Column: Snow days

Published 4:24 pm Friday, February 28, 2020

I vividly remember waking up to a snow-covered scene in suburban Pennsylvania when I was little. Winter was a tough time of year for me; I always wanted to be outside, but being cold was not something I looked forward to. Snow days made it better.

Snow days always meant shoveling, but guaranteed a steaming cup of hot chocolate right after. They meant you most likely couldn’t get to your friend’s house, but could spend some extra time with your family. Sometimes snow days meant no power for half the day, but they also meant board games, candles and lots of conversations (not through a cell phone).

I loved snow days when I was little. Not having to go to school was always a blast, but I loved them for much more than that.

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My father will be the first one to tell you I’m not so great at shoveling driveways. He always got to use the snow plow, something to do with me being “accident-prone.” But after the sidewalks were shoveled and the driveway was plowed, he would always stay out a little bit longer to make a tiny snowman with me and my sister.

We had two white fluffy dogs while I was growing up who loved the snow. I used to watch them seep into 4-ft high mounds to the point where even their black noses couldn’t be seen.

We had a small hill in our backyard, perfect for sledding. As my sister and I would race with our own sleds, the dogs would run right beside us – partly to make sure we would make it down safe, partly to try and beat us to the bottom. They would always win.

I’ll be the first to tell you I’m a summer person, hence why I moved to the beach. But sometimes I do miss a good snow day. My mom was always prepared for anything – she would buy cases of water and plenty of food well before the weather reporters told everyone to. She knew snow days meant crockpot chicken noodle soup for dinner. I can only ever eat chicken noodle soup on really cold days now.

There’s something special about looking out your front window and seeing tiny ice crystals form on the glass. The way untouched snow-covered streets look like they were covered with a soft blanket always amazed me.

I remember sitting in my house on several occasions and watching the lights flicker and all of a sudden go out. No internet, no phone lines, no electricity. We would worry about how long it would take for the power to come back, but knew there wasn’t much we could do.

In the meantime, we would gather at our kitchen table and play Pictionary, Monopoly, Balderdash and random card games. I got really good at 500 rummy during the wintertime.

Times were simpler back then; school was the only concern an eleven-year-old has to worry about. Now we have jobs, volunteer responsibilities, communication obligations and the like.

But boy to I miss a good snow day, where you are forced to not worry about much, because there really is nothing you can do. Instead, you have the time to reflect, time to talk and time realize that the darkest months actually bring quite a bit of light, even if it’s the frozen kind.

Danielle Puleo is a staff writer for The Coastland Times. Reach her at danielle.puleo@thecoastlandtimes.com.

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