Stories from the Stringam Family Ranches of Southern Alberta

From the 50s and 60s to today . . .



Friday, November 9, 2012

Snow Day

Ahhhh! Snow!

I was raised on a ranch twenty miles from the nearest town.
It was a wonderful place in which to grow up.
I lived and worked and spent my days with family and farm animals.
A peaceful, beautiful sunlit life.
Except when it snowed.
And then it was something else entirely.
It was perfect.
Maybe I should explain . . .
To get to school each day, my siblings and I rode the school bus.
There were flaws in the system.
The bus driver of the day refused to make the entire trip to the ranch.
And instead, would meet us at Nine-Mile Corner.
Situated nine miles from the ranch.
Okay, so, creative name-ers, we weren't.
Moving on . . .
Every day, Mom, and occasionally Dad, would drive us to meet the bus.
So we would be driving a vehicle to the middle of nowhere to meet another vehicle.
We didn't always connect.
At which time, Mom, and occasionally Dad, would have to take us the remaining eleven miles into town.
Sigh.
And that was when the weather cooperated.
When it didn't, things were a tad different.
If it rained (and very occasionally, it did), the ungravelled roads were positively greasy with mud.
The chances of us making our connection became very uncertain indeed.
In fact, the chances of us making it anywhere safely or on time were . . . iffy.
If it snowed . . . well, that is another story entirely.
And now we get to the point of today's ramble.
During the winter, when it stormed, driving to the school bus was very nearly impossible.
But our parents would gamely try.
Unless told to do otherwise by someone in authority.
The announcer on the radio was just such an authority. 
When we awoke to howling winds and/or thickly falling snow, we would wait breathlessly to hear the magic words.
Which schools were being closed.
Inevitably, Milk River was on the list.
At which time, we would rejoice, loudly, and proceed to plan out a day of skating and/or sledding and/or playing in the snow. With fresh doughnuts and hot chocolate to follow.
The very best of days.
Because a Snow Day is a gift and isn't to be wasted.
Moving ahead . . .
When my own kids were growing up, schools were never closed due to snow.
But buses were often cancelled.
When that happened, even when our family was living in town, I kept my kids home.
Because a Snow Day is a gift and isn't to be wasted on going to school.
Moving ahead again . . .
Yesterday, a blizzard blew into Edmonton and area.
A large blizzard.
Preceded by freezing rain.
Which made the roads almost impassible.
The commute to work quickly became a snarled mess of broken automobiles and frustrated drivers.
I kept my Husby home.
Because a Snow Day is a gift and simply isn't to be wasted on going to work.

7 comments:

  1. No job is worth risking your life on uncertain roads. And a snow day is a joy forever.
    You know, I can't remember EVER having a snow day during my entire scholastic experience. I remember one day so bad my Dad drove me to school (rare) along with three of four other healthy farm lads all squished into my moms Volkswagen Beatle (oh joy oh bliss). We slid off into the ditch and Dad and those trusty lads just picked her up and put her back on the road and off we went. Nope...no snow days.

    ReplyDelete
  2. So far my granddaughters have experienced a broken water main day and a high wind day. They say these have unfairly been deducted from snow days, incresing the probability of extra days at the end of the year. I love kids.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Such truth! When we lived in Indiana I was often frustrated by the ridiculous amounts of snow without the corresponding snow days to go with it. Here in Virginia, that's another story entirely. They (like my home state of NC) tend to close school when the weather man is 75% sure we might get snow. But those magical days when you actually get real snow - enough to play in - and a snow day, ahhhh. Just bliss! As usual, you made me smile . . .Thank you for that gift!

    ReplyDelete
  4. You just described our life! Since we are 20 miles out, we are considered the "out of town" kids so when it snows and the buses don't run the "out of town" kids are school excused. Sometimes we take advantage of it and sometimes I still make my kids go... :) We are expecting snow today... it is raining now, but I really hope it turns to snow. My skin is so dry I think it might peal right off of me because we haven't had a drop of moisture in about six weeks. Stay safe with your blizzard!

    ReplyDelete
  5. We got the same garbage as you just did. I was up at 5:00 shoveling snow so my wife could get the car out so she could drive to work (when the bank branch calls a Snow Day, they have to make a horrendous amount of phone calls to Head Office, etc. so Snow Days are rare). I continued shoveling until shortly after 8:00 before I had it done. Yes, I'm a bit of a perfectionist, even when shoveling off the steps and driveway. And now I'm (happily?!?) at work. But someone else shoveled off the front path... Sorta.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I'm glad we don't get snow down here, because I couldn't handle that level of cold.
    On the other hand, no snow days meant we went to school every single day, rain, hail or shine. And sometimes that shine was so very hot, so very shiny, glaring in fact, 105 degrees in the shade, and schools didn't have airconditioning in the 50s and 60s.
    You should have seen us all heading straight for the local beach as soon as school was over for the day! Some of us didn't even go home first.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Awe, I loved this... snow days are meant to be treasured, awesome<3

    ReplyDelete

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