone birding early this morning. The day started well.

And you know what? It was a great day, straight up. I read a little, ran some errands, took the kids for ice cream. My trip to the hardware store wasn’t much of a success but there is tomorrow to try again. I had a huge salad for lunch, thanks to all the goods from our farm share. How can you beat a fresh salad in the summer? Can’t.

I will get a repeat of the day tomorrow, with a few more things to take care of. These are the kinds of days I like. I have a chunk of work I need to get done at some point in the next two days, but I will get it done. I hope. I’d rather just hang out on the hammock. I will do that at some point, but the hammock will have to wait for now.

I mean, just look at how beautiful a day this is. Damn.

I mean, just look at how beautiful a day this is. Damn.

Icy Situation

Bus on the Icy Road

It started raining yesterday afternoon. By evening it was really coming down. The snow turned to mush. Water poured from the roof. It was winter at it ugliest. It was a bit of a mess. But we were snug inside. No problem.

It was still raining in the morning. I did the usual routine to get ready for work. I was sitting at the table, eggs for breakfast, reading something or other and my wife says, “Whoa, look at how slowly the school bus is moving.” I look out to see one car sliding toward the side of the road, then stop. Then I see the school bus emerge from behind some trees, poking along. “Must be icy.”

At the curve in our dirt road the bus starts to slide. Slowly it slips toward the snow-filled ditch. Then it stops. Like slow motion only it really was moving slowly. Now the bus is sideways to the road but can’t move. It is too icy. Tires spin. One car passes the bus (not sure what that was about) then gets stuck on the slight hill. A couple other cars turn around at the end of the road, the drivers seeing what is up. My wife calls the town garage to let them know.

That was why I was late for work. The bus eventually got going, with the help of lots of sand. One of the stuck cars got going. The other was still there, hazard light flashing, when I finally decided to give the driving a go. It was, indeed, icy. I didn’t get to work quickly.

Drama for the morning it was. It is still raining. Freezing tonight. Could be another adventurous morning.

Bus in the Rain

Soggy Walk

Soggy Walk

It was wet this morning when it was time to meet the school bus.  We went anyway.  That’s the rule apparently.

How about we just not walk down to meet the bus this morning?  Stay at home where it is cozy and dry?

Can’t.  Gotta go to school.  That’s the rule.

Umbrellas helped.  The big fat black one and the little green frog one. The wind blew. Pants were moistened. My daughter got on the bus with her arms wrapped about her.  Smart kid.

Walking back to the house with her brother was wetter.  We walked into the wind.  He hardly noticed.  He wanted to stay out, in fact.  At another time I would have encouraged it. Get wet!  Romp in the rain!  Play in the puddles! But we had to go.  The clock is a cruel master.

The rain had stopped by the end of the school day.  The sun brightened the tops of the clouds.  My daughter and I walked back, dry. We laughed at her water bottle; it seems the bottom came unglued.  “We’ll have to glue gun it,” she tells me. Indeed. We also laughed at her description of playing Twister with her classmates.  She was the first one out.  She didn’t mind.

It rains and your pants get wet.  You fall down first in the game.  Don’t mind that.  There is laughing and playing to be done.

Best Part of the Day

Today this was waiting for the bus in the afternoon.  I had two meetings cancelled today which meant I had time to go home before I worked in the evening.  I walked down our long driveway with my wife and my son, the sun shining on the snow, the air cold but typical for late January.  It was beautiful.  I thought of nothing else at that moment.  I watched my son run and jump in the snow and I was content.

The school bus has given me that–time to just be outside on a fine day and look around and be with my family.  And then my daughter gets off the bus and she is such a big kid and I am a proud dad and we walk back to the house together.

Today, as on many days, it was the best part of the day.