I am writing this blog post from the comfort of my bedroom where I am working from home because of the wintry mix happening outside. There was nothing happening this morning (Tuesday, Jan. 28) so I thought it was funny that people were calling it a “snow day.” But now, in the late afternoon, it's actually sleeting and the news on TV is telling me it's getting pretty slick outside, so I can understand the reason for this unexpected snow day.
Before today, I have always thought New Orleans and Southern kids really miss out on the snow day thing. When I was a little kid growing up in New England and the Midwest, snow days were the best. When we lived in Westford, Mass., all the school closings would scroll in alphabetical order at the bottom of the TV during the "Today Show." I remember waiting for the W's to see if Westford Public Schools were closed. If they were, my brother and I would go sledding and make snowmen, and then go inside for some hot chocolate my mom made for us. Snow days were always the perfect winter days for me and I have the fondest memories of them.
When I moved to New Orleans, I thought my snow days were over, but then on Monday I received an email that all the employees in my office were asked to work from home so we could avoid the dangerous roads. Yes, I would still be working so it wasn't technically a snow day, but I immediately felt that joy I used to get when I was a little kid. I checked that email three times to make sure I really could work from home, just like I used to check the TV to make sure I really didn't have school that day.
Since I loved snow days so much as a child, I feel bad for New Orleans kids because they don't get all the perks of winter that kids living up north get. I know it snows sometimes in New Orleans, but it's not something New Orleanians can expect every winter. Kids in New Orleans don't get to go sledding or enjoy hot chocolate every January. They don't get to play hockey outside or go skiing. They don't get to jump in a hot tub then run out in the snow then jump back in the hot tub. (It sounds weird, but it's fun.)
On the other hand, one could also argue that New Orleans kids have it pretty great because they don't have to shovel or learn to drive on ice, and they don't have to take the dog out in an ice storm. There are definite benefits to not having to deal with snow every winter (which I recently wrote about on this blog).
But even though there are pros and cons to winter conditions, I'm glad New Orleans kids got to experience a snow day or two this week even if they never have another snow day again. I hope the kids here had time to make a tiny snowman or slide around on the ice or do some classic winter activity. Thanks, Mother Nature. The snow day was a nice surprise.