There’s nothing quite like a snow day


I couldn’t help but laugh one day last week when a high school girl told me she was praying for a snow day just in time for semester exams. There is nothing like the combination of youth and snow, especially when it means a day of freedom from school.
I feel for the kids who will have no memories of snow days, because there is just not anything else in the world quite like it.
No sleeping. For us, it didn’t mean sleeping in, because we had already been to the barn for the morning milking. We would, however, turn the barn radio to the local station to listen for the earliest closing and delay list, hoping against hope to hear our school named.
“I’ll watch the milkers. You listen for the list!” one of us would say.
There would be plenty of celebrating all around on those mornings that our school turned up on the closed list. It meant more time for a morning shower, enjoying a big breakfast, perhaps a trip back to bed for a little while to catch up on some much-needed sleep.
But, most important, it meant planning a day of fun. We had a cubbyhole under the top step of the cellar stairs where we kept a collection of ice skates. If you were lucky, from year to year, there would be a pair that would fit amazingly well. If you were unlucky, an older sister laid claim to the pair that fit her last year.
More than a time or two, I was stuck with the smallest pair just because I was the youngest girl. And like it or not, ice skating on the farm pond required extra socks just to keep those feet from freezing to the point they felt they would fall off.
Preparing. Heavy snows meant preparing the ice before we could skate. I remember zipping across that ice with scoop shovels we had borrowed from the barns, hearing Dad’s voice admonishing us, “Be sure to put that back where you found it!”
The worst part of a day of skating was sitting down on the snowy ground, pulling off boots in order to put those skates on. It was frosty misery, but simply had to be endured if we wanted the thrill of the skate.
Getting back up, dressed in layers of long underwear, coveralls and coats was sometimes the most difficult task of the entire day.
But, boy, was it worth it! We pretended to be Olympic skaters as we took to the ice, the crowds cheering us on.
Imagination. An incredibly vivid imagination was required to make those old coveralls turn into gorgeous costumes of frilly pink and white. Imagination helped, too, when a skitterish slide across the ice turned into a triple lutz performance for an adoring crowd.
The greatest thrill of all was skating while large snowflakes fell, giving us hope for yet another snow day to follow.
Life was good!

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Judith Sutherland, born and raised on an Ohio family dairy farm, now lives on a 70-acre farm not far from the area where her father’s family settled in the 1850s. Appreciating the tranquility of rural life, Sutherland enjoys sharing a view of her world through writing. Other interests include teaching, reading, training dogs and raising puppies. She and her husband have two children, a son and a daughter, and three grandchildren.