The sky is falling!

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:


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.


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?

  • diets
  • 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.

13 thoughts on “The sky is falling!

  1. You are absolutely hilarious!

    First of all…you could not be more right about these snow days…for my kids, they were out of school Mon and Tues for Teacher Workday anyway….that on top of last week’s MLK & Inauguration Day….now today! God help me….

    We have friends that just moved here from Colorado and they are vexed and perplexed about the “Snow Hype” around here..they find it comical!

    And your list for what snow days are good and bad for…OMG you are so right! My garage is full of wet, icy clothing, I have been eating non-stop and I am proud of myself for actually showering before dinner today :-)

    PLEASE LORD—–let them go back to school tomorrow!

    1. Curt – that is hilarious. I am updating my post to include a link.

      Rachael – I know ya feel me, girl! You will be jealous to learn I just managed a shower AND a blow-dry and even put on real clothes and slapped some mascara on, all before 2pm. Had to bribe oldest son to keep the youngest outta my bedroom though.

    1. Sue – that, my friend, is the understatement du jour. I am so embarassed that our newest DC residents, who hail from Chicago, are all, what the…?

      Separate from that and somewhat related? If we have another snow day, it would help me to know NOW so I can buy enough wine to get me through.

  2. Oh, having lived up there for over 13 years, I know exactly what you’re talking about. A week in advance of a predicted snow event, the stores would be emptied of milk, bread and toilet paper, which evidently are the only 3 things critical to life as we know it. Me? It’s all about the wine. (Or, in your case, vodka. Remind me to replenish the liquor cabinet before July’s blog fest. I don’t think I”ve done so since 2001 – don’t drink that much of it.)

    If you move just 2.5 of 3 hours south, you can rest assured you’ll never receive another drop of snow. Again. Ever.

    We used to get it, but not anymore.

    Be thankful for the few flakes you do get, and take some pictures.

  3. Try living in TX where the thought of ice brings all the crazies out for the opportunity to use their big, loud, 4-wheel drive trucks (other than for muddin’ – the typical use ). For the first time (in my personal hx) the base even closed yesterday due to icy weather!
    Good luck for tomorrow – am sending go-back-to-school thoughts your way!

  4. Sorry – another comment – just read the MSN link and find it interesting the comment that the prep schools closed but the DC school stayed open… I wonder what the general talk on the street was about that… Wait – trying to be PC here!

    1. Lori – the rednecks must’ve been thrilled; do they understand that 4WD doesn’t help you stop on ice? We needed it to get up our hill and then back up our driveway but otherwise? Take it or leave it.

      CBW – yeah, you know. Hysteria. I think we were all hyped up here because it seems not to snow here anymore, either – we all wanted it so freakin’ bad! BTW, I’m not picky – wine, vodka, gin, beer… if you’re offering it, I’m probably drinking it. :-) PS, I want my sippy cup back.

  5. Grew up in Chicago, now live in Austin. Wouldn’t trade it for all the snow days in the world. Not that, well, you know, maybe one snow day wouldn’t be bad. I could live with that. Or maybe two. But not in a row. I could not take WINTER’S WRATH.

  6. Oh my gosh, I didn’t know you were home yesterday too! I’d have called you, while I was home baking cookies and meatloaf! I naturally assumed that Tuesday was your snow day, and that was it. It snowed all day long here on Wed — we got about a foot, give or take. Everyone’s back to work and school today. No delays.

    Oh — and my son’s PRESCHOOL sends the kids out when it’s FIVE DEGREES, and I’m OK with that, and your schools are really lame if you are serious about the recess thing.

    1. Bets, I am serious. 4 year old’s preschool too – no recess / outdoor below 32. In PA they were out and sent constant “dress for the weather” reminders.

      Charlie – welcome! We have friends who moved to Austin not long ago. If you ever want some of Winter’s Wrath (heh heh), you can always go home, where they would be completely validated in calling it that. In DC? Not so much.

  7. we are opposite here in New England. no school busses, so no liability, which means yo! parents! dig out from under the 8 inches and ice and get thee children to school. sucks.

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