Posted tagged ‘no school announcements’

Summer is the season of inferior sledding.”

January 5, 2017

With the back door open, I can feel the cold coming in through the dog door. I think Gracie will have to ring her bells to go outside as I’m shutting the inside door. She’s already been out three or four times, once just to bark, so I figure I won’t be jumping up and down to let her out. Snow is coming tomorrow. A winter weather advisory is in place for the cape. The snow should start after midnight so I’ll be waking up to a white world. We’re expecting 2-4 inches from this storm then more on Sunday. This is the first snow of the season for us.

When I was a kid, the TV didn’t have a rolling list of no school announcements. We listened for the horn from the fire station. I don’t remember what the pattern of beeps was, but back then, we all knew and we waited then cheered after we’d heard it. We were all familiar with that horn. It blew every day at noon and for any fires. In the town phone book was a list of what the beeps meant, where in town the fire was. We all used to stop to listen and count.

Snow is never a burden to a kid. The more snow that falls the better the sledding. My street was never plowed all the way down to the road so the hill made for a great ride. The cars going up and down the hill helped. Their tires would tamp down the snow. The sun would sometimes melt the top layer which would freeze at night when it always got colder.  The first rides down were at blazing speeds on the ice cover. Sledders at the bottom would warn us if a car was coming on the cross street below the hill. We’d use our feet as brakes or, as a last resort, we’d throw ourselves off the sleds. No one ever got hit, but I think it was mostly luck because we hated stopping our sleds. They’d whiz over the cross road into a field where the higher snow would finally stop us.

We’d sled all day long. Our mittens got soaked. Our boots always had snow inside them because we’d walk through the high snow on the field to get back to the hill. Our cheeks got red and so did our legs under our ski pants. Late in the afternoon mothers started yelling out front doors for us to come inside. We’d sneak one more ride pretending we hadn’t heard them. When the yelling got a bit louder and more strident, we’d walk to the backyard, jam our sleds upright in the snow then slide down the snow covered stairs to the cellar. We’d leave our wet clothes on the lines so they’d dry overnight. We wanted to be ready for the next day and the ice on the hill.

“There is neither heaven nor earth, only snow, falling incessantly”

February 9, 2015

Last night it rained. I was hopeful we had escaped the snow, but this morning my hopes were dashed. When I woke up, I could see a layer of snow on the pine branches outside my bedroom window. It is still snowing, but we’ve been lucky. The forecast is for only 4 inches. That’s nothing but a mere inconvenience.

Snow quiets the world. I almost want to talk in whispers. Gracie’s gentle snoring is the only sound in my house. I haven’t heard a car on the street all morning. We are all getting good at hunkering down.

This posting is taking forever to write. I haven’t done anything or seen anyone in days. The phone has been my only connection to the world. I watch the news, but the snow is the only topic. If I have to look at another snow-covered empty road, I’ll spit. If I have to hear one more time there is nowhere to put the snow, I’ll scream. Enough is enough.

The no school announcements scroll at the bottom of the screen. They start the evening before and continue into the next morning, but even at 12 o’clock they still scroll. Why, I have no idea. I’d think by now everyone knows there is no school. The only scrolling should be for evening activities.

My friends have saved me. We are having game night tonight. First we’ll have burgers and pretend it’s summer. That’ll be a stretch.

“Winter invites white; white invites silence; silence invites peace. You see, there is so much peace in walking on the snow!”

December 6, 2014

The rain started last night and continued into this morning. The day is dark, the sky a pale grey. It’s a stay at home day. I’m thinking I’ll do my Christmas cards and maybe bring up a few decorations from the cellar. Last night I was able to get all the outside lights to work with the timers. One comes on just a few minutes later than the other, but I can live with that. My street looks beautiful as so many houses are decorated with lights. One house has a lighted train car on its lawn which looks as if it’s moving as the lights flash around the wheel.

When I was a kid, I didn’t care about the weather except for snow. I remember getting excited watching the first few flakes. They were usually small and took their time falling to the ground. Every kid wanted those small flakes to get bigger and multiply to cover the ground with inches of snow. It wasn’t just for a snow day but for the fun the snow would bring. We could make caves, have snowball fights and go sledding down our street, a giant hill. The TV didn’t list closed school announcements in those days. The fire department blew their no school signal around seven, and it could be heard all over town. I swear the shouts of joy right after could also be heard all over town. If the snow was still heavily falling, we waited inside until my mother would let us out. I remember when the snow finally stopped and the sun came out. The world was at its most beautiful. The snow was untouched, no footprints, no car tracks. The sun glistened off the snow and lights twinkled and shined from the tops of drifts as if diamonds had been strewn about.

It didn’t take long before the snow had footprints and the marks of sled rails. The first few sled marks were rusty but the snow quickly cleaned them. We all had wooden sleds with metal steering in the front you could turn left and right. You took off running and jumped stomach down on the sled, legs from the knees down in the air and you hoped for the ride of your life.