Sounds carry a lot of memory, and as a child there was no sweeter sound than howling wind and the scour of snow on the house on a school morning. You could almost tell by the pitch of the wind whether it would warrant a coveted "all schools closed" day. I would lie in bed as long as possible, listening to the wind and waiting for my parents to turn the radio on. The crackling old portable radio (queue the CFCY jingle) would announce the weather and any storm closures. We would rejoice to hear that schools across the Island were closed for the day, which was far superior to the "all schools will be delayed for an hour" announcement.
Growing up on an Island, storms were serious business, with 100 km/hour winds and huge dumps of snow blowing around in it, resulting in complete whiteout conditions when the police would actually tell people to stay off the roads. I loved it. Every kid loved it. Getting stormstayed meant complete freedom, to read, play cards or yahtzee, watch cartoons, play in the snow, whatever. Glorious, unstructured time to just BE.
I loved it a little less when I grew up and lived in a big old draughty farmhouse of my own. Snowstorms were all well and good until the power went down. Going without electricity or hot water for four days with two kids in diapers was really a bit too pioneering for me. But once the girls were in school and old enough to enjoy those days of breaking free from scheduling, it was lovely all over again. No lunches to pack, nowhere to go, and lots and lots of snow to keep everyone occupied.
So imagine our shock when we moved to the prairies and "storm day" was not something that ever, ever happened. Oh, noooooo. The schools could never close, because what if that one family did not hear the news and sent their children to school, only for the children to find the school locked up?
Ridiculous, I know. Didn't they know what they were missing out on? Loved the prairies, hated the winters, that is my truth. Four long years without a single storm day.
Well, seaside winters are best but I still think we have now landed in the winterland. People do not simply embrace the season here, they become one with the winter, the mountain life and all that outdoorsy, down-muffled-ski bums-and-winter-carnival lifestyle. The best part? The winterland just had its first real live Snow Day in decades, just in honour of our first winter in the mountains.
Okay, that is probably a huge assumption but so be it. We woke up for school, and school was cancelled. Work was cancelled. For one day, adulthood was cancelled. It does not get any sweeter than that. So sweet that people actually snowboarded down the streets of Nelson. Oh, hell yeah they did.
As for us, we could not get out of our road, so what to do? Laze in bed with the cats. Drink tea by the fire. Watch cartoons. Play Scrabble. Bake. Toboggan. Snowshoe. Giggle. Live life to the fullest. Forget all the bad news, the scary stress-inducing reality of the world, all the crappy stuff we can put off worrying about for another day, a day that will be still be there with all of its worries, after the snow day. Recharge, restore your faith in fun and snow angels, hot chocolate and fresh biscuits, chili in the slow cooker and a day to be with the people you love, or the pets that you love, or just on your own. We are all more equipped to handle the rest of the week, now. Thank you, universe, for the snow day.