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Random 5 Snow Day(s) ~ town buddies, pant checks and heroes

Like much of the country, we’ve been smack in the middle of a winter storm for nearly a week and today, temperatures plummeted ~ Meteorologists are breathlessly reporting, “Polar Vortex, Arctic Chill and Extreme cold warnings!!” as the furnace hums steadily. I was up long before I needed to be but enjoyed puttering around the house in winter’s quiet.

Seeing the scroll of school, church and business closings last night I couldn’t help but remember my farm childhood and hearing two deliciously wonderful words at morning’s cusp, “SNOW DAY!”  And my snowy memories inspired me to post these Random Snow Day Thoughts ~ here we go:

1 )  Growing up in the country farm kids like me had a “town” buddy in case severe weather came quickly.  My town buddy was a classmate named Melanie Wright – her house was in the middle of the village.  I’d estimate a walk there took less than 10 minutes but it sure felt longer to me.  I recall spending the night once or twice, being fed and warm but also terribly homesick.  I couldn’t have been more than 7 or 8.   I think that’s Melanie in the sailor dress next to me (in the bow tie), front row.

  • This picture represents 2 grades; my grade was one of the largest with 11 kids.
    • We often had 3 grades sharing one room in our little brick schoolhouse ~ God Bless our teachers!

Class picture, an Emjayandthem (C) photo

2 )  Bitter blizzards and freezing winds take me right back to Mom’s kitchen where she, the 100lb dynamo, would stand at the door and make my siblings & I pull up our pant legs to give evidence of tights or long johns underneath. No negotiating,  no exceptions, “don’teventryit.”    She showed her love and care for us in a multitude of ways but the love I felt via a pants inspection lingers with me still.  Man I miss her.

Mom & Sport, winter 1952-53. An Emjayandthem (C) photo

3 )  Being home since last Thursday I’ve leaned into my stack of books. Read 3, ordered 4 more, and plan on starting another tonight.   Couldn’t. Be. Cozier.

“The world was hers for the reading.” – Betty Smith

Bucket List Goals: Trinity College Library in Dublin, Ireland

4 ) Our local news has been sharing heartwarming stories of folks stepping up to help others out of a snowy ditch, clearing sidewalks, checking on elderly neighbors and even rescuing dogs out in the (dangerous) cold.   I have my own story to share:   a  situation arose late Monday that necessitated me making a quick trip to the office to pick up several (specialty) items ~ these were to be shipped to a colleague in another state.  The request came Monday evening, in the midst of white-out conditions with winter warnings” all around.   Pondering my next move, Hubbs made it easy, “I’ll take you.”    Yes I could have driven myself but that wasn’t the point.   Accompanied by his calm demeanor, fuzzy pants and snow boots, we set out the next day ~ roads were awful, snow-covered and icy.  Visibility was maybe 12 feet.  It was in that moment I was reminded of something Mom had always said:  Romance is not always flowers and chocolates … it’s someone willing to lay down a brick for you, over and over and over again.   And, as usual, she was right.

5 )  With 480+ area schools on an extended winter break, Schwartz Creek School Administrators in Clayton Township, Michigan got their “Snow Day” announcement just right  ~  Hallelujah, indeed! 🙂

 

  • Is the 2019 Polar Vortex affecting you / your area?
  • Did you have a “storm buddy” as a child?
  • Any “hero” stories to share?
  • Ever had a “pants” inspection?

 

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Categories: Attitude, Determination, Faith, Family, Fun, Gratitude, Home, Joy, Life, Love, Mom, News, Personal, Quotes | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

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11 thoughts on “Random 5 Snow Day(s) ~ town buddies, pant checks and heroes

  1. The old days when we wore heavy melton wool coats. If we fell over, it took strength to get up again. I remember the leggings. The nuns helps us put them on before when went home.

    • I remember the wool coats and how wet they’d get (and how long they took to dry). We had radiators in our school and the smell of woolen mittens warming on them is one that lingers with me! Neat memories of the Nuns helping you with your leggings, MJ

  2. We’re not affected YET by the storm, but cold temps coming tomorrow. No, never had a snow buddy; all of us were in a rural area. Love your story about the pants inspection.
    That snow day song was amazing: they have great voices!

    • well you stay warm and safe in those cold temps coming, Dianna!
      we had a mix of farm kids and “townies,” – I am sure the Moms came up with the “designated buddy” plan — I don’t recall it lasting long, but this was before accurate forecasts & alerts. I do remember being “storm-stayed” a lot at my cousin’s house (and best pal still to this day) – her farm was along the highway but ours was down the road that often drifted in … we always had gobs of fun together and my Aunt Irene was a good sport to have both of us, often for weeks at a time, in addition to her other (older kids). That’s why I always have so much respect for her and Mom, they just got in there and dealt with stuff, no hand-wringing, just a “get it done” mentality.

      That song was amazing, I agree, wonderful harmony 🙂

      MJ

  3. Loved the song! How creative. And no, we’re not getting the frigid weather you have. Although it dipped down to just below freezing the past 2 nights. I can just imagine your mother’s inspection! I did wear long underwear to school many times when I lived in New England. The temps your getting are even too cold for things like skiing, skating, and sledding. Best for hot tea and a good book.

    • I loved it, too – they did great with such amazing harmony!
      Long underwear has its place, for sure, I don’t have any but hubbs does for fall golf 🙂 I have been known to wear tights under dress slacks for meetings at the Capitol (in and out of state offices with lots of outside walking). Last night we bundled up with socks in bed and added an extra extra blanket – I prefer sleeping in a cool room so I was fine; Hubbs has sported head-to-toe fleece for weeks now!
      No skiing,skating or sledding in my near future – but 42F by Monday – and floods. Crazy weather.
      Thanks for weighing in, Susan!

      MJ

  4. Wow … what a fantastic and creative YouTube video message to the parents of the school district! Leonard Cohen would have been proud! Those two should go on tour. Good post, MJ, no polar vortex here on Vancouver Island and the temperature right now is +8C. Thankfully we are a lot more fortunate here on Vancouver Island, it is supposed to rain later, with the small chance of snow overnight, and so far this winter my snow shovel hasn’t even had to come out of the shed. Our tulips are actually poking through the soil and the trees are budding in the back garden. And I do remember my Mom conducting a pants check to make sure we had our long johns on, or when we came in she had to make sure that we had shaken off any snow from the cuffs of our jeans that we may have trundled through on our way home from school. Stay warm while you wait for the 42F that is on its way …

    • Agree – they had unexpectedly good voices and wonderful harmony. I had great fun watching that 🙂

      Enjoy your mild temps and lack of snow shoveling. I ventured out to the grocery store yesterday, along with half of my neighborhood. Trudged through the snow to the store, chatted with a few folks, bought a full cart and pushed that THROUGH the snow- smiled at a Senior Citizen and my teeth ached for 30 mins. Global warming my @ss.

      Gotta love the Mom Pants Check, weren’t we the lucky ones 🙂 Question – do you remember a snow burn? Snow contact on the wrist? OH the agony!

      Happy Friday 🙂
      MJ

  5. As cold as it is here in the Philadelphia burbs, it still hasn’t gotten cold enough to bring back memories of childhood winters out on Long Island. My siblings and I attended Catholic School and so we were snuggled under our very heavy wool coats with heavy wool plaid skirts and heavy wool blazers. And waiting for the bus was painful–even though we were bundled up with hats, two pairs of gloves, boots and scarves!
    The Sisters of Mercy had no mercy when it came to a snow day. I don’t ever remember having one but I do remember more snow back then. And being completely bundled up on the weekends and playing in the snow–snowball fights, building forts and ice skating down at the local group of lakes. My mother would hand each of a thermos of hot chocolate and tell us to come home for dinner. There’s something very special about that treatment. None of us were spoiled. We weren’t coddled and were sent out to face the cold because the cold air killed germs! We weren’t at home with video games.

    What boggles my mind now is when I leave for work in the mornings, the street is crowded with an abundance of automobiles with children sitting in the car waiting for the school bus. My thoughts are that these children are very sensitive to the cold because mommy and daddy don’t want them standing waiting for the bus–if you’re spending that much time with the motor running–just drive them!!!

    Times change, and I love your school photo! XOXOXOXO

  6. “The sisters of mercy had no mercy” – ha ha — like you, we were bundled up and booted outside. “The Cold kills the germs!” was a common phrase heard at my house and school, too.

    Remember how long it took woolen mittens to dry?
    Remember inverting boots over heating vents or near radiators? (Our school had radiators ..)

    Remembering hot cocoa in thermoses now …. mmmm!!

    Thanks for chiming in, Catherine 🙂

    MJ

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