Snow Day Envy

I woke up early Wednesday morning eager to see just how much pillowy white snow had fallen overnight. Mother Nature didnít disappoint. There were gobs of the flaky white stuff piled high on every surface. I had to resist the urge to snuggle back down under my comforter, because visions of my imaginary snow day were already dancing in my head.

It would be a great day, as all snow days are. Iíd sleep in, have a leisurely breakfast and then throw on the old snow shoes for a tromp through the woods. The branches would be piled high with freshly fallen snow and more flakes would be floating down from the sky.

Worn out yet delighted, Iíd return to the toasty-warm house and consume copious amounts of steaming hot cocoa (topped with a flotilla of mini-marshmallows AND a generous dollop of whipped cream.) My afternoon would be spent curled up reading or watching old holiday movies with Lulu, my intrepid feline, lounging about nearby. Iíd only get up to put more wood on the fire. Or to get more hot cocoa.

Sounds pretty darn good, doesnít it?

But as lovely as that would have been, it wasnít in the cards. There are no such things as snow days for us poor schlups in the newspaper business. Heck, weíre lucky we get Christmas off!

So, after spending an adequate amount of time lamenting the fact that my only opportunity to play in the snow would be the time it took to brush off my heavily-laden car, I dragged my rear end out from underneath my downy coverlet and got ready for work.

I made my prediction that it would be a snow day, long before the school closures were announced, based on the shocking dearth of early morning vehicles. Normally they start zipping by at an obscenely early hour on my country road, but not yesterday. The few that did pass were creeping along. Even the plow itself was moving slow as molasses as it rumbled by.

That didnít bother me one bit, though. I donít mind winter driving conditions, itís the other drivers that get me worried.

When I finally made my exit from the house, swaddled in warm layers and appropriate winter accessories (i.e. hat, gloves and boots), I was greeted by a most amazing sight. No, Iím not talking about the winter wonderland around me - although that was lovely, too, donít get me wrong. No, it was the sight of my dad brushing the six inches of accumulation off my car.

Oh, how I love that man!

Fifteen minutes later, after he ensured that every wayward snow particle had been removed and went through the usual litany of winter driving admonishments, I was on my way. Really wishing Iíd had a cup of that hot cocoa before my departure. But no, no mini marshmallows for me.

Although, in retrospect, at least I didnít have to shovel the driveway. And did I mention my dad cleaned off my car? Not a bad morning, all around, if I do say.

Youíd think that driving in the snow, slush and ice would be old hat for those of us who have called upstate New York home for much of our lives, but for some reason, the first snowfall of the season is kind of like that Foreigner song. You know, it feels like the first time. Feels like the very first time.

So I took it a slower than usual, but everyone else on the road before 7 a.m. seemed to be doing the same. As a result, it took me almost 45 minutes to get to work (including my pit stop in Oxford to get gas and pick up the papers) but I made it to Lackawanna Avenue safe and sound. Which, letís face it, is what really matters. Of course, I got in before the so-called morning rush hour when the scanner started hopping and it seemed like cars were sliding off the roads all over the county.

And, yes, Iím glad that there werenít any school buses out there dealing with those roads. But Iím still jealous of all those school children (and the teachers) who got a snow day today.

Iíve tried distracting myself by day dreaming about my imaginary snow day. Unfortunately contorting myself into my desk chair and reading copy off my computer screen just isnít the same as curling up at home.

Maybe if I had some cocoa ...

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