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Musing: Snow Day
“Today’s going to be epic!” Ian thought as he threw off his covers and bounded out of bed. Glorious snow fell overnight. The first real storm of the season. And that meant a snow day from school!
He raced to the bathroom, stripped off his pajamas, and looked in the mirror as he flexed his arms and pretended the skinny rails were bulging with muscles. Best day ever, he thought again as he stood at the toilet and mostly aimed correctly.
He shrugged off taking a morning shower. Plenty of time for that after coming in soaked from playing all day. Who cared what you smelled like rolling in the snow?
Back in his room, he dressed. Underwear. Socks. Long johns. Jeans with just the right amount of rip in the knee and fringe at the hem. T-shirt. Thermal. Sweatshirt. The layers would keep him warm, so he didn’t have to come back inside.
His black Keds waited on his skateboard, but those thin shoes wouldn’t be enough. Freezing feet would ruin the day. He dove into the pile of debris in the back of the closet to find the boots he knew were buried back there from the year before. Somewhere.
Even his boots may not be tall enough. The snow, the forecasters had said, would be six to eight inches deep. Maybe a foot. One guy, whose website was adorned with flashing ads begging a visitor to click, had said the magical “foot or more.”
When the first flakes danced in the sky the night before, he’d checked that site. And the local TV station’s weather app, and Accuweather, and Weather Underground, and all the others, but that guy’s was the best. “Paralyzing” snowfall, he’d promised. The best.
His dad, who still amusingly watched TV and didn’t stream shows on his phone, griped that the Weather Channel named winter storms. “Who cares that Millie Sue will end the world under a blanket of white?” he ranted. “How about getting the forecast right?”
Except he didn’t just yell forecast. He added a descriptive word—an epic one that Ian and his buddies bantered with when parental units were well out of hearing range, but that he was never allowed to use at home.
Just another one of those stupid adult rules. The same as having to go to bed on time even though snow was coming. School was going to be canceled. The only thing that would be happening on a snow day would be fun.
When his dad shouted that word, his mom suggested Ian go to his room and study for the math test in Mrs. Canerra’s first period class. When he told her that it was going to be a snow day and he didn’t need to study, she gave him one of her looks—the one that meant discussion was over.
He didn’t want to be grounded when everyone else was outside playing, so he hightailed it out of the den and hit the books. Kind of. Well, the book was open as he played World of Warcraft with his friends online while waiting for the snow to bury the world and cancel annoying things like math tests. Plenty of time for studying after a day of snowball fights, sledding, and snowman building. Maybe even a snow fort. You could build one of those in a paralyzing snowfall.
The boots were found under an old soccer uniform he’d forgotten to throw in the hamper. Man, was that thing ripe. With much pulling and tugging, his feet finally slipped inside.
They were smaller than he remembered and cramped his toes. No way he was going to mention that, or mom would say he couldn’t wear them. If he didn’t use them, he couldn’t be outside so much. A little pain was totally worth a snow day.
He grabbed his jacket, hat, and gloves and clomped down the steps in his ugly, too-small boots. The smell of pancakes permeated the air. His little sister was four, too young to be sentenced to days of classrooms, and had developed a fondness for pancakes. Ian suspected it had more to do with the maple syrup poured generously over the top.
His mom raised an eyebrow as he entered the room and surveyed his clothes. They’d made a deal at the beginning of the school year. He was old enough to pick his wardrobe, as long as he didn’t wear anything too dirty or ripped or broke any other of a zillion rules. She must have decided he had sufficiently complied because she shrugged and asked, “Pancakes or cereal for breakfast?”
Another delay. He couldn’t take it. “Neither. Time’s a’ wastin.”
She glanced at the clock, shook her head, and poured batter on the griddle. “Pancakes it is. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, young man.”
Groan. Another wise adult saying, but Ian knew better than to protest. An argument would prevent him from getting outside to the glorious snow. Besides, his rumbling stomach reminded him that eating now would save coming inside later for snacks. He needed his energy for the day’s adventures.
He draped his coat across the back of his chair and settled in. When she placed a pile of steaming pancakes in front of him, he slathered on the butter and drowned them in syrup. Faster than she could pour herself a cup of coffee, he polished them off and licked up the soupy syrup. He crossed to the sink, rinsed his plate, placed it in the dishwasher, pulled on his coat, and headed for the front door.
“Wait,” she called. “Didn’t you forget something?”
He turned, bouncing from foot to foot, eager to be free, and puzzled over her request. With a sudden realization, he trotted back across the room, kissed her cheek, and said, “Love you.”
He raced back to the door, but her voice stopped him as he placed his hand on the knob. “Well, that was sweet, but not what I meant. What about your backpack?”
Confused, he turned to face her. “Backpack?”
“Yes. Your books. Homework. Everything you need for school.”
“But…” He pulled open the front door and looked out upon the rain-soaked yard. No giant drifts of white-fluffy goodness covered the grass. Neighborhood kids weren’t bounding with glee. They trudged along the sidewalk like prisoners to their cells. “What happened to the snow?”
“Your father has never been so happy the weather forecast was wrong. The storm turned away from us and the temperatures never dropped below freezing. Isn’t that good news?”
He muttered, “Yeah, good news.”
“And good luck on that math test. No doubt you’ll be rewarded for your study efforts.”
Ian’s heart sunk. “Yeah. No doubt.”
Enjoyed the Story? Try a Novel
If you enjoyed today’s musing, please consider reading one of my novels. Each standalone book tells the story of big lives in a small town, ordinary people facing extraordinary challenges.
On The Website This Week
My use of hobnob in a conversation earlier this week left me wondering where the word comes from, so let me share what I found in this week’s Spectacular Vernacular.
After a long stretch of reading non-fiction books (which I don’t normally list on my Books Read page), I finally have a novel to share with you—Secluded Cabin Sleeps Six by Lisa Unger.
If you are one of those last minute gift buyers, here are last month’s survey results where I asked my readers what the best Valentine’s Day gift would be.
This month’s survey ask when your mind tells you it’s spring—Meteorological (March 1); Daylight Saving Time (March 12), or Astronomical Time (March 20). Fun tidbit—Results so far show that “other” is leading the way with some great answers. Share your thoughts by taking the survey here.
Gratuitous Dog Photo: Snow Day Disappointment
This week’s story was inspired by real events! Our weather prognosticators hemmed and hawed whether our weather this weekend would be snow or rainy. The look on Landon’s face as he surveys the results sums up his opinion.
Until Next Monday
May you not be disappointed with your weather, whatever that might be.
See you next Monday.
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