Predictions are for 2 degrees overnight. Our area does not get that kind of cold weather often.
First off we hardly ever got a snow day unless it was REALLY bad. I mean REALLY BAD! They didn’t care if the bus was in an accident. No one would sue.
Then if there was a snow day and that’s a BIG if, finding out wasn’t simple.
Remember this was before Al Gore invented the internet. Heck, it was before there were computers and main frames and copiers. Stuff was mimeographed! Or scribed by monks in a back room! Telephones were tethered to the wall. There were no seat belts! I could have died! (I told you I was on the edge…)
Back to finding out if you were off — You would have to get up early in the morning and listen to the local radio station while they would recite the closures alphabetically. If you missed your letter, you were stuck waiting another 15 minutes (time was longer then too) to listen again.
On a normal school day you always wanted to sleep a little longer but when there was a chance of a snow day, it was so easy to get up early. After all, you had to listen to the radio very carefully.
Today you can check on the internet for closings and many schools and businesses have an auto call system that will text out the message. All you have to do is roll over and check your phone. How cool is that?
There wasn’t any fleece or Polartec back then either. When it was cold you wore a heavy Melton wool coat with a quilted lining that weighed 20 pounds. Add a scarf, mittens, knee-high boots, wool leggings and a stupid hat and your clothes could weigh more than you did. If you were knocked over it took three of your besties to get you upright. You were warm though.
I remember one especially bad cold snap when I was in fifth grade. School normally ended at 3 p.m. but they started to get everyone dressed to go home around 2:15. It took all that time to locate the stuff and get the kids suited up. Remember all coats were grey wool and all scarves were red plaid. In a class of 30 kids, that is a lot of stuff that all look alike except for Bernard’s.
Bernard had a really odd shape — sort of like a donut without the hole — so his stuff was easy to identify. By the way, despite his odd shape no one ever picked on him.
If ever there was a target for harassment, he was it. He made nerd look acceptable. He’s probably the head of a techie company now and very, very wealthy.
I am sure it was the nuns who saved him. Say what you will about those crazy ladies, they could keep 30 kids in line with a look. It’s a lot like an evil eye. You don’t want to get it or life will be bad and not only in school.
You did not go home and tell your parents that your teacher scolded you or you got scolded again. That doesn’t happen anymore either.
Amazingly we all lived to adulthood. If my mother were listening about now, she would add, “At least you didn’t have to walk two miles to school in waist deep snow.” I guess each generation has their stories but I can’t quite imagine how today’s children will talk about the difficulties of their youth to their children.
“When we had a day off, I had to wake up and look at my phone for a text. At least you get the message directly in your brain” or something like that. I can hardly wait.
So what was it like when your school was closed for weather?
Photo credits: The first is from the Charles Schultz organization. The second is floating around the internet. All I can tell is that MJ did it in 2001.