Hopelessly hoping for that snow day

Winter in Alaska — it’s supposed to be this relaxing time to curl up in your cabin and take up quilting or write the Great American Novel. Not in my reality. I feel like I work from sunup to sundown, and I don’t get anything done.

Oh yeah, we only get eight hours of daylight these days.

Still, every time I turn around, there’s more snow to shovel. This is the chore that never ends ­— it’s worse than laundry.

Yesterday it was a three-foot wide berm that I had to break up with a spade before I could budge it. Today it was six inches of slush covering the driveway, with every shovel load weighed down by at least a hundred pounds of water. Each of these mammoth shovel loads had to be catapulted over a wall of snow built up over the past few days of unrelenting snowfall. My whole body aches by the end of the day.

The sad part is, my son is trying to earn money for a summer trip, so he’s happy to do the shoveling. Too bad for me that I’m the first one to get home in the afternoon, after the plow has thoughtfully deposited a mountain of snow on the bottom of the driveway.

I shouldn’t complain. We’ve gotten a mere four feet of snow in January, compared to the 18 feet that buried Cordova early in the month. Still, four feet makes a hefty pile of snow to fling about. All that snow, and not even one snow day.

Every night the kids snuggle into their beds while visions of snow days dance in their heads. They check the weather and speculate: “Four to eight inches forecast overnight — maybe there won’t be any school tomorrow,” or “Do I really need to study for that test?”

Even I have caught the snow day bug. When that alarm rings in the middle of the night masquerading as morning, well before the sun even comes up, I lay in bed thinking, “Maybe it’s finally a snow day today, and I won’t have to get up.” Good way to make the whole family late on a school day that turns out — surprise! — not to be a snow day.

Problem is, we already had a snow day, way back in November, when the snowfall measured a mere eight inches or so.

We got up as usual, rushed outside to clear the driveway, only to learn halfway through the chore that we could have stayed snug in our beds. Too bad they couldn’t let us know ahead of time. The best part about not having to go to school is, of course, sleeping in.

I guess going back to bed is the next best thing.

We sure made the most of that lovely snow day. But it set up unrealistic expectations all across the city. Now, every time we get eight inches of snow at one time, we feel like we deserve a snow day.

Of course, the best snow days are the unexpected ones, like that random day of freedom in November.

I remember the one time school was cancelled for snow when I was growing up. It was my freshman year in high school. It was awesome!

No eight inches of snow there — we had flurries in the air, and the water in my backyard birdbath was frozen over. The power companies couldn’t handle the unprecedented cold, so the city closed all the schools to lighten their load. As I recall, we were out of school for at least two days. It was January of ’77, the last time it snowed in St. Petersburg, Florida.

Think of us deprived Floridians who had never seen snow — we thought we’d died and gone to Alaska. I remember riding my bike to swim practice (in an outdoor pool) through the swirling snowflakes. Thankfully, we didn’t swim that day. I think that was the best snow day ever.

So it’s raining tonight.

Maybe the rain will freeze and make the sidewalks so slick that they’ll have to close the schools tomorrow.

Maybe I’ll finally get the chance to sleep in.

Or maybe I’m fooling myself.


Sun, 02/19/2017 - 02:39

Historic painting comes to Alaska

Sun, 02/19/2017 - 02:34

Guy About Town: Help for a town made of people

Hey, all! I hope you’ve been having a healthy, enjoyable January despite the meteorological mood swings. Like seriously, it’s like it can’t decide whether it wants to try to rip the door off my house or knock on it gingerly and sell me cookies. I have the fortune, however, of not having windows in my office. See, I don’t have to watch the tumultuous perpetual gray on the one hand, and on the other I don’t have to feel bad about being inside when it’s sunny. I just turn on my Costa Rica webcam and put my shades and Pet Sounds album on and party with those spreadsheets all day long.

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Sun, 02/19/2017 - 02:30

A big thank you to Bartlett Hospital’s cardiac rehabilitation department

Thank you to the staff and patients of Bartlett’s Cardiac Rehabilitation Department for their donation of baby food. This much-needed donation is critical for providing healthy food to young family members, who are most in need of nutritious food. We should always remember that “healthy choices fight heart disease.” Bartlett’s Cardiac Rehabilitation Department’s special, specific donation reminds us that the health of our children is the first step towards a long and healthy life, and their generosity is overwhelming. This donation will make a difference in the lives of babies and their families in need. Thank you Bartlett’s Cardiac Rehabilitation Department!

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