Sunday, March 1, 2009

Snow Day?

What is it about a snow day that is still so exciting? I am 43 years old and I have been out of school for a long time, and yet during the winter I pay obsessive attention to the weather. If, on the extended forecast I see that there is a chance of snow six days from now, my clicks on the National Weather Service website double. As the potential storm gets closer, my clicks increase exponentially.

This is partly explained by my voracious appetite for all things having to do with the weather. In fact, if I had life to do over again, I truly would consider studying meteorology. I am fascinated by the weather. But this fascination alone is inadequate for explaining my enduring and utter excitement about having a snow day.

As an adult, the anticipation of waiting for the six a.m. phone call from the school secretary is the closest I get to re-experiencing the excitement I used to feel on Christmas Eve when I was a kid. Yet I am not sure why this is so.

Maybe the underlying need is one for unpredictability. Life with a child, a dog, a spouse, a traditional 8-to-3 job, and little in the way of unscheduled time leaves small chance for major disruptions in my life. And it is the unforeseen major disruptions that can go a long way to keeping life interesting.

Along with the craving for disruption I also have a real love of weather extremes. I like to be out in the elements when they are doing their best to challenge people. I lived in Hodeidah on the Red Sea coast of Yemen for two years and I experienced a high temperature of 125 degrees one time. I went out for a walk in it. It was the kind of heat that forced people indoors. Those who had to be outside were like cats, hugging the slim slices of shade that clung to north facing sides of buildings in the early afternoon when the heat felt like a hammer on your head.

A few years later I moved to Montana and walked to work early one morning at 29 degrees below zero. In both cases I felt exhilarated by being out in the some REAL weather.

Maybe an official declaration of a Snow Day is evidence that the conditions have approached some level of drama that I crave both in my life and in the weather?

Whatever the reason, I am here hoping my heart out that tomorrow is a snow day.

1 comment:

  1. Did you get your snow day? We did! I know I enjoyed the extra hour of sleep.

    I know what you mean about relishing the challenge of the elements. I'm a little less excited about extreme heat, but do I take pleasure in finishing a run on a really, really cold day!