It’s been so long, I’d forgotten. I’d forgotten all of it. How you can see the air and the wind by watching the snow move down it. How the blackness of tree branches is thrown into stark relief by the layer of bright white snow. How the plows rumble down the street. How the plastic shovels scrape on the sidewalk. How the snow hisses as it falls through the air. How it rustles when it hits the ground.
How hard it is to drive in the stuff.
I had a quandary. The weather is slightly better in Springfield, where I work, than it is in Northampton, where I live. At home, we’re having a proper winter storm, the first one since the Great Halloween Blizzard of ’11. At work, it’s just a winter weather event, and I gather they’ve been picking up plenty of rain and not all that much snow. Yesterday, I bailed on office hours and the faculty meeting, because the plows hadn’t gotten out yet and the roads in town weren’t really passable. Technially they were, but from a practical standpoint? Good chance of sliding around and whanging into something, or someone. Even better chance of someone else sliding around and whanging into me. Cancelling my participation in the work events of yesterday was a no-brainer.
Today? Not so easy. We’re in the middle of covering some wicked hard stuff, and I don’t like to cancel class anyway – it’s too disruptive. But if (not “when” but “if) I made it out of town to work, I’d be headed back into the storm in rush hour traffic after dark. That happened before…I found myself headed home in a blizzard, in the dark, on black ice, in rush hour traffic. It took 45 minutes to go 3 miles, and it took five years off my life. Was right up there with the Madcap Adventures of Roy and Lori, episode 1: Crossing The Mountains In The Great Halloween Blizzard of ’11. No thanks, I’ve used up my quota of hair-raising automotive trips for the next three years.
Fortunately, I realized that there was some slack in the schedule, next week no less, in fact, the very next class meeting. Plan A: Discuss a case. Plan B: Move today’s meeting to the case discussion day, and don’t discuss the case.
Of course, now that I think on it, the reason I stuck in entire class meetings dedicated to case discussion was as a direct result of having to cancel class several times last winter due to our epic snowfalls. I had just forgotten that too.
So now, it’s a Snow Day in every best sense of the word: it’s unexpected, it’s snowy, it’s here. It’s too snowy to drive to work. And the best thing? It’s snowing even harder on my ski mountain up in Vermont. They’re having a Powder Day. I like the sound of a Powder Day better than I like the reality of one, because I do not know how to ski powder. I need a lesson in that. But by tomorrow morning, all this awesome powder is going to be smooshed down into Packed Powder, my very favorite snow surface ever. I can hardly wait.
Here are some fun pictures from yesterday evening.