Dusting

I woke up to a dusting. It must have snowed for fifteen minutes last night. A transparent white cover on the dirt patch in my backyard, an area we reseeded last fall, too late to grow grass, a project waiting for spring. And a frosting of snow running the length of a fallen tree, a pin oak that grew atop the borderline between my yard and the federal property behind. After forty years of success, it fell over, echoing like an explosion of thunder on a quiet, sunny Saturday afternoon. That it fell into the wooded federal land, a gift, financial and visual. It sits there today, unattended, a feline gathering spot for the neighborhood strays.

I got out of bed early, like a schoolchild anticipating a snow day, I couldn’t sleep anymore. Not excited about what fell, but the forecast for forty-eight hours of continual snowfall, a quarter inch an hour, that’s likely to disrupt my community for the next two days. I can’t help myself. My mid-Atlantic upbringing wired me to view snowstorms as holidays. In my neck of the woods, if snow accumulates, the world shuts down. That it’s Sunday, a day I don’t work, is unimportant. Sleeping late today would be like sleeping in on Christmas.

Throughout my teenage years, snow-forecasting sucked. The predictions binary, yes or no, but even that was often wrong. We went to bed believing it might snow and woke up to twenty inches… or none. I read about today’s storm last Tuesday. The expected accumulation hasn’t changed since. The storm started right on schedule, down to the hour. The accuracy takes something away. Like knowing what’s under the tree before opening the presents. My kids will never know the shock of a surprise snowstorm. And now, post 2020, they don’t get snow days either. The schools—high school and university—announced that snow days would be Zoom days. Business as usual from here on out.

Unlike my kids, I can’t switch back and forth between home and office on a whim. I need to make preparations. I have files to transfer and documents to bring home. I suppose now, with just a dusting, I could pop into work and grab the necessary materials, prepare myself for the next few days, but I’m in holiday mode. I’ll drink another cup of coffee instead.

16 thoughts on “Dusting

  1. We’re expecting a lot of snow in the next two days as well. I am excited about it too! Our backyard is a hill that is perfect for sledding. We even have floodlights for nighttime sledding. I am on my way outside to make sure the yard is ready for the fun ahead. My big kids will do their zooms tomorrow. Declan has resigned himself to zooms – but I am thinking he can take a sick day. Given the chance, he will spend his entire day outside playing in the white bliss!

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    • See, that’s the difference between northern and mid-Atlantic. When I lived in DC, 10 inches would shut down the city for 3 full days. I’m starting to think this storm is never going to drop snow fast enough to get ahead of the plows and shut stuff down. Maybe overnight. They can’t plow 24 hours a day.

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  2. I saw snow on the western slopes of the mountains… good enough for me TYVM!😂😂
    And good for you, you are quite honestly “snowed in”. You can’t possibly think about practical matters when the snow is falling.😉

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  3. I have an almost completely different response to waking up to snow. I curl back under my covers and pretend it isn’t happening. I get up, grudgingly and nurse my cup of tea until I, finally, get my snow suit on, rubber snow boots and bundle up to plow the snow on my corner lot. I make a huge deal of dreading it. But, when it’s all done and I get to go inside and get toasty warm, I almost feel like it wasn’t so bad after all. (Curmudgeons run strong in my family.)

    This happened today, by the way. So, if it doesn’t snow tonight, I won’t have to do it while my kid is online in school tomorrow!

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    • I pretty much took the whole day as an holiday. The closest thing to an activity is a walk around the neighborhood with Susan. All the rest was reading and writing. My fingers are crossed that my work is closed tomorrow. Can’t see why it wouldn’t be. It’s supposed to snow for another 36 hours.

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  4. Having grown up in Utah, you’d think I’d have experienced at least one snow day in my life, but nope! Rain, shine, snow, earthquake, school was always on. I’m happy that you got to enjoy some snow though, Sunday would be the best day for that!

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  5. I ran CJ’s on Saturday. I was amazed at the amount of snow on the ground in the park. Here in Lancaster County, we had no snow, then 10 minutes before we got to the park, there were several inches on the ground. I was glad I brought my YakTrax! Anyway…as a teacher, I was always conditioned to think of a snow day as a vacation day. Our district still does it that way. I don’t understand why. Why not Zoom?

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  6. It is amazing, how precise weather predictions have become. Partly good, but as you note, it takes the surprise out of awakening to…snow? How much? Enough to really play in? Has the world shut down because of the snow? Do I have a legitimate excuse to blow off my adult responsibilities?

    Doesn’t matter how old I get, I still look forward to snow days.

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