Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Half a Snow Day is Better Than None At All

My daughter and I were all set for a snow day today.  We were ready.  We had good snacks on hand, we were prepared to sleep in, and, as a bonus, yesterday I'd gone to the library and checked out the DVDs for the BBC version of Pride and Prejudice.  You know, the one where young, handsome Colin Firth goes swimming and his thin white shirt clings to him, and it has nothing whatsoever to do with the story but no one cares because it's Colin Firth in a clinging wet shirt.  Yeah.  That one. 

I also found out I'm on the library's List.  Apparently they don't like the fact that I've been hanging onto all the Egyptian research books I'd borrowed, regardless of their due dates.  But I digress.

The local news station texts my cell phone if my daughter's school is delayed.  (It's my son's school too; he and his dad are out of town.)  So I put my phone on the nightstand, and as soon as my alarm went off in the morning I checked it.  Nothing.  I sat up in bed and looked out, and saw a smattering of snow across the grass, and none at all on our long driveway.  But it was very early.  I hit "snooze" and went back to sleep.

Twenty minutes later I was forced to accept that the Bristol, TN, schools had nothing.  Not even a five-minute delay.  I woke my daughter and she grumbled off to school.  I put the horses out to play in the snow--more was falling--and sat down to work on my novel.

At 9:15 I left for Faith in Action, as I always do on Wednesdays.  Snow was still falling fast, but sticking only to the grass, not the roads, which were presumably still too warm.  When I got to FIA I was surprised to see only Toni and Tyler's cars--I usually arrive earlier than Jane, who dashes in at the last minute, but it's rare indeed that I get there ahead of Jackie or Vic.  Toni and Tyler are the two part-time paid employees; they arrive earlier than the rest of us. 

I rang the bell.  Toni let me in, saying, "Didn't you hear?  We're closed!"  I looked back over my shoulder, at the Catholic church and school my children attended, with its completely full parking lot.  "Bristol Virginia schools are out!" Toni said.

One of the oddities about living in a city that sits smack on a state line is that most government agencies have to be duplicated on both sides.  Bristol has a single library and one post office building, but the two sides--Tennessee and Virginia--have separate courthouses, mayors, city councils, and school systems.  The two high schools are called, appropriately enough, Tennessee High and Virginia High.

Virginia school systems must be wimps, because they are always getting off.  When I'd woken, Bristol, VA, and indeed most of the independent area schools except for St. Anne's, were on a two-hour delay.  I'd never imagined they would close, not in the annoying but hardly threatening weather, and yet, they did.

So here I am with my own private snowday.  I'd already returned the P&P DVDs on my way to work, since I don't need to be in any more trouble with the library.  It's far to cruddy to ride.  I went home, and I--catch your breath--put in a load of laundry.  Then I emptied the dishwasher.  I returned an email from my editor--I've sent her a bunch of photos of teenagers with neglected clubfeet, she loves me for that--and now I'm writing this blog post.  And it isn't even lunchtime yet.

I've got big plans for the afternoon.  I'm going to work on my novel.  I might read some of my research books, or start one of the ones I need to review.  And--I might just make a pot of tea.

It's thrilling, this life.   I love it.