Enough with the Snow Days

Even with having grown up in a northern state, I do not recall having very many snow days in my entire childhood. Today is fifth snow day in a row my children have had from school. With a run like that, you would think we live in a blizzard zone…or at least in the North. We don’t. We live in the Mid-South. If it snows more than one inch we are lucky. If the snow we get lasts more than four hours on the ground we are lucky. I guess I should really be saying unlucky. Take this week for example.

We went to bed Sunday night to nothing in the air or on the ground. I was rudely awaken Monday morning by a 5:30 am phone call. The call turned out to be the school system calling to say school was closed. I looked out the window, and we had the most snow accumulation I personally have seen since I moved in this state…a whopping four inches. Now of course some areas got a little more than us. Some a little less. But only four inches in average in my county. The Department of Transportation had the main roads cleared within a few hours. The back roads? Not so much. The snow on the grass was very wet, which is rare here, and it did not melt completely, which is also rare here. The temperatures stayed low all day Monday and little snow flurries did continue to fall on and off throughout the day. Monday afternoon school had already been canceled for Tuesday.

Tuesday morning I woke up to maybe another 1/4 of an inch of snow on the ground. The snow from the day before had turned to ice on any roads that did not get cleared. The main roads were cleared, or maybe the snow on them melted away with the sunrise, but once again, the back roads were not. Flurries continued in the air all day, but nothing new seemed to stick to the ground. The air stayed cold…about 20 degrees colder than average this time of year. As I was leaving work, we had not heard any updates from the schools, so we figured that meant the kids would be back in school on Wednesday. Before I got home from work, the announcement came out. No school on Wednesday. This was starting to get ridiculous.

Wednesday morning nothing had changed. It was still bitterly cold, but it hadn’t snowed any more. The Department of Education here stated that there were just too may ice-covered back roads that were unsafe for the buses. Alright I could see that there is a safety issue with our kids, but if the Department of Transportation was no longer needed for clearing main roads, why weren’t they moving into the areas that did need their roads cleared? Your guess is as good as mine, because in Ohio on Wednesday, I was told my family had five inches of snow, but school was only delayed for two hours. I got to hand it to the North, they have their act together and get their roads cleared – even the back roads. Surely the kids would be back in school on Thursday. We had never had this many snow days in a row before. As I sat on the train with my friends on the way home I was told school was canceled for Thursday. Seriously? Who is responsible for clearing the roads, and where are they?

Thursday morning, once again I took note that yes it was still bitterly cold outside. Still, there was no additional snow on the ground. It hadn’t snowed since Tuesday, and even then that was nothing. There was no good reason for kids not to be in school, except for the safety of the school buses. Why can’t parents take their kids to school? I’ve heard of schools in other areas posting “bus driver discretion”, which I think means the buses don’t have to run, but school is open if you can get your kids there. I’d go for that. I have to go to work anyway, so what difference would it make if I drove to the school first?

As we approach a three-day weekend (Sat, Sun, Mon) for Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday, my co-worker and I were saying how strange it is that the kids would be in school for only one day (Friday) before having a three day weekend. We waited all day to see if school would be open Friday. No news. Rumors went around that there was no school on Friday. The schools put the rumors to rest and said that no decisions had been made. Ok, I think it is finally looking like the kids are going to school for at least one day this week. I got on the train to go home. I watched the postings all the way home. Still nothing. So far so good. I guess we have school on Friday. I get in my car to get the kids from daycare and there it is…the cancellation. No school Friday. OMG. This is way beyond ridiculous now.

I got to the daycare to get my kids and was met with a teacher and my oldest child….she was sick with a fever. If school would have been in session on Friday, she would have missed the only school day they would have had this week, she also would have had her first absence of the year. Ironically she gets to take a sick day without ruining her perfect attendance. Go figure. At least with her being sick, I get a “snow” day as well.

As the ibuprofen does its job, the kids are enjoying what we hope is their final snow day for a long time. School is out for a three-day weekend so I would hope that everything will be back to normal by Tuesday, but now the weather report is calling for another round of snow Monday night. Really??!!

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