Photos and Story submitted by Sarah Sobanski
Kids prepare for snow days the night before. Mum or Dad will casually mention, “We’re supposed to get freezing rain tonight.”
Cue ears ringing around the house — children and pets alike. Sometimes it’s a struggle to get the kids to bed. Tonight it’s, “Dad can you tuck me in,” and, “Mum, can you make the alarm clock so that it wakes me up with the radio?”
The next day your eyes peek open. It’s still dark outside. You don’t want to move the covers from your chin because the woodstove has gone out overnight and that morning chill has seeped into the air.
You look at the alarm clock. It glows 5:59 a.m., it’ll go off at 6 a.m.
You yawn, and before you finish the end of some song, you’re too excited to place runs through its ending notes. And then — the announcers start talking about something you don’t care about.
“Common, common, common, common,” you whisper.
“We have a couple of bus cancellations today —”
Your friend’s school gets announced. The Catholic school up the road gets announced. Then, FINALLY, your school gets announced!
You throw off those covers; no one cares about the chill anymore. You run to the window. It is undeniably snowing, and you are positively not going to school.
As adults, snow days invoke the surreal feeling of simplistic joy. We were so inspired by such a tiny act. The memories of the days we spent so incredibly excited that a big yellow bus couldn’t get to us, linger.
How did you spend your snow days? Was the snow light or packable? That’s important. It meant the difference between jumping on the snowmobile and building a snowman. Or maybe you went snowshoeing to your favourite spot on the lake with Dad. Maybe you caught what the biggest-fish-ever was then, but now you’re sure he exaggerates when he retells the story.
What if there was too much snow? Is that even possible? Maybe snow days weren’t really about getting out in the cold for you. Maybe you remember them best when you were a teenager, and a day off meant an extra day with friends or both Mum and Dad worked, so you got the place to yourself for eight-whole-hours. You wrote, or read, or sipped hot chocolate on the phone while chatting with a friend about things you weren’t supposed to — but no one is listening.
Snow days are ironic. Ironic in the way that they’re the only day kids bound out of bed on a school day. Ironic in the way that they bring some of the worst snow storms, but you’re not even close to worried about it. When else in the winter time do we cross our fingers and hope for terrible weather?
As adults now, snow days are a little less magical. But when we see them light up the faces of anyone experiencing them for the first time, we forget about how we’re going to get to work, or who's going to look after them, or any other mundane day-to-day worry for a moment.
There isn’t a lot to be said for adventure and unknown in the world nowadays. But when it comes to a snow day, you never know what can happen. For ideas and inspiration on what to do in Hastings County on snow days, read our blog posts Winter Family Fun.
Storyteller: Sarah Sobanski. Hometown: Bancroft, ON
If you asked her, Sarah would tell you there’s no better way to spend a sunny Sunday than driving down roads you’d never been on and stopping at sights you’d never surveyed — a strong cup of Joe in hand. A believer in dogs, wine and fate, Sarah gets excited about experiencing life’s little things like walking a river boardwalk, taking a sign making class or getting lunch somewhere new. If she’s not out writing about the community you can find her at home trying to grow, cook or craft something she’s recently discovered. It’s all very trial and error.