Thursday, February 25, 2010
Thursday, February 11, 2010
by Kim Evans for the Herald Times, Bloomington, IN
It’s Monday night. Snow’s in the forecast again.
Tomorrow morning I’ll be listening to the radio as they run through their list of school closings. Bartholomew...Bedford/North Lawrence...Brown County...Eastern Greene...Richland-Bean Blossom...Martinsville... and ... and ... time stands still...will they say Monroe County schools?
If they do, the decades-old snow-day-butterflies-of-joy will resurrect in my stomach and flutter a happy dance once more. When I was a kid, MCCSC was always the last to declare a snow day.
As a self-employed mother of a sixth-grader, I have the benefit of flexing my hours when needed, which means a snow day offers the opportunity for a slower morning pace, more time under the warm covers, and the opportunity to reminisce about winters past.
I was a sixth-grader when one of Mother Nature’s biggest snowstorms, the Blizzard of ’78, moved through Indiana.
This was an exciting storm. My family and I huddled around the news broadcast on the small black and white television in our kitchen. A little “Blizzard Warning” box was a constant reminder in the corner of the TV screen. I was enthralled. I never wanted that little blizzard box to leave.
Campus was shut down, so my parents got to stay home from work. They joined my brother and me for a marathon session of Monopoly on the card table in the living room. We kept the game going for the duration of the blizzard, taking breaks only for meals, sleep, to check the weather report, or to gaze out the window. I think each of us bounced back from bankruptcy at least once, borrowing Monopoly money from one another to get through the rough patches.
It was a sad transition for me when the storm finally passed through our part of the country and the news station removed the blizzard warning box. But the next phase of discovery was about to begin. We ventured outdoors to explore the pristine Arctic landscape left behind.
Getting the door open was our first challenge. A snow drift reached halfway up the door. Once we dug out, it took several hours just to shovel the sidewalk, resulting in snow banks up to my shoulders on either side. The wind had sculpted interesting curves and drifts in the snow around our house and trees. My brother and I couldn’t resist jumping into a drift by the house that reached over our heads!
Our house sat a quarter mile from the highway, and with pioneer-like determination, we trudged our way to the road to survey the scene. We finally arrived, only to discover the highway was no longer discernable. I remember the odd sensation of playing in the road, eerily silent, without a care of traffic.
Eventually the roads were cleared and life slowly resumed its normal pace. The string of snow days had reached a total of nine, and returning to school was like returning from a long vacation break. Teachers sent home thick “snow packets” filled with make-up schoolwork. It was time to shake the snow out of our heads and get our minds working again.
We now fast-forward up to 2010. By the time this column makes it to print, we’ll know if the 5 to 8 inches that was forecasted actually made it to the ground. For now, life is in a temporary state of suspension; a nice break from the normal routine.