Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Snow Day

It’s currently 35 degrees in my little corner of Southeast Texas.  The greater-Houston area has all but shut down as we brace ourselves for ice-meggedon, or whatever the heck meteorologists call it these days.
Growing up in the Texas Panhandle, we simply referred to it as ‘winter’.
I don’t want to come down too harshly on the place I now call home, for I understand that if you’ve never experienced cold, icy weather you really don’t know how to behave…or drive…or dress….I liken it to obnoxious, disrespectful children.  Sure, your initial response is to take them to task, but you soon realize it’s not their fault – they simply don’t know any better.  Then you can smile smugly and place full blame (and the gossip that’s surely to follow) on the real source of the problem – their parents.
But I digress.
As a child, the anticipation of snow and the inevitable ‘snow day’ brought about such excitement and hope to my young world.  Snow days, of course, meant no school, and no school meant a day in which to focus on what really mattered:  books, Barbies, and at 2pm, the day’s episode of Guiding Light.
The night before a potential snow day, I’d pray harder and faster than I’d ever prayed before.  The Baptists taught me to ‘ask and it is given’, and I took it to heart.  They also taught me intolerance and harsh judgment, which goes to show that sometimes it’s all just one big crap shoot.
But again, I digress.
Early in the morning of a possible snow day, my mother would tune into our local radio station, KDHN –Your Little Home for Big Country Music.  We’d wait…and wait…praying that the farm reports would soon end, and that God and the school superintendant had reached an agreement that we could all get on board with.
Sometimes they did, and sometimes they didn’t.  The Rolling Stones taught me that ‘you can’t always get what you want.’  This lesson somehow always pleased a great number of Baptists, even though they preached against rock and roll.
Once again, digressing.
As an adult, a snow day means (at least for me) a day of limited ‘work from home’ activities, cleaning house, laundry, and any other task I can find to keep me busy.  I like being busy, and I like getting dressed even though I know I’m not leaving the house (honestly, what is our society’s fascination with staying in pajamas all day?)
A dear friend born and raised in New York City scoffs at Houston’s anxiety that comes along with below-freezing temperatures.  In spirit, I’m with him, but I’m not without empathy.  If you’ve never experienced it, you don’t know what to do, which was evident this morning when I spotted my neighbor wearing a winter coat and shorts.  The whole city is downright confused.
I look upon these days not with the excitement I had as a child, but with an understanding that perhaps the universe is telling us all to slow down a little bit.  The world will keep turning if we don’t have to show up anywhere.  We’ll all be okay if we force ourselves indoors every once in a while
By 9am my ‘work from home’ had been completed.  The house is clean, and the last load of laundry turns quietly in the drier.
I have books to read, Barbie clothes to make for the two fabulous nieces, and although it’s no longer on the air, I can still find episodes of Guiding Light on YouTube.
Perhaps I haven’t lost that child-like excitement I once had.