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Challenge: Cabin Fever

Spring Time Snow Day

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Not only had I seen my first robin, they were all over the place. The dogwood tree had begun to bloom, its purple flowers breaking through the buds. The sun was shining in a different way. Yes, spring was almost here.

Imagine my surprise when I read the email telling me preschool was closed due to “weather conditions.” Weather conditions? Because it’s cold out?! I had heard we were getting some snow, but I had no idea the school day was in jeopardy. I looked out the window, and even though it was still dark I could tell we had just gotten pounded by about two feet of snow.

What was I to do with my daughter on this surprise snow day? She was going to want pancakes. That was a certainty. I whispered in her ear that we’d get to spend the day together and received excited hugs. Back to sleep she went, and I planned out our day. Before I made pancakes there were some things I needed to take care of.

I drank some water with my coffee and dressed in several layers of clothing. This is the best way to stay warm. After getting on my gloves, hat and boots I trudged outside to take a look at everything.

Walking in a Winter Wonderland - Ish

I checked my roof and – wow – good thing I have homeowners insurance. My roof looked like one of those funny gingerbread houses with too much frosting. I half hoped the roof would cave in so I could get a new one for the cost of my deducible. The thought of my family being crushed to death by snow and broken lumber tempered that desire a bit. But still.

Snow weighs a ton! Getting that excess weight off of your roof can prevent a potential cave-in. I don’t recommend climbing on to the roof. That could end with an avalanche and a dull thud. Plus, nearly 15,000 people were injured in 2014 from injuries like hanging holiday lights and slipping off an icy roof – so hard pass here. Just deal with the spots you can reach. I grabbed a ladder and my snow rake. I attached my snow rake to this long yellow extendable pole and that gave me access to about 20 feet above me. I easily swept the snow off in big, fluffy mounds.

While I was up there I removed as much snow and ice from my gutters as I could. If you don’t do that, the inside of the ice can melt from the heat of your house. The outside of the ice keeps the water locked in and it has only one place to go — right inside your house. These are called ice dams, and they can cause water damage to your walls and ceilings. The wind blew and I got a face full of snow! Oh well, time to shovel.

Thank God I remembered to fill the gas tank. You never want to be out of gas in bad weather. That said, I’m not going anywhere. Best to just stay off of the roads. Like my mom used to say, they didn’t cancel school so we could drive all over the place. Other than making pancakes and bacon, I don’t expect to be doing a whole lot other than enjoying outdoor winter activities with my kids.

Breakfast and Frozen Family Fun

Breakfast is devoured by my happy, hungry daughter and husband. The house smells of fresh cooked bacon. There are only a few pancakes left and I eat them rather than throw them away. The table seems to be sticky with syrup in every spot. I wipe the table down, and before I can gather the dishes my little one is already trying to pull her boots on with her PJs.

Sledding time! Sledding is a lot of fun, but I hear awful stories about kids getting hurt doing it. Head injuries, broken bones, bruises — all these things can happen in an instant if you’re not careful. Depending on where you are sledding, it is quite possible to have dozens of high-speed collisions at any given moment.

Luckily, we have our own hill in our backyard, so I don’t have to worry about them sledding into traffic or crashing through a pond they thought was adequately frozen. I make sure the kids are bundled up in their snow suits and wearing hats gloves. My daughter wanted to wear one of my scarves, but I had her put it away. A scarf can get caught in the sled and possibly cause strangulation. That would make for a bummer of a snow day!

Away she goes! I laugh as the dog chases her down the hill, wipes out and ends up covered in snow. The kid screams with delight and I relax knowing she is safe. I am grateful for the unexpected time I got to have with her. You never can trust the weather, but my guess is that this was the last snow day of the year.

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