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Calamity Days

Sunday, December 19, 2010

After a perfectly ridiculous winter in 2009/10 (who ever has seventeen snow days?), the State of Ohio voted to put an end to the madness by granting her schools only three so-called "calamity days" for this winter season. Surely, if we grant fewer calamity days, it won't snow as much. Well, 2010/11 is shaping up to be a carbon copy of last winter, and we've already used all three allotted days, which means my kids will be in school, making up unallotted calamity days, until the tomatoes come in.

Pink indicates where to kiss.

In principle, I'm all for fewer calamity days. It tones up the school superintendent, makes her really think about what to say in those 5:24 AM robocalls that tell me whether I'm going to get a lick of work done in a given day or not. "Good morning! Abandon hope; once again your kids will be underfoot all day. Working parents: Go to Plan B."

 I'm one of the lucky ones. My Plan B is always ready to be deployed, because I'm always here. It simply involves a shift of focus from listening to Pandora with a parrot on my shoulder while blissfully finishing the illustrations for my book to muscling myself into a ski suit, going sledding, making hot chocolate, and dealing with the resultant mountains of outerwear (Sara says be thankful it's not underwear!).  It involves surrendering to my now, living my reality. Resistance is futile. I know that. I've been fired in the frigid kiln of 2009, a winter when I fought snow days, heroically struggling to accomplish something, anything while searching our miasma of a hall closet for even one pair of matching gloves, boots that don't pinch and apparently do not exist, and making Three Cheese Macaroni, popcorn and minty hot chocolate with organic milk and snowman marshmallows on demand.

There are perks. First, I love being around my kids. Second, with enough I-am-serious-now bossing around, their energy can occasionally be redirected from the glowing screen and turned toward real-time good, such as picking up and vacuuming, scrubbing sinks, toilets and tubs. Third, we have a ridiculously gigantic snow bowl right at the end of our driveway, a geologic feature that serves up screams and thrillingly fast rides. And this year there are no frozen cowpies in it to shatter our tailbones.

This is quite a sledful, one that will travel with tremendous moment all the way to the bottom of the Snow Bowl.

The hill goes on and on, starting with a thrilling berm that power-boosts your ride, and terminating in a barbed-wire fenceline and screams of BAIL!! BAIL!! BAIL NOW!!

The endorphins involved in sledding help bust me out of Cranky Frustrated Artist mode and back into Somewhat Fun Mom mode.

The Canon G-12 admirably captures the rosy beauty against a sere landscape. Yes, I know I have a G-11, but this is the new version which does all this and more.

Note fenceline beyond my Celtic fairy. It's a heck of a ride down to it.

A few fiery strands escape her hat. Ahh. There is great beauty in calamity.

Live your calamity!


Live your calamity - I love it and great post. It helps us people who don't get snow but lots and lots of rain (southern california) to understand what you all go through - (all that to see the pics of your family -

Haven't been here for awhile so I'm off to catch up.

and back to say your celtic fairy with that red hair against the snow, that is one gorgeous photo.

The photograph of your daughter on the hill looks like an Andrew Wyeth painting! Beautiful child!

Once again I find your post repleat with fun-filled prose and captivating photos that remind of the illustrations of Carl Larsson.

While others rave about your Celtic fairy beauty, I will comment on your pink-cheeked, dark-lashed, pale haired son. I bet he groans at the photo (awww, Mom) and the instruction to kiss where pink.
You do put your finger on the one aspect of snow days that plague parents who must work outside the home. When our children were small, and both of us parents were working, a snow day would elicit shouts of glee from them, and sheer terror from us. Which one would stay home? Whose work was more (or less) important? Could we allow our children to stay home alone? Decisions, decisions.

Much of my childhood was a calamity day.

I haven't even taken the time to read the post, but I had to leave a comment just to tell you that first picture brought tears to my eyes. It oh-so-reminds me of when he was only a babe, and I miss kissing those cheeks. Kiss him for me, and Phoebe too. It has been too long...

matching gloves are overrated...

The next to the last photo looks like a Wyeth painting. Nice.

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