Snow Days For The Middle Aged

DSC00116 First of all, let me say that I know that heavy snowfalls can cause a lot of problems for a lot of people.  Travelers stranded at the airport, or even worse, stuck in a ditch by the highway on a freezing cold day, have a legitimate reason to complain about the snow.  So do farmers who have to tend to their animals, no matter what the weather.  And when a snowstorm stops me from going on a vacation I have looked forward to for months, I am the first to complain bitterly about it to anyone who will listen.  I have a nephew who works for the State Highway Department, so I know just how much extra work heavy snowfalls create, and I am incredibly grateful for the work he and his crews do to clear the roads so the rest of us can get where we need to go.  (Thank you, Jason!)

Even so, I have to admit that I still really, really like snow.   Few things are nicer than sitting in my living room with a fire going in the fireplace, watching out the picture window as the big, fluffy flakes drift gently to the ground.  And once the snow begins to accumulate, the world is transformed, if only temporarily, to a gorgeous winter wonderland.  I always think that a snow-covered landscape gives us just a little glimpse of how the world is supposed to be: beautiful, peaceful and unspoiled.

Beyond that, a really heavy snow brings the gift of a “snow day,” which to me, means an often unexpected gift of a day off from my daily routine of the usual worries and demands.  A snow day means I get the luxury of temporarily ignoring my “to do” list, leaving the car in the garage rather than heading off to run those important errands, not going to the Humane Society to walk the dogs, etc.   It means simply accepting that the world will get along just fine without me, if only for the next twenty-four hours.  A snow day offers a chance to relax and regroup, to be a bit selfish and focus on just me, and to recharge my batteries for the days ahead.

Maybe that’s why, even now that I am well into my middle age, I still get a little thrill when I hear a prediction of heavy snow in the forecast, just the way I did when I was a child and a snow day meant a welcome break from school.  I guess, for those who are lucky enough to enjoy them, we’re never too old to need a good, old-fashioned “snow day.”