Staring out at the layer of ice and snow on Monday morning, I rolled over and sent out a text message. Looked like the perfect excuse for a snow day. Sure, I planned to do some work from home, but that wouldn’t require traversing potentially dangerous streets. Or putting on pants.
If I lived in Platte City, no problem, but that wouldn’t have changed my mindset when the weather turned for the worse. I love a good snow day. Always have.
I know I’m not alone on that.
We can all remember the excitement of waking up early to find snow on the ground, watching the TV and waiting for our school to crawl along the bottom of the news feed. Children of school employees used to get the news first.
Now, social media allows for the message to go out even faster, sometimes the night before. Must be nice to skip the anticipation and go straight to sleeping in through breakfast.
Probably not as cool to be the superintendent saddled with angry Twitter responses when school doesn’t close. I’ve seen Dr. Mike Reik’s mentions in those instances. I find it funny; I’m sure he tires of it quickly.
As time goes on, snow days become less abundant.
I’m not sure Missouri Western closed once in my four years on campus, so unless you go into education for your career, you can bank on working through those miserable days, watching the snow and ice pelt down and wondering how you will make it home.
I don’t so much worry about my driving in the snow. It’s the rest of you that scare me.
At different points in my career, snow days did lead to off days, a brief reprieve during the school year to not cover high school sports. But inevitably, newspapers must be printed, so someone has do the work — much like doling out holiday shifts at dailies.
Many of you have the same problem. Gotta stay open even when the weather gets so bad that people should stay home because inevitably they don’t.
As I stared at the first winter precipitation of the season, I couldn’t help but think of snow days past.
I found myself longing for a marathon of Tecmo Super Bowl on regular Nintendo with my brother. Or possibly sledding down hills, likely running into a seemingly avoidable obstacle and injuring myself. Or perhaps making snow ice cream and using too much food coloring, turning it black instead of a color.
That last one might not be as safe anymore, but it seemed like a good idea when I was younger.
Being an adult often gets in the way of those carefree days, unless you are independently wealthy. And I certainly don’t envy those tasked with being educators, although I’ve considered moving to that field more than once as an adult.
Gotta admit, snow days are a nice draw.
Well, I dreamed of a relaxing day on the couch with coffee while writing stories. Instead, Seymour — my three-year-old miniature Dachshund — injured himself jumping off the bed, which he’s not supposed to do but that’s another story.
The crazy yelping had me convinced he broke his leg, so yeah, pretty much a nightmare.
So we called the vet and made an emergency appointment and rushed to get ready. We even let Cale go in his pajamas and snow boots — a dashing combo — and headed for Platte City anyway.
No fracture, but a lot of pain for the faithful dog. So we paid $200 and took the doggy pain pills, stopped by the office to grab some items and headed back home.
However, the comfortable snow day became a bigger chore than it was worth. Trying to interpret the needs of an injured barking dog can be infuriating.
So I managed to get some work done anyway, and by early evening, the dog was jumping on and off the couch again — much to my chagrin and without my permission — with the once emphatic limp suddenly going away.
Yes, the dream of a snow day was ruined by life. That seems to be the case as you get older and deal with responsibility. As I pounded out a couple of stories on the keyboard late Monday night, I still held tight to those fond snow day memories.
Maybe next time.
Ross Martin is publisher of The Citizen. He may be reached via email at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter: @Citizen_Ross.