Monday, March 13, 2006

Snow Day

"It’s coming down
Snow lays on the chain fields
There’s a blessing on the ground"

So I was wrong. It continued to snow all night.

I awoke this morning to nearly 6 inches on the ground. And its still snowing. Because it is so warm (nearly 30 degrees) the snow is really heavy. The trees are sagging from the weight as the snow sticks to the branches like oatmeal. The wind is blowing pretty hard which makes it looks like an old fashioned blizzard. This is certainly the biggest snow fall of the season. In fact it is first real snow we’ve had all winter. It has been unusually warm here and we haven’t gotten much in the way of precipitation.

Regardless of how much snow we get it won’t come close to the Halloween Blizzard of 1991. That storm was the stuff of which legends are made. It began snowing on the morning of October 31 and didn’t stop until November 2nd. When it was all over 28 inches fell, which in this part of the country was a record. Folks in the UP wouldn’t think twice about a 28 inch snowfall but we don’t usually get that much all at one time. The whole metro area came to a halt and every storm since is measured in comparison. What is often forgotten is that we had another double digit snowfall a few weeks later. That took place the day Gitsul got married. We had to shovel the sidewalks of the church in our tuxes so the guests could get in the building.

"It’s coming down
On account of winter
All the roads are closed and the stores are for vagabonds"

This part of the country is completely dependant on the automobile. If fact, President Bush was looking at us (with the smarmy look of his) when he said that the country is addicted to oil. Public transportation here is pretty lame. We have a mediocre bus system and one light rail line which runs between the airport and downtown Mpls. Thus we are all dependant on cars for commuting to and from work. My drive is about 30 minutes on a normal day but on a day like this it would take me nearly 3 hours. Last year we had a six-inch afternoon snowfall and it took me over three and a half hours to get home. I was not looking forward to driving this morning so I jumped at the chance to take a vacation day rather than spend the whole day in my car.

"It’s coming down
Slow day for the teacher
And her wheels are spinning ‘round"

Not surprisingly most schools across Minnesota are closed for the day. What is surprising is that the school my kids attend is one of them. Because it is geographically small and a high percentage of teachers live in town, this district almost never closes. When I was a student, we only had one snow day in 12 years and that was a decision made by the Governor who closed all schools because the roads were covered with 2 inches of ice. Half the kids still showed up anyway, myself included. Fortunately for me the district I work in is also closed today so I am able to stay home with the kids.

"It’s coming down
If your lanes are crammed with children
There’s blessing on your town"

I’m not sure what we’ll do today, the kids have already been outside for an hour throwing snowballs, rasslin’ with the dog and basically just being kids. Once it lets up a bit we’ll probably build fort. In the meantime I think I’m going to make soup.

"It’s coming down
Go home
Go home and take a snow day"

Lyrics courtesy of "Snow Day" by Trip Shakespeare.


Kim Ayres said...

What, no snowman?

Sven said...

We tried that last year. He was nearly 8' tall. Before days end some neighborhood hooligans killed and the kids have never fully recovered.

I couldn't put them through that trauma again.