Winter Storm Stella (a hilarious name because my white chihuahua is named Stella) dumped feet of snow throughout the day on Mar. 14. The tundra conditions put a damper on my Spring Break plans as travel bans and closures left most of the Northeast (as far as I can tell by looking out the window) home bound.
It was the second-ever snow day I’ve had as an adult with an adult job (public radio) and was the first time in years my entire family has had cancellations at the same time.
My sister Alexa came home from her New York college last night in time for the flurries to begin. By this morning, the climbing drifts rendered it impossible for her to reconnect with high school friends in town. I was supposed to go to a concert tonight but the venue called it off. My mom’s school district cancelled classes so she did not battle the weather this morning to teach. The city of Springfield called a parking ban so my father worked from home rather than drive to the office. The dogs didn’t have any plans for the day anyway so they stuck around.
All day we’ve been trapped in the same house together. Send help.
I’m joking of course. It has mostly been okay. I had to fight the caffeine vultures for a drop of coffee but after that I settled into the snow day routine I remember as a kid. The house smelled a little like smoke from the wood fire, wet dog, and microwaved bacon. I stayed in my pajamas all day, feeling no particular urge to get dressed or take a shower.
Eventually the wind rattling my window tempted me to peek out at the near white-out conditions. I tip-toed outside barefoot to snap faux-artsy pictures of the snow then scuttled off to melt my frozen skin by the fire. I drew in my sketchbook. I chipped away at an oil painting. I smeared blue into my clothing, skin, and the cream-colored rug. I covered the stain with a towel and pretended not to notice. I considered studying for my classes, or doing my homework but decided against it. Instead I ate artificially-flavored, sugar-based candy and polished my nails.
I even listened to angst-ridden, early 2000s music and picked fights with my parents. Ah, childhood.
Life carried on despite the weather, despite the strange stillness created by the blanket of snow. Although, if I am quiet enough I can hear the howl of the wind across the mouth of the chimney and hear the CSX train whistle as it goes over the bridge a mile away. Making audio books and working in radio has taught me that there is no such thing as total silence.
Likewise, there’s no such thing as a snow day with so much to do!