As a kid, I don’t think there were any days better than snow days. Some might argue that Christmas was the best day of the year to be a kid, but I’d have to disagree, mainly because of the fact that you knew when Christmas was approaching and looked forward to it months in advance, but those elusive snow days came out of nowhere and were always a pleasant surprise. Also, the meteorologists being the inconsistent morons that they were, tended to predict snow way more often than it actually happened, which caused numerable letdowns, making the day it actually snowed that much more special. It always seemed like the snow started on a Monday, because on those days, I was allowed to stay up for the entire Monday Night Football game, so I could watch the news afterwards to see if my school would be closed the following day. More often than not, as school closings scrolled across the bottom of the screen, mine wasn’t listed, a blow to the stomach with the crushing realization that not only would I have to go to school the next day, but I would be tired from staying up later than usual.
Still I did not give up hope. At least two or three times throughout the night I would make my way quietly down the hall to the dining room, to the big windows looking out at the front yard, to try and see if it was blanketed in snow, a sure sign there would be no school. In my twenty-six years of life I don’t think I’ve ever laid my eyes on anything as beautiful as a freshly fallen layer of snow gleaming in the moonlight. I would get up extra early the following morning, usually no later than six, my internal alarm nudging me out of bed toward the TV to check the school closings again, and on those rare occasions that maybe happened once a year, when Central Arkansas Christian scrolled across the bottom of the screen, I was the happiest kid in the world.
Too excited from the school closing news, there was no way I could go back to sleep, so I sat in front of the TV watching cartoons, until the sun, taking its sweet time, finally made its way into the overcast morning sky, struggling to push through the dense clouds, covering the world in a perfect shade of happiness. My absolute favorite color in the world is the color of the sky on an overcast snow day, and I wanted to be outside, underneath it for as long as possible. I put on as many layers of clothes as I thought necessary and went out to the yard, usually a brother or two tagging along, where we’d throw the football, attempt a snowball fight, or start building a snowman before realizing how long it was going to take before giving up. This was all fun, but it was really a stall tactic to keep us entertained until our mom got up, so we could begin our incessant begging to go to our grandparents house. Our house was great and all, but my grandparents lived on ten acres of mostly wide open land, with a hill to sled on, and four wheelers to ride. On snow days, their house was the place to be.
My grandparents only lived a short five minute drive from us, but along the route was a steep hill with a very sharp curve, which could be dangerous to maneuver on icy roads, but most of the time it didn’t deter us from making the trip. Once we got there, we were tasked with making the difficult decision of sledding down the hill or riding around on the four wheeler. At some point over the years we came to a realization that there was no need to choose and we could have the best of both worlds by tying the sled to the back of the four wheeler, which quickly became the most fun thing to do. My brothers and I would take turns, one riding on the sled while another drove the four wheeler, and it was fun for everyone, most of the time. I distinctly remember a time though when I was driving, and Logan was riding on the sled. I dragged him through a huge puddle that was concealed by the snow, covering him from head to toe in mud, so I don’t think he enjoyed that particular ride all that much, but it did nothing to dampen my spirits. It’s been too long since I’ve seen snow, and I really miss the purity of waking up to a snowy morning, but perhaps this year I will once again experience the pure joy that courses through my body when I see the world covered in a blanket of white.