Friday, May 23, 2008

Snow Day in May

Long ago and far away when we lived in Illinois, we had these wonderful things called "snow days". When we would get a particularly heavy snow, the kids' school got cancelled for the day. Since I worked at the school, that meant I didn't have to go in either. So after poor Jerry dug himself out and went to work, the girls and I had the day to ourselves. A whole unexpected day to do whatever we wanted. To play and be lazy or to dig into a new project of some kind. On scheduled days off, things were usually planned or appointments were made, etc. But a snow day expected nothing from you. It was a gift. It was terrific.
When we moved to Georgia and I went to work for the school system here, they had two specific days, late on the calendar, that were called "snow days". I was confused. I asked someone, "How do you know which days, exactly, that it's going to snow? And isn't that kind of late in the year?" They looked at me like I was stupid. (I got a lot of those looks when we first moved down here.) They patiently explained that if we did have a snow day at some point during the school year (that rarely happened), then we would be in session on those days to make up for it. If we didn't, then we would have those days off. Still...they were sort of "planned", so it wasn't quite the same.
It's been a long time since I've had what felt like a real "snow day"...until yesterday. I was scheduled to work at the shop yesterday, but on Wednesday evening I was talking to Melisa and she asked how I would like to just take the day to sit out by the pool. (She's a funny one, that Melisa.) She said that she didn't have anything pressing going on at the shop and she could probably handle it herself. So there I was -- with this gift of a "free day". I know...being semi-retired you'd think I'd feel like I have a lot of free days. It seems funny, but I really don't. Just like this weekend. I have three days with nothing on the calendar, but in my mind they will be busy days. I need to do some budget stuff, finish a quilt top I've been working on, spend a couple of hours on restoring an old quilt for someone else, clean out my closet, etc.
So I treated Thursday like a snow day and did none of the things on my list. But I did get busy. It was a beautiful day, so I washed a load of beach towels, table cloths, etc. and hung them out on the line to dry. Then I cleaned out the refrigerator! I didn't know the florets on the broccoli would turn that shade of yellow after a "while". (Does that expiration date on the pickle jar really say "2006"???) Then I went outside and pruned the pyracantha bushes on the fence in front of the house. Every time I've come or gone from the house lately I've thought, "Those things are out of control!". I thawed some steaks for dinner and made a new dessert..."Banana Split Cake"...for later. Then Jerry and I planted a small peony bush and the last of the red verbena that hadn't been put in the ground yet. I talked to Jodi and she was frustrated with the sewing machine I loaned her last week. It was messing up and she couldn't get the thread tension right. I asked her if she wanted me to come over and take a look at it. She said that would be good. I asked if she had plans for dinner and she didn't, so I told her I would bring over steaks and salmon for the grill and a dessert and she could make the rest of the sides, etc. So after fertilizing the front yard garden, Jerry and I got showered and went to Jodi and Jeremy's. I had called Jess and asked her to come join us, so it turned into a fun family dinner.
The beautiful day turned into a beautiful evening and while I fixed the sewing machine, Jess played with Savannah and Jerry, Jodi and Emery took a walk down to the lake (Jeremy had a softball game after dinner). Then Grandpa and I showed the little ones how to "wheelbarrow" race. When it was time for their baths, we came home and I caught the last half of the two-hour season finale of Gray's Anatomy. What a great day. You just gotta love those "snow days"!

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