Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Snow Day = Family Day

Although we're pretty much in the mountains (ok, Salem is in the valley!), snowfall around here is REALLY unpredictable from year to year. When I was little I remember years of several deep snowfalls. 1995/1996 we had blizzards. When I met Justin there seemed to be a decent snowfall every Wednesday night for a good month or more. But ... well, you just can't count on it.
A couple years back, 2006 to be precise, was one of those years. We woke up one morning to a nice, albeit little, snowfall. Justin went ahead and went to work, it really wasn't enough to make staying home seem like a proper thing to do. Then, something happened.
Tristan was still a baby, and spent a majority of the time napping. Shannon wasn't yet 3. I couldn't get both of them together to take them out to play up the street. Shannon and I had to make due with a tiny little "hill" in between our house and one of our neighbor's while Tristan slept inside (we were right outside that room). We had fun, but it wasn't the fun we had really hoped for. By the time Justin got home, most of the snow had melted and that was it for the year.
We realized then that, as contrary as it sounds in our professional, business, industrial, etc., world .... it was more important to stay home and play in the snow. Like I said, we can't count on several snow-falls a year. Sometimes those couple inches are all that we get and, like the case was yesterday, even though the temperature never makes it above 20 degrees, it's all pretty much melted away by evening. So, Justin and I agreed that, should snow fall on a weekday, he would stay home to play. It just isn't worth it to miss.
Sunday, March 1st, it began snowing. A mixture of snow and sleet. The boys were, of course, excited beyond belief. We had a feeling Justin wouldn't be making it to work the next morning, but to be honest, by the time we went to bed, we had our doubts. However, Monday morning we woke up to scenes of white outside each window.
One of the first things I found out that day was that the "Zen Moment" of checking on the chickens in the morning can be dampened a little when you don't wear gloves, when the locks on the tractor are frozen, and when the back door has been shut (which you don't know), so you're just yelling for help randomly to the wind. Here is a photo of the chickens & their coop and tractor (taken about 7:30 am):

The second thing we quickly learned was to NEVER, EVER under-estimate the excitement of kids who know they get to go sledding. This seems like a really big "well, DUH" I know. But, being asked this every couple of minutes: "Are we ready to go sledding yet?" "Are you ready to leave yet?" "Can we go sledding now?" ~ well, it gets old VERY quickly! Especially when you are IN the shower and the water is RUNNING!!!
By 9am we were up at Salem's Municipal Golf Course - a mecca for sledding! This was the first time the four of us have been able to go up there together. Last year Justin & Shannon got to go, but Tristan was too young (and napping) and I had to stay home with him. This was a big day. The above photo is a shot of Tristan, Shannon, and Justin riding down the hill for the 1st time together. To say we all had a blast would be an enormous understatement!
But the fun didn't end there. After we had come home for hot cocoa and lunch, and the boys took their naps, the day continued on. Shannon got up first from naps as he always does. He asked to do some school-work, and so he worked on numbers. He began asking what something was, calling it a word neither Justin or I recognized. We then realized he was trying to sound out a word. Justin works during the day, so these are the treasure moments I normally get to witness. Justin happily helped Shannon sound out the word, which he quickly got, and some other words as well. A very proud parental moment indeed.
When Tristan finally got up we took a quick drive out to pick up chicken feed. The boys delighted in pointing out, every block or so, "look, it snowed here too!!" I was able to capture some photos while we were out there, and the boys got to see once again where we get our chicken feed, as well as the mini-lesson about chickens needing feed and so on. When we got home Justin fed the chickens, brought in the eggs (always one of the day's highlights!), and the boys learned that just because it snows doesn't mean there are still things we HAVE to do.
Dinner was steaks and mashed potatoes. I only point this out because the boys ate deer steaks while Justin and I had ribeyes, and I'm guessing that most dinner conversations don't revolve around questions such as: "who killed the deer?", "are you and Daddy eating dead, cooked cow?", "is that the cow they kill on the farm?", "Tristan and I are eating dead deer and you and Daddy are eating dead cow." Ahh .. the lessons of where your food comes from. Obviously this doesn't phase us, but it does tend to make others think twice before asking Shannon too many questions about his food.
The day ended with bath night and me working to upload all of the photos to my flickr photography portfolio:
Once the boys were in bed Justin and I got to relax a little and enjoy the night. We talked about why people go to work on snow days. Aside from the money that you get paid, that supports your life, what is so imperative that you must go in??? Yes, of course I can list many, many professions right now that can't call in. But for the rest of us?? The chickens had to be fed and given fresh water, along with fresh straw to keep them warm. The dogs had to be fed and given fresh water. We had to be fed and kept warm. Justin going into work to do computer work?? No. He is committed to his job of course, but family comes first. And today was far too fullfilling of a day, not to mention our ONLY snow day this winter, to go into work and miss.

1 comment:

Carole and Chewy said...

Wasn't it great! Out here in Rocky Mount we got 10" - Schools closed Mon, and today, and TOMORROW! Being homeschoolers, we used the snowed in driveway for an actual experience of what it feels like to skid on snow/ice, and then told DD to get the car stuck, so she could learn how to get it out.

High tomorrow is suppose to be 45 -it'll all be gone in no time.