One would imagine, me being Canadian, that having a Snow Day happens often and that they’re an unexpected holiday where you cocoon all day into a magical white wonderland. I do live in snow country, Kamloops, British Columbia. Picture south central BC, where the two branches of the Thompson Rivers meet, a stunning sight. The only place I know that’s even more gorgeous is where I grew up in Chase BC, about 55 kilometres from Kamloops. That’s Canada-speak for not miles.
It’s common to get lows of -20C, but it feels like -30C with a windchill factor. The cold snaps usually last a week or so and then it’s back to our normal temps, anywhere from +5C to -10C. Sometimes snow is still falling in March and it is not predictable. A perfect example of the unpredictable happened the day before last.
Snow started falling in the early evening. Gently. You know that serene quiet that descends on everything when it happens. It’s almost as if the world stops and becomes peaceful. If only for a bit? Yeah, that feeling. After about an hour, I went outside to assess and saw this:
That’s my Honda and my ridiculously covered driveway. Oh it’s coming down fast now. Tomorrow is the first day back to school from winter break and I’m already counting on setting the alarm an hour early to possibly dig out as there are no signs of this snow letting up anytime soon. I go back inside to plan. Girls into pajamas and ready for bed. Check. Lunches made. Check. The kids are so excited to see their friends and Mommy is just as excited that they’re going back to school. Oh, happy times! I sing, “It’s The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year,” twirl them into their bedroom, and tuck them in. Now, don’t get me wrong, we’ve had a great break, but I’m itching for some kid-free time.
I’m awake at 5:00 am. I haven’t been sleeping well again. I pour a coffee and head out to the deck for a situation assessment. My first thought, actually reflected in a Facebook status I wrote, was “Holy Shit, Maybe we’ll have a snow day.” Then I remembered where we lived and I laughed and I laughed and then I fucking laughed some more. Never, as in not fucking ever, in my 30+ years have I ever experienced an actual, official Snow Day. C’mon, this is Canada, and Kamloops has never called an official snow day − until yesterday.
At 6am we got the automated voicemail delivered to all parents in the district saying, “Due to the amount of snowfall over the course of the night, and the forecast for more, we are making the unprecedented call to cancel school today and call an official Snow Day” WOW! Fuck.
When daylight hit, this is what I saw:
That’s My badass Nissan Quest somewhere underneath there. It was time to dig out. Poor Scotty was supposed to go into work. Yeah, we had to get him out of the driveway first.
Scotty worked really hard yesterday, and the kids and the dog played even harder. It was actually awesome. I got to use the line on my kids, “You know, when I was your age, we didn’t have Snow Days. I had to walk to and from school in a foot of snow, uphill, both ways.” And it was somewhat true, we didn’t have Snow Days, and I did have to walk. The district ended up calling another Snow Day today, not for actual snow, but because our road crews can’t get to our secondary street bus routes until tonight to plow them. I’m happy they’re taking the safety of the kids seriously, but beginning to think about tomorrow. Could we keep the happy Snow Day marathon going another day?
Today? Well, Snow Day Two is a different story. Today feels like winter break Groundhog Day. I have just stepped on a Pinkie Pie My Little Pony lying on the floor and it damn near brought me to tears. I’m starting to feel the effects of the exhaustion that hits after the holiday rush. The crash. It almost reminds me almost of those old party days.
I will make another memorable day for the girls today because I’m Mommy and that’s what I do. But I’m also going to be extra vigilant about ME because some of the Snow Day stress can trigger me. Balance. It’s always about balance. When this is all over and the girls go back to school, and Scott has returned to work–I know exactly what I’m going to do. Have a Snow Day for me!
By Nicole Lyons