Wednesday, March 15, 2017

The gratitude of a snow day

I've lived in either Massachusetts or Vermont for my entire life, so I make a conscious effort not to complain about weather.  Watching a foot of snow fall yesterday I let go of my discouragement and instead chose to embrace the snow day.

For many of my colleagues, a cancelled school day is a special kind of torture. The kids are underfoot and bored or they want mom to spend hours outside watching, standing and freezing while they play in the snow. But for me and other parents of teenagers, snow cancellations can mean hours of peacefulness. 

All day yesterday my family was happy and safe. My husband took a rare snow day, working from home--which meant I didn't worry about him driving on icy roads. College was cancelled, so my daughter stayed in her dorm. My teenage son slept into mid-afternoon.  And instead of rushing out to a volunteer commitment, I enjoyed a leisurely cup of coffee then put a few logs in the fireplace and a pot of chili on the stove.   

When the electricity went out (along with our internet access) attempts at work were forgotten. My husband and I sat by the fire, quietly reading; occasionally lifting our heads in response to an enormous gust of wind or sleet pelting the windows. My son sat in his room using his phone's remaining power to listen to music and face-time his friends. We could hear soft strains of both his music and his laughter. My daughter called to ask for advice (and for my credit card number) proving she was both safe and happily shopping on-line. 

A few hours into the afternoon our electricity returned, and the snow slowed. My son and husband ventured outside to begin the snow cleanup before dark; while I sat peacefully watching the snow and listing my blessings.  A warm home.  Running water.  Food in the refrigerator. Chili on the stove. A working snowblower. A strong son with a shovel.  And a new gratitude for an unusually cold spell of weather and a March snow day.

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