Friday, December 09, 2016

The Snowy Day


It doesn't snow often in Seattle, a fact that surprises some people who only know the city from where it sits geographically, but our marine climate tends to guarantee that our copious precipitation remains rain. That said, I'm sitting in my apartment this morning, enjoying the final flurries of an overnight dusting that has apparently mucked up the roads enough that Seattle Public Schools has announced a weather-related 2-hour delay, which in turn means that we've cancelled our morning class.

We've been anticipating this snow event for several days as local forecasters have tracked the approach of a warm, wet weather system, figuring that snow would be the result of it's collision with a dry, cold one. No one was expecting major snowfall, with most calling for, at most, 1-2 inches in the city, but one can always hope.

One of the perks of being a teacher are snow days. Yesterday, I read my classes Ezra Jack Keats' classic picture book The Snowy Day. I told them that I hoped they woke up this morning with "snow as far as the eye can see." The children told me about the snow balls they were going to throw, the snow angels they were going to make, and the big hills they were going to slide down. None of them planned to try to save a snow ball in their pockets the way Peter did in the book. They all know the place to save a snow ball is the freezer.

The snow is still falling in fits and starts, but the forecasters anticipate that it will turn to rain within the hour, which means that if the children don't wake up soon, the view outside their windows may look no different than yesterday. Many of their parents expressed the hope that the snow wouldn't come at all, that the roads would remain drivable, fretting about the things they wouldn't be able to do today, things they needed to do. Those adults will likely get their wish.

The children, however, will likely get their wish too. They'll find a few pockets of remaining snow to delight them. They'll form snow balls from the thin layer of accumulation on the hood of the car and the top of the mailbox. They'll lay on their backs on their white-dusted lawns, scissor their arms and legs and call it an angel. They'll scoot down hills and stand up with muddy bottoms and call it sledding. And some will think to collect one last fistful of snow and stash it in the freezer as a reminder of their snowy day.

They will have all the fun that Peter had. Indeed, they already have.

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