Growing up under the dreary skies of Ohio can be bland for any kid, especially during the height of winter, after Christmas is over and there is nothing to look forward to but more days of seemingly endless schoolwork and being trapped inside. There is, however, one redeeming factor: snow days.
In the best storms of winter, every kid goes to sleep with the weather channel on, waiting patiently for the name of their school to flash across the bottom of the screen.
Any snow day is great, but what is the PERFECT snow day? Surely it would be on a Friday or Monday, because that would make it an extension of the weekend. And surely if it were the perfect snow day everyone would know about it before bedtime so that they could stay up as late as they want and not have to worry about homework.
If you are in high school, you know that the perfect snow day would be the same day as that final exam you forgot to study for, or the day that your least favorite teacher has already designated for lecture. It is never a bad day to avoid a test, regardless of the fact that you will still have to take it the next day.
Now that we've established when the perfect snow day would be, we must determine what would be the best thing to do on a well-earned snow day.
I recall the childhood snow days, when the entire day would be devoted to building snow forts and snowmen with the other neighborhood children. Everyone would be out by ten o'clock, eager to spend every second of the day out in the snow. Naturally we would be freezing within an hour, but it didn't matter. In our minds we were doing exactly what snow days were meant for.
I admit that I admire some kid's determination. Despite the cold I have seen grade school kids stay outside for hours on end making forts that cover the entire expanse of their front yards and snow men that tower almost seven feet tall.
Sled riding, too, is always an admirable option. Kids never seem to understand that the reason that school is cancelled is because the roads are bad. The solution, therefore, is not to drive around on the dangerous roads looking for a good sledding hill. Still, if you are willing to brave the hazardous and icy roads, sled riding is never a waste of time.
As a teenager I can say that my priorities
have greatly changed since childhood. The methods of finding out about snow days have also changed. As a child I would always get up extra early on snow days to watch the schools scrawl along the bottom of the local news. Now when there is a snow day I am woken up by a chorus of three phones all going off at once; a mass "one call" from the school to announce that school will be closed. These calls have come, regrettably, as early as five thirty in the morning.
Many schools have also implemented a text-notification system, which may be a kinder way to wake up in the morning. Some also have an e-mail program, some
thing I believe to be less effective since even
the most dedicated tech kids are not on the computer at five in the morning.
Luckily for those who send out the calls and texts, kids are usually too excited about the snow day to be angry about the rude awakening.
Now, the first priority once woken up: Go back to bed.
Why waste a great opportunity to catch up on sleep? Whatever snow is outside can wait. The inside of my eyelids are calling to me.
Now, around ten or eleven, or maybe even noon, it is time to get up. As a teenager you now have two choices: couch potato day, or day of mad adventure. I make note here that most people choose the first option, in which case they remain in their pajamas all day and watch TV or play Xbox or Wii, which is perfectly fine for them
As for me, if this is to be a PERFECT snow day, then there simply must be some adventure.
So what do to next? Discover the cure for cancer? Make a short motion picture? Save a stranded kitten from a tree?
Perhaps a good option is a movie, which is still an adventure, because you have to figure out how to get to the theatre.
Sledding is also acceptable, but only if it is reckless and dangerous. Building an unstable ramp is a good way to achieve this, or by taking the sleds off-road in the forest. I recall once going down a hill backwards and almost being decapitated by a fallen tree. To this day I'm not sure what inspired me to duck, for I couldn't see the tree coming, but I'm very glad that I did.
While on the subject of sled riding, I'd also like to point out that sledding head-first into a brick wall is NOT a good idea. Regardless, this is the case every year at Packard Park in downtown Warren. For some reason the precarious bricks seem to make the entire experience more exciting, even if it is only until you actually get hurt.
Another great way to spend a perfect snow day would be the classic 'ice over the driveway' scenario. It seems like a perfect idea; make the driveway solid ice so that you can sled or ice stake. This may actually work, right until the unsuspecting parents come home and drive the car right through the garage door.
More business-minded people may take up their shovels and go door-to-door looking for work, but it's really pointless without a snow blower. It's basic business theory; the
faster you can shovel one driveway the more driveways you can do and the more money you make.
After all that, do we really know what a perfect snow day is? I'd dare say that the perfect snow day is the one you don't expect, like the "wind day," we experienced several years ago in September. I guarantee no one saw that one coming. If you did foresee that event, you are probably psychic, and I would like you to contact me and tell me next week's lottery numbers.
All in all, everyone's "perfect" snow day is a little different. Hopefully each and every one of us will have many opportunities this winter to test our perfect snow day theories.