Snow Day

My school district announced last night that we would be closed today because of ice and snow. I had already planned to miss school because of a dental surgery appointment to fix a cracked molar, but it looked liked my students wouldn’t be going to school, either. I slept through most of the storm, oblivious to the ice pellets and sleet that blanketed our neighborhood in solid sheets of ice.


My phone woke me at 6 am. The dentist’s receptionist was calling to cancel my surgery because my dentist and her staff couldn’t get to the clinic. Disappointing, but at least I wasn’t faced with pouring hot water under my car tires and finding my ice scraper. My bed was warm—a nest of husband, pets, and blankets, so I went back to sleep.

Waking up later, my mind automatically went through the endless to-do list of tasks I could possibly accomplish with a free day. I could get so much work done! Empty my email inboxes. Finish an article that’s due next week. Write lesson plans that will take me to Winter Break. Sign and address Christmas cards. Clean. I could always clean something.

Before I drank my first cup of coffee, I had filled my snow day with work plans. In other words, I turned it into every other day. Not satisfied with booking up my own day, I suggested several tasks that Don could accomplish since he would not be going to campus to take his Statistics final. Good-natured (and used to my ways), he only grumbled a little.

I am, by Nature, a worker bee. My mother raised me to believe that if you are in bed after 8 am—even on holidays and weekends—you better have a fever. I also suffer from the insecure notion that my value is linked to what I do and how much I do for other people. It is hard for me to relax. Don is a self-proclaimed slacker. He has no trouble lounging. The Grasshopper and the Ant. We joke about this, mostly. Don urges me to rest and enjoy myself and I push him to be more motivated. It’s a delicate tension between us.

I stalled about getting out of bed. Faced with a day full of work, I just wanted to go back to sleep. What would I be doing today if it wasn’t a snow day? I would be lying in a dentist’s chair getting a root canal and spending the rest of the day sleeping off anesthesia and pain. Was that the only thing that would keep me from filling every day with work? Surgery?

I made a decision—a snow day is a rare gift and I wasn’t going to waste it by being productive.

Don was thrilled. My decision to lie around all day liberated him, too.

I made new plans.

After a shower, I put on clean pajamas.

I pulled out a pile of books and journals to read and found the TV remote.

I got back in bed.

Don wandered through on occasion, checking in to chat and bring me more coffee (or cocoa, or chili, or grilled cheese sandwiches).

We watched three weeks of Walking Dead, then three days of Stephen Colbert and John Stewart.

We spent all afternoon reading–advancing though pages the only evidence of productivity all day.

Besides pet maintenance and food preparation, we didn’t do anything else.

Checking Facebook and Twitter, I admired my friends who were working harder than me today, but I squashed any urges to join them.

It was glorious.

I will tackle that to-do list tomorrow, but I must hold the memory of this lazy day. I need to remember that I can’t be productive every minute of every single day. Here in Texas, we don’t get snow days more than once or twice a year. Maybe, I need to declare my own “snow days” more often.

18 responses to “Snow Day

  1. I love and cherish snow days for the exact reasons you describe. They are a gift. I pray I get one soon. 🙂 Glad you enjoyed yours.

  2. You are more likely to get one than me:) I hope you get one after the holiday break–snow days in January or February are the best ones!

  3. Mary Cronk Farrell

    Love this! Good for you. Thanks for sharing. I’m getting myself some new pajamas. 🙂

  4. We had our Ice Day in TN. Besides two boxes of Christmas decorations unpacked, my day sounds a lot like yours. So nice!

  5. I had a day recently where I wrote and watched Dr. Who all day long. My husband was a little incredulous, but he approved. We have a similar grasshopper/ant setup. I loved it and I will remember that day for a long, long time. We need to do that every once in awhile. 🙂

  6. A snow day is a precious gift. It’s the gift of time. We always complain that there isn’t enough time to…fill in the blank. I believe that a snow day should be spent EXACTLY the way you did today…relaxing and relishing the preciousness of the gift you’ve just been given. Can’t wait to have one here in VA!

  7. My district also closed due to the ice storm. Thank you, Donalyn, for easing the guilt I felt over doing absolutely nothing today.

  8. Love this post! Intend to share. I am a principal in a district working on updating the snow day policy and procedures. We also have only one or two inclement weather situations in a normal year. I would love input from around the country on what districts require of their staff in the event that school is delayed, released early, or cancelled. Currently staff must report and stay until normal dismissal. If anyone is wiling to give me feedback, please tweet me @tracy9535. Thanks so much hoping to enjoy a snow day before the winter is over.

  9. Hoping for one soon here in Michigan!

  10. There should be a rule that we do just this with our snow days. It sounds like it was the perfect day!

  11. I agree with Cindi. I too have already planned to file bills whenever we get a snow day, but a day reading and resting is so much more pleasurable. Time to find my inner grasshopper.

  12. The storm forced me not to fall into the same boat. I had no power for twenty hours. My only option was to read, and read I did. I even charged my Nook in my car so I could keep reading when it got dark. I did finish The Dream Thieves, and I have a feeling the library will be glad to have it back.

  13. If anyone has earned a “snow day”, it is you, my friend! So glad you had a well deserved rest.

  14. Love this! I’m such the worker bee. Why sit still when you can be accomplishing something? Maybe relaxing should be our next #nerdlution. An hour a day of doing absolutely nothing…not sure I could do it!

  15. What a dream day! My husband and I are the opposite–I could lounge all day (I call it “Bed Island”), while he feels anxious if he hasn’t accomplished anything by 8:30am.

  16. bluestockingthinking

    Reading this made me very happy! My first snow day of the year will be a guilt-free day of reading, napping, tv watching and eating, and I just can’t wait for it! However, I think Don needs a high five-it’s a special guy that keeps delivering cocoa, chili and grilled cheese to his lounging lady!

  17. Love, love, love! So glad you got a most-deserved rest. I think that kind of day is just as much about living as a work-filled day. We all need to refuel our tanks, and you more than most! I love that Don loved it, too. 😉

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