Tag Archives: snow

Snow day

When I was a kid, and because I was a teacher for many years, all the way up until I was in my early 40’s the word snow day brought warm, fuzzy, happy feelings. It still does, but not as much as it used to — since I work from home for a consulting company anyway.

Surprise snow days were the best — and the rarest. I’d fall asleep thinking I had to get up and go to school the next day but instead I’d wake up to an entire free day. A day that I didn’t expect to have. It was like a gift of 8 hours. I could do whatever I wanted to do. I could go back to bed if I wanted to — but never did because sleep would be a waste of all that free time.

Snow days that were not a surprise were wonderful too because of the anticipation. Would school be called off? Should I do my homework/grading? Of course when school was not canceled it was a real disappointment; but if it was canceled the day belonged to me.

Once my kids were in school I’d vicariously feel their delight when they heard that school was called off. I even sometimes wore my own pajamas inside out and backwards to help with the cancellations. There’s not much more pleasant than bedhead, giggly, happy children with visions of a long lazy day ahead of them, while fat flakes of snow fall from the sky.

It’s snowing today and is supposed to continue snowing through tonight and well into tomorrow afternoon. The National Weather Service is calling for 20 – 28 inches around the DC Metro area. The local citizens are calling this a snowpocalypse on social media sites. Local schools are closed or closing early. The federal government will close 4 hours early. Neighbors tell me that the milk is sold out at the local grocery stores. We’ve got enough food to last the few days it will take to shovel us out. I sincerely hope we don’t lose our power though — we don’t have enough wood to keep us warm.

I’ve not been watching the local news recently — I spent a lot of time preparing for my book group — but I know they’ve probably been talking this snow up. And I bet that if I turned the television on right now I’d see a chilly TV news personality standing on some street corner talking about the snow. In a few hours they will have rulers to measure the snow. As corny and predicable as they are — I find them endearing.

So even though I still have to work and even though my day is not any more free than it would have been had it not been snowing, I’m getting that warm, fuzzy, happy feeling I remember from my younger days.

White Christmas? You Betcha!

Depending on your definition of a white Christmas* — it looks like we’ll have one this year.  If we get to Elgin at all, that is. We’re flying to O’Hare and then taking a taxi to Elgin. Wish us luck.

Issued by The National Weather Service
Chicago, IL
5:52 am CST, Tue., Dec. 23, 2008

… WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 6 PM CST WEDNESDAY…

A WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY REMAINS IN EFFECT.

SNOWFALL OF 2 TO 4 INCHES WILL FALL TODAY WITH AND ADDITIONAL 1 TO 2 INCHES TONIGHT. PRECIPITATION IS EXPECTED TO MIX WITH SLEET AND FREEZING RAIN OVER ALL BUT FAR NORTHERN ILLINOIS TONIGHT. AN ADDITIONAL 1 TO 3 INCHES IS FORECAST FOR WEDNESDAY AS THE MIXED PRECIPITATION TURNS BACK TO ALL SNOW.

A WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY FOR SNOW MEANS THAT ACCUMULATING SNOW WILL CAUSE PRIMARILY TRAVEL DIFFICULTIES. BE PREPARED FOR SNOW COVERED ROADS AND LIMITED VISIBILITIES… AND USE CAUTION WHILE DRIVING.

More Information

.ANOTHER WINTER STORM WILL BE AFFECTING THE REGION TODAY THROUGH WEDNESDAY. THE FIRST PHASE OF THIS STORM SYSTEM IS THE SNOW FALLING ACROSS THE AREA EARLY THIS MORNING. THIS WILL BE FOLLOWED BY A LULL WITH ONLY ON AND OFF LIGHT SNOW OR FLURRIES BEFORE A STEADY ACCUMULATING SNOW BEGINS AGAIN LATER THIS MORNING. SLEET MAY MIX WITH THE SNOW ALONG ANS SOUTH OF U.S. 24 THIS AFTERNOON. MIXED SNOW… SLEET AND FREEZING RAIN WILL GRADUALLY SPREAD NORTH TONIGHT AND MAY REACH AS FAR NORTH AS THE NORTH CHICAGO SUBURBS AND DEKALB BY WEDNESDAY MORNING. AS THE STORM SYSTEM PASSES THE AREA PRECIPITATION WILL RETURN TO ALL SNOW DURING THE DAY.

*I say a white Christmas is when there is fresh snow on the ground — although when it actually snows on Christmas Day —  that is cool. Then it can all melt away on Boxing Day.

Yesterday

Yesterday was a busy day — but most Saturdays in December tend to be that way.

It was the first wrestling meet this season for my son’s wrestling team. It was a “tri-meet” and we beat both teams — yay.

We had our first snow of the season — only a light dusting, but it looked pretty coming down and was a pleasant surprise to see when we left the high school gymnasium at 5:00.

Last night was my company holiday party. I work from home, part time, for a consulitng company and consider the party one of my “benefits”. Free food & alcohol for an evening. Plus dancing and fake gambling if you’re into that. Actually I don’t like to go that much. I don’t know anyone there — this year I recognized a couple people from my days of working in the office (for a company that was bought by the one for which I work now), but Dean really wanted to go.

Last year we had a good time — sitting with folks who also worked at home or in other states. This year we sat with people who work in the office. They all seemed to know each other and were very young. When did consulting companies allow 12 year olds to work for them?

Marcia’s funeral was yesterday. I spent much of the day thinking about that — that it still seems impossible.

Snow

Remember the other day? When I complained about driving the kids around so much? I should have waited until today to complain because today was the worst.

I thought I was going to get off easy today. Dean took Clare to school at 7 this morning. All I’d have to do was take Andrew at 10 and pick Clare up at 12. Andrew said he’d get the bus home. Easy day.

I drove Andrew to school as planned, then did some work in my attic office. Then it began to snow. It was light at first – I sat here looking out the window thinking how pretty it was and how much I was going to enjoy the drive to school to get Clare if big fat flakes were falling. I continued to work and occasionally looked out the window to marvel at what a little snow does to the landscape.

At 11:30 I decided to head out and brush the two inches of white powdery snow off my car. The road was covered in snow, and slippery under my daughter’s cast-off faux Uggs. I wondered, briefly, if I should take the SUV instead, but thought that my car would be fine, and when I headed up the street (a very slight incline) I was confident all would be well.

All was well until I turned off Bradley and onto a side street. This street is somewhat steep, narrow and curvy. Not like that street in San Francisco, but not like the Ohio Turnpike either. If I’d had the road to myself I may have swerved and gone straight to a less hilly street up the road, but I was in the turn when I saw the 4 stuck cars on Rayburn. This included a pick-up truck that was facing the wrong way in the right hand lane (and partially on someone’s yard). So, I called forth all of my driving in northern Illinois winters memories, held fast to the steering wheel and drove up the hill, avoiding the pick-up by a few inches.

There were cars behind me and cars facing me in the other lane, but no one in front of me so I didn’t have to worry about rear-ending anyone. I drove very slowly, but kept my foot on the gas and I made progress. Slowly. I was lucky that I never had to stop, because I might not have started again. I made it to the top of the hill and then waited for the slow progression of cars to pass me on Wilson. Turning right on Wilson was fine, I figured I’d been through the worst part, but as I inched up to the top of a slight hill approaching Whittier, I saw I’d been mistaken. Cars were off the road and those that were moving were slipping and sliding sideways and backwards. I slipped sideways twice and once had to hold the steering wheel very tightly as I skidded forward a number of feet.

Once I turned onto Whittier it was better, more crowded, but flatter. As expected, the road in front of Whitman was a madhouse. Pretty much a parking lot while parents sat in their cars calling their students on their cell phones or waited in the right turn lane to turn into the parking lot. I’d already decided to park the car outside Whittier Woods and call Clare to come to me.

So I called and got her idiotic answer message of some puppets saying Snape, Snape, Severus Snape over and over again. I tried again. No answer. So I texted her that I was outside Wittier Woods. Then I sat and watched as the big fat flakes I’d been looking forward to driving in covered the car windows. A few minutes later Clare called and said that she was hanging out with friends and didn’t need a ride home.

Here I’d like to say I was understanding and wonderfully motherly, but I’d be lying. I told her how angry I was that I risked my life driving in the snow and couldn’t she have told me that earlier? She said she did and I said, you said you were going to hang out with your friends on Thursday. She said, Mom, it is Thursday. I said, oops. Sorry.

So I made my slow way back home, this time wisely avoiding Lombard East Rayburn.

picture-20.jpgI got home, called Clare to apologize and took some photos of the pretty snow, happy to be off the snowy, slippery streets.

I headed up to the attic and began working and admiring the pretty snow that now had covered the trees so that the whole world looked like a black and white photograph with some sort of blur effect.

Then the phone rang. It was Andrew. Wrestling practice was canceled and he needed me to pick him up.

I took the SUV this time.