We’ve had snow here for over a month now. In all, we have close to a foot of snow on the ground, and thick patches of snow on the branches of all the spruce trees. As we don’t really get wind here, it always feels magical outside and all cozy inside.
This has me yearning for a snow day. You New Englanders know them well. They are the truest gift of time, where the day can be filled with knitting and cooking and no guilt that you really should be doing something else. But alas…
One of the things about working in Alaska’s school system is that people are accustomed to driving in the snow. Everyone has snow tires or studded tires. Even the school buses have chains for the tires. The DOT trucks throw gravel on the road instead of salt and sand. Kids go out for recess until the thermometer hits 20 degrees below zero. Winter is a fact of life. It’s half the year up here. All of that means we don’t get snow days.
Not never… last year right before Thanksgiving we had this freak warming in the night, so instead of snow it rained. But the ground was still frozen, so the rain froze instantly on everything. And then the temperatures immediately dropped to below zero again. There were two inches of ice on the roads and no way to treat it, because salt doesn’t work below a certain temp. So we had two days off.
Unfortunately this is a rarity and I have had no anticipation of something like that happening again. That is, until Friday, when we received multiple emails from principals informing us of a fast developing storm that might bring up to 2 feet of snow Sunday night, with gusts of wind up to 55mph! “Don’t forget your phone tree” and “Review procedures for delayed openings” my bosses declared. And there it was….that familiar flicker of excitement and possibility returned to my belly. Hope. I remembered longingly the feeling of the phone ringing at 5:30 and sitting up and cheering, before even answering it! Is it possible I could receive this glorious gift of time?
It’s not looking too promising. The weather advisory has been taken off NOAA’s website. Snow is “likely” with the possibility of freezing rain. In Alaska, just snow isn’t enough. My hope lies in the freezing rain. The only downside is the freezing rain and wind will take away my magical treescape outside. So I guess there’d better be a snow day to make up for it!