Posts Tagged ‘snow’


A snowy world, at peace

The author is Mark Helprin. The book is “In Sunlight and in Shadow.” And given the devastation caused by this past weekend’s blizzard, the passage below is an appropriate description of the bleak battle we wage with Old Man Winter.

“They had practically nothing but snow – the feel of it, the silence it imposed with an almost beneath-the-threshold-of-sound hissing as it fell, the way it lit the darkness even as it smothered sight. Snow was God’s scolding of the world for war. It suppressed and conquered legions and nations. It quieted continents, forced branches to bow in submission, and broke those that would not. It made a mockery of military power and pride in numbers, throwing into the world inexhaustibly its own soldiers, tiny crystals each with an inimitable identity, each fragile, temporary, frozen, resigned, but in such endless profusion that they could slaughter entire armies in absolute silence and bury them until spring. Snow muffled the sounds of soldiers who fought across it or waited in it; it sent them messages in its glistening whirlwinds; and like a wrestler who need not expend energy or breath, it effortlessly pinned them to earth.”

Thoughts are with you weary warriors still struggling in the white.

At the crest of the sledding hill...





The sledding hill glowed in the waning moonlight

awaiting the day’s complement

of sled runners and Spongebob moon boots.

An older man came walking through the pines

carrying a saucer in his leather-gloved hands.

He stopped ahead of my inquiring dogs.

“Thought it was a perfect time to try that hill,” he said.

“How was it?” I asked.

He grinned.

“Great. Fast.”

Then he marched down the Gulch trail, whistling in the darkness.

I watched him go,

wishing I’d thought to ask for a turn.

According to a story this week by Associated Press writer Heather Hollingsworth, some schools around the country are looking at doing away with snow days. You remember snow days, don’t you? Those blissful hours of frosty freedom when the snow was too deep to safely get to school but not so deep that you couldn’t make it to the garage to get out the sled? The chilly mornings you hovered around the radio in the kitchen waiting to hear the announcer say those four glorious words: “Schools are closed today”?

With advances in technology, snow days could soon become just a fond memory.  School districts with the capability to offer virtual learning are considering holding online classes on those days when winter weather prevents students – and teachers- from getting to the actual classroom. I get that snow days can wreak havoc on an already crowded school calendar. And I appreciate the fact that sudden interruptions in classroom lessons can make it harder for some students to learn. But, do away with snow days? No way!

Snow days were a learning experience in and of themselves, weren’t they? On our snow days in southern Minnesota, I learned how to ride a red plastic saucer down the big snowpile by the front steps, manuevering around the flagpole and navigating between the trees on the boulevard without hitting anything. I’d call that Driver’s Ed. My sister and I could build snow forts in a matter of hours, figuring out how many chunks of snow it would take and how to build them so they wouldn’t cave in when you crawled inside. Why, that’s simple Math and Building Trades. And on those snow days when it really WAS too cold and snowy to go outside? We’d stay in and read books and drink hot chocolate. Hello, English and Home Ec.

As grown-ups, we don’t get the luxury of snow days. Even if work IS called off, you worry about how to get the driveway plowed to get the car out and if you have enough fuel oil to keep the house warm, and you wonder why you didn’t stop at the grocery store on the way home from work yesterday to pick up a few things just in case. Come on, school officials – let ’em have that snow day, huh? You’re only a kid once.

Hey, blog followers, do you remember snow days from when you were young? How did you spend yours?