Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Have an Ice Day

Last night I told the boy that when he awoke this morning, it would feel a little bit like Christmas.


I pointed out the window to the brown grass in back. "Because things will change overnight."

And lo, it came to pass. The promised storm arrived and precipitated itself upon the region. And the old feeling, the pent-up excitement, the suspension of the rules -- snow day! -- came with it. Somehow, this feeling holds more promise than the warm breeze in April or the dry-leaf smell in October. The crooked mudroom, the fear of ice dams, the question of mobility, all that could wait. It was a Snow Day.

From the beginning, though, this "snow" looked odd. And it grew moreso when I ventured out to shovel a little. It was ice. The thermometer said 12 degrees, but this was a form of sleet. Super-frozen, microscopic, rock-hard, perfectly round, and completely frictionless. Silica gel anti-moisture packets, split open, dumped from zeppelins, chilled. Nitrogen-dipped quinoa launched from confetti guns. It was heavy on the shovel.

I made a path to the car, then came back in to start working from home. And despite that, despite the fact that I still had to work, despite the fact that now I own the house with the snow all over it and the Yukonesque heating bill, despite the fact that the snow was ice and heavier than it had a right to be, despite it all, I took a little of that promise with me into the day. It helped that a couple of hours later the boy came in with blooming cheeks, runny nose, hathead and stories.

I'm going to commute tomorrow, but I've already decided: Snow Day.

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