Snow Days

The scream of an early morning siren in the neighborhood announced the best news a kid could hear; SNOW DAY.
This meant staying in pajamas for a long time, having a weekend type of breakfast, watching television, and playing in the snow. However, before I could relax and enjoy any of those things, I had to feel the day.
The silence following the siren’s cry seemed extra quite. Everything outside was cushioned in heaps of snow, creating the chilled hush that waited at my front door. I went there and opened it, feeling the twinkling peace; feeling the day.
Because my house was at the top of a hill, Mark and I could watch from the living room window to see which kids were sledding down the street. When our friends would appear, it was time to go out. Scarves, gloves, boots and hats were pulled on, as we bundled up in a huge hurry. We grabbed our sleds and trudged up the driveway to the street, greeting friends and taking our places in the lineup of kids who were ready to push off and fly down the hill.
That first ride of the day was always a thrill, as we whooshed through icy air and falling snow. Smoothly, gliding past houses and friends, we would yell to those sledding nearby. Finally, the ride would come to an end as the hill became level. Rolling off our sleds into the snow, we would lie there on our backs, freezing and smiling; letting fat flakes sting our faces. Sometimes, we would stay there for a while, putting off the long haul to the top of the hill.
Our next trip might involve a race with a friend or doubling up, so two kids could share the experience. My favorite was the running start; guaranteed to add breathless speed to the glorious ride.
Of course, we would take a break from sledding to build a snowman or a fort. The handling and packing of snow always inspired a snowball fight. This was usually short lived, as someone would, undoubtedly, take a snowball to the face and end up crying. We all knew, at that point, it was time to take our soggy, frozen selves home for lunch. Icy jackets and gloves were put in the dryer, so they would be comfortable and ready, if we chose to spend more time outside. If not, we could remain indoors, bake cookies, play board games with a friend or watch T.V.
A snow day was a surprise vacation in the middle of what was expected. It was active, tiring and cozy. Everyone was home. Everyone was warm. Everyone was was safe. And I knew I was lucky.

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