"Our life is frittered away by detail...simplify, simplify." - Henry David Thoreau

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Wednesday, February 2, 2011

More Dispatches

I know that most of the northeastern and central portion of the continent is finally dealing with what we up have most days so forgive me if I have little sympathy for y'all down south (that includes you, Toronto) Yes, it is Snow Day # 7 or 8 by my count and while most of those did occur before Christmas, it's still another day with the boys at home. But "Snowmagedon" and "Snowpocalypse" Really? Has the world actually come to an end because for the first time in my adult life the Toronto District School Board declared it a Snow Day? I think not. I don't know if it's my age showing or that the world really does take itself way too seriously. In 1993 B.C. (Before Children) my Other Half and I lived in Kennebunkport, Maine for a couple of years and my favourite thing was the build up to a snow day. Those Mainers really know how to make it an event. It would start when the birth of a storm was being tracked either from the Midwest or, horror of all horrors, coming down from Canada. I was teaching so we'd all start making bets on whether school would be open the next day or not and then when our administrator actually made the call (usually when she told us to leave as soon as the last child had been picked up) we'd all smile and rush home to shut off our alarm clocks. My Other Half and I would hunker down with some wine, the dog and cat and lots of wood stacked by the fireplace to watch the local news. The 6 o'clock anchors would be wearing cozy sweaters instead of their usual jacket and ties as if they were going to be spending the night in the studio and the art department would have a field day with the STORM WATCH graphics. Then the cancellations would start rolling across the bottom of the screen - school closures, Weight Watchers meetings cancelled but the best of all was when the B&M Baked Bean factory in Portland would cancel the night or morning shift. Really, it was too dangerous for even those most essential of workers to risk going into work. It made us laugh every time.

Nowadays, everyone, including those bean makers, are far too vital to the economy to even consider staying home because of a little snow. That's why I like it up here, nothing is more important than the kids' safety, so the buses are cancelled at the drop of a snowflake but it's really more because of how important it is to our local economy that they get a few extra days on the slopes. As for me? I couldn't have hightailed it out of the house faster this morning when my Other Half realized that the roads going in the direction of the boat shop were closed and he wasn't going anywhere. I made the boys some Pillsbury Cinnamon buns, kicked them outside to play and left for work. In our town my place of employ, the Cheese Gallery, is considered an essential service and I braved an unplowed street and parking lot to make it in to put the coffee on and get the croissants in the oven. Now the only thing to do is update my facebook status, blog and decide what kind of grilled cheese to make for lunch. My friends who own the shop think I'm a saint for coming in to open the shop on time. Hell, even the bank is closed today. So I not only do I get brownie points at work, I get peace and quiet with no kids fighting over the computer, demanding food and leaving a trail of destruction in their wake throughout the house.

Yes, life isn't so bad up her in the Greater White North. Tomorrow? It's a PD Day but the sun is supposed to shine and the snow will be perfect so the boys and I will hit the slopes. Friday? The entire school will be at Blue Mountain for the Ski Cross event. It's a tough life we lead up here but somebody's got to do it.


  1. Ha- Our news anchors had their sweaters on today! Back in the day, when I worked year-round, our 24/7 call centers were never closed due to weather- it was left to us to decide if it was too dangerous to drive to work.

    Today's storm forced my son and his daughter to spend an extra day with us, which was fine with me!

  2. You know I'm a wheenie with this weather, but come on, we Southerners just aren't ready for it...

  3. I didn't know you lived in Maine! I grew up in Maine, and you're right, snow days were an event. Yes, those ESSENTIAL bean workers!!! I used to laugh at that, too.

    We haven't had any snow days in Denver, at least not from work. But then there never are really snow days from nursing. Damn people still get sick on snow days! GAWD!


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