Today is my kids’ third consecutive day off school. Last Friday was the end of the marking period, so Monday was a scheduled professional day for the teachers. Then Tuesday, measurable snow was in the weather forecast, and because there were flakes falling from the sky at 4:00 a.m., the Good Folks who run the county schools’ transportation department called school off FOR THE WHOLE DAY.
And then, it snowed veerrrrrryy lightly all day, and to say we got one inch of accumulation is me being generous. It really wasn’t even enough to go sledding, although the boys sure tried.
But that’s not all! Sleet and freezing rain began around dinnertime yesterday and continued during the night. Temps were expected to be below freezing, sooooo, to continue the streak, MoCo called off school AGAIN. For the whole day. Even though it’s supposed to warm up and start melting.
I know the people charged with making these decisions do the best with the information they have at the time. The forecast did call for a couple inches of snow, so given that, perhaps they figured it would be better to keep the buses off the roads and let the snow plows do their thing. I don’t know about you, but when I was a kid, my bus would roll up with chains on the tires when it was snowy. Gotta get the kids to school.
Last night’s ten o’clock news started with this:
WINTER’S WRATH! LIVE TEAM COVERAGE!
Live team coverage of…. an inch of snow.
Motorists were advised to stay off the roads if you don’t have to be out. Use extreme caution! There could be slick spots; it’s extremely dangerous! This from a fur-hat-wearing reporter perched on some highway overpass to demonstrate just how slippery it is. Yeah. It’s ICE. It’s gonna be a little bit slippery.
QUICK! PROTECT THE WOMEN AND CHILDREN! IT’S SUPPOSED TO SNOW, LIKE, AN INCH OR SO!
What are snow days good for?
- sleeping in
- catching up on laundry
- Facebook and blogging
- baking cookies and bread
- early afternoon happy hours
What are snow days NOT good for?
- personal hygiene
- getting anyting resembling “work” accomplished
- keeping the entryway free from soggy snow gear and wet spots on the wood floor
- My bank account (I don’t get paid when I don’t work)
Growing up in PA, the weather of the past two days would have warranted little more than a passing glance. My parents would’ve been all, better wear your boots to school because your feet’ll get wet at recess. In fact, two years ago, we lived in PA during the winter, and the boys were advised to wear/bring snow gear and boots because of course, the kids are most certainly going outside at recess to play in the snow. Here? Our coddled youth are not permitted outdoor recess when the temperature dips below 32 degrees.
Last night we were urging the boys to bed at their usual time, around 9pm. The Boss was resisting because, he said, obviously, it’s white outside, they will cancel school again tomorrow. Yes, we countered, but until we hear it officially, we are assuming we are all going to school and/or work, so go to sleep. NOW. Whatever, he replied. We were struck by how he has become conditioned to expect the knee-jerk school closing. Indeed, I think the entire region is similarly conditioned.
We have a friend who grew up in snowy Lake Placid, NY, home of many a winter sports enthusiast. She said, they never, ever canceled school because everyone – students and teachers alike – would’ve just gone skiing. Also, they managed perfectly fine with a big ole station wagon, not some pimped-out 4WD SUV.
I’m sure the Washington, DC area is the laughing stock of places in the country where the world does not, in fact, come to a grinding halt whenever a few snowflakes fall. To the hardy folks in those areas, I would like to say, seriously – we aren’t all like that. Some of us would prefer to go on about our lives. But, until the media stops trumpeting about Winter’s Wrath when “The Area’s First Major Winter Storm” consists of an inch of snow and a little bit of ice, I expect we will continue to be ridiculed.
Heck, even our new president, whose daughters stayed home from Sidwell today, was all, what, for some ice? (Thanks for the link, Curt!)
And don’t get me started about the obligatory reporter stationed outside of a grocery store, where frantic residents are clearing the shelves of bread, milk and toilet paper, or the hardware stores selling rock salt and shovels. People, it’s winter. You should already know to have this stuff.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to put some vodka in my orange juice shoo my stinky boys into the shower. It’s been a couple of days and they are RIPE.