Mary Oves Danny Drake

I have never been so happy to see a blizzard.

It's the day after Christmas. We don't have to go anywhere. No appointments, no work, no school, no sports, no nothing. Just snow, Christmas cookies and hot chocolate.

I feel like I'm in a Hallmark movie.

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Last year there was a blizzard when school was in session. Then there was another. And another. I sat home, day after day, until my snow days numbered 10. And I stood by and watched as my summer vacation fizzled away like a Popsicle in the fire.

10. Ten snow days last year. My school is surrounded by some pretty gnarly roads that become impassable quickly. If the buses can't get to the kids? Snow day.

You know what it's like to haveĀ 10 snow days? It's like eatingĀ 10 donuts. The first one is heaven. The second is like a guilty pleasure. The third tastes a little sweet, but still enjoyable. By the fourth, you feel like a glutton. Ew, you say, pushing it away. Where's the salad?

Day after day after day after day after day after day after day after day after day after day I watched my sons go to school on completely cleared and passable roads while I had to stay home. One day I had a snow day because the weather report said snow might be coming. It wasn't here yet, said Jim Cantori, but it was coming.

So the meteor that is supposedly going to slam into Earth in a thousand years isn't here yet either, but it's coming - why not call school for that too?

But my sons had school. On questionable days, they had delayed openings, but still got their school day in. Some days were half days, but they still got their school days in. Day after day I stayed home, bored, bored, bored, counting how late I would have to go in June. 19th, 20th, 21st, 22nd, and finally, the 23rd.

By the end of the school year, I had a rule. If a colleague wanted to talk to me about summer, or ice cream, or the beach, or surfing, I would talk to him. But if he insisted on talking about his curriculum for September? He was dead to me.

I love that this storm is hitting while we're on vacation. I love snow, but unless I'm skiing in it, snow makes me feel burdened, and anxious. I have to retrain my brain to think of things I normally would not.

I have to reevaluate my work footwear.

I have to contemplate the danger of back roads.

I have to back my Jeep into the driveway.

I have to handle scrapers, and shovels.

I have to push that four wheel drive button on my Tahoe.

And there's the all consuming need for milk. And bread. And eggs.

I went to the store early this morning before the blizzard really started to get my sons three shovels and three scrapers. Because even when they are performing manual labor, they find a way to fight.

("Mom, he has the good scraper with the red handle!" "Yeah, but you have the shovel with the plastic handle! It's easier to hold!" "Mom, I'm the littlest, shouldn't I have the shovel with the curved handle?" "Mom, this isn't a snow shovel, it's a gardening shovel! Did you think I wouldn't notice? Why do you love me less than everyone else?")

So I went to the market to get them the same exact shovels and the same exact scrapers. Moms are good that way.

Anyway, the parking lot was jammed. Lines were four deep, and people had their carts loaded up like they wouldn't see a store for a year. I was in the express lane, and I moved quickly, but as I moved I had time to think of what I had in the house.

Milk, check. Bread, check. Eggs, orange juice, butter, waffles, syrup, cheese, pasta, dog food, check check check. What else was there in life?

So it's been a comfy day. And I don't have to go anywhere tomorrow. Or the next day. Or until 2011.

Enjoy the blizzard, folks!


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