Tuesday, February 17, 2015

How snow days free us

I remember the faintly sounding phone ringing. It interrupted my sleep enough I knew what it meant – I could go back to sleep. Long before the days of texts and automated calls, the phone tree went to work spreading the good news our school district was closing for a snow day.

My dad was a principal of one elementary school and my mom was a teacher at another. There was one year my brother, my sister, and I were all at the same elementary school where my dad was principal. I was in fifth grade, Kevin in second grade, and Cassie in kindergarten.

We rejoiced on snow days.

In a family whose life revolved around the school calendar, these unexpected days off were treasures. I figured when I grew up, I’d care less about snow days, being a girl who loves summer and all.

Not true. I still really like them.

Sure, having snow day often means moving the last day of school back another day. But there’s something freeing about a day you didn’t expect to have totally at home. {Tweet that.}

I couldn’t do it forever, but I can hunker down with books and my scrapbook table. The kids make tents and build with LEGOs. Cate makes crafts and reads so many pages from so many books. Ben pesters his sister to play with him and asks about time like he understands what minutes and hours really are.

And when the school principal send the text mid-afternoon to inform everyone that tomorrow is another snow day? That’s the best. I don’t even have to set an alarm for the next morning. Yesterday was a scheduled day off for Presidents’ Day – ironically, it was a built-in snow-day make-up day, but we didn’t have any days to make up. Until yesterday.

The kids went sledding with our nearby friends. We ate two batches of snow cream and leftover soup. There is a pile of clothing by the front door and my husband’s hanging coveralls keep spooking me because I think there’s a person standing in our foyer.

The kids watched episodes of “My Little Pony” and “Wild Kratts” while Greg and I watched “Blacklist” and “Scandal” on the DVR. There were rounds of Phase 10 with Cate after Ben went to bed. And then there episodes of “Blue Bloods.”

Evidence of our day at home is all over – crumbs under the table, layers of clothing scattered in multiple places, dirty dishes that didn’t fit in the dishwasher, books and toys in every room. Real life isn’t always tidy, but it’s full of joy. {Tweet that.}

Today is Snow Day #2. There’s probably at least six inches covering our yard, maybe more. And there is another inch forecasted for tonight with lingering cold temperatures. This is Kentucky, so who knows when we’ll go back to school and our normal routine.

But maybe when we do go back, we’ll be a little more relaxed, less stressed, and ready to soak up the joy around us. Snow days are opportunities to breathe deeply and regroup. God gives us a chance to remember that he makes all things new and washes us clean because spring is coming. {Tweet that}

What’s the weather like where you are?

I'm linking this with Mary Carver's Works for Me Wednesday. Despite loving summer, snow days do work for me. They're good for my soul. The interruption in routine is freeing for my Type A self and teaches me to let go and be present. 

EDITED on Friday, Feb. 20  :: We're on Snow Day #5 now. And there are more flakes falling. I recently shared about #FringeHours ... and what a week to epitomize that. This week has been full of time at home with my favorites, opportunities to sit at my scrapbook table, and chances to cuddle up on the couch and read fiction. Next week may be a rude awakening when "real life" sets back in, but, for now, I'm enjoying the extra time to care for myself and my family in simple ways. 

I'm linking up with Jessica Turner, author of "The Fringe Hours: Making Time for You," who hosts a weekly link up focusing on how women like to spend pockets of time dedicated to self-care. 

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  1. I just loved this statement -- "Real life isn’t always tidy, but it’s full of joy." Enjoy your snow days! Me...I'm ready to make my way to San Diego and leave the snow behind. :) Loved those pictures!!

  2. KristinHillTaylor2/17/2015 1:37 PM

    Thanks, Beth! I'm glad I'm to a place in life where I get that. My house is a disaster today but everyone is happy. :) I'm so excited for your trip and look forward to hearing about it and seeing pictures!

  3. What a lovely post - those unexpected days are so precious. Here in London the weather is crsip and cold, with nary a flake of snow to behold.

  4. KristinHillTaylor2/18/2015 8:27 AM

    Thank you! We're on Snow Day 3# today. :)

  5. I'll agree with a caveat. :) Snow days are lovely when I can figure out how to afford them. You know? When work isn't so very pressing...or, SIGH...when I'm not down with the stomach flu. But what I DO love is when God forces me to slow down and LIVE, not just DO. So there's that. (Feel free to ignore my grumpiness. Stomach Flu Day 5 here. Blergh.)

  6. bethwillismiller2/18/2015 1:39 PM

    Kristin, thank you for stopping by and leaving a message on my post today. I love this post! Having lived in Florida all my life, we only had one "snow day" in 1977...but I loved your quote, "God gives us a chance to remember that he makes all things new and washes us clean because spring is coming."

  7. KristinHillTaylor2/18/2015 3:43 PM

    It sucks you have the flu in your house again. I'm so very sorry. The winter has been terrible for sickness. I know that doesn't really make you feel better, but I really do sympathize. "Slow down and LIVE, not just DO" really should become my mantra. Hope y'all feel better soon and stay that way!

  8. KristinHillTaylor2/18/2015 3:44 PM

    I've lived in Kentucky all my life. We sometimes get snow, but our weather has a reputation for unpredictable. :) I like Florida. Thanks for stopping by and commenting!