The snow-blowers are cranked up full throttle in an effort to dig their owners out of the drive-way to create a clear path “out”. To the parents, today is a nightmare. To the kids, today is a dream! Today – is a snow day.
From my bed, my view is obstructed by a mixture of curtain, frost, and snow. I know it snowed last night – but how much? I don’t want to really know. Knowing will compel me to shovel. I don’t want to shovel when it is -25 C. Not now. I am warm in my bed. It is a snow day! I sink down under the covers and enjoy the quiet, the darkness, the calm.
Yet – I hear the snow-blower rage. It goes on and on. There is no mercy. Grrrrrrrind! Grovel, grovel. It bites the snow – it rips the snow and tosses it far away. “Snow day, me arse!” I can almost hear it say!
I pull the covers up over my ears. I pause. It is tough to say at first if the material is thick enough to filter the sounds. I re-wrap the shawl around my head to cover my baldness. The cold stabs my head like a sharp knife. I snuggle deeper into the blankets. A draft is at my back and I shift the blankets sideways to insulate me better. Is it quiet yet? I wait. I am still. I can be lazy today – it is a snow day!
A snow-mobile zooms by and temporarily drowns out the drone of the snow-blower. There is no filter for that sound. It penetrates my mind and strikes a childhood memory. I am holding onto a rope-tow while on my cross-country skiis. Dad is driving the ski-doo and I am being pulled behind. The field is white with snow. The trees are leafless. The air is still. The scene is embedded into my brain. I feel the cold. I hear the engine. I see my Dad smile. Funny, I am my Mom watching us from the kitchen window – smiling. I am ripped from my memory to the present as the snow-mobile returns and passes by my window through which I cannot see. Nor will I get up to see. Not now. Thank-you very much, it is a snow day!
The blower idles. Clearly the worker has taken leave of the machine for some reason. Still – the blower idles. And idles… no amount of blanket can conceal that sound. I can’t sleep. It is difficult to rest. My mind moves to the things I should be doing – I am the worker after all, not the kid! It may be a snow-day – but I have things to do.
I hear the television turn on downstairs. David has discovered today’s surprise! A day off for him! I feel his joy – and remember that same joy I felt as a kid. Spaghetti! I remember eating spaghetti on snow days – and the smells that came from my Mom’s kitchen. I’ll need to buy some tomato juice today to re-create that same experience for David.
Kevin has left for work. He is the adult. Not me. Not today. Kevin faced the cold – cleared the drive. Just a quick little shovel cleared enough of the driveway to prevent build-up under the tires. If only that snow-blower had navigated itself a few hundred metres down the road! Oh, well. There is no rush to leave the house – or the warm blankets of my bed. It is a snow day!
Grandma is in the kitchen clattering dishes. The day proceeds for her as usual. Snow day or no snow day – life continues. Today – she will have more company. Her day is louder. Her news station high-jacked by David’s programs. It is a fight for channels. In either case, there is conflict and drama.
It is a snow day. Do I get up? The snow-blower continues to remind me of my adult duties. “Get up and get that drive-way cleared, Stacey!”
My inner child responds, “I will. Later. Today, it is a snow day!’