Saturday, February 6, 2010

snow day

“What are you doing today?” I ask into the receiver of my archaic cell phone.

“We’re having a Snow Day,” Mom replies.

I look out across the park at the Speedo-sporting sunbathers, picnicking couples, groups throwing Frisbees and drinking Coronas, Trevor, the dreadlocked seller of loaded truffles, and the sixty-some year old woman that has been hula-hooping for the past hour nonstop.

I have to squint because the sun is so bright. “I’m having a Snow Day, too,” I say.

“I thought you were at the park.”

“I am.”

“Do I have to remind you what a Snow Day is?”

She didn’t. A Snow Day, (aside from the perhaps most obvious ingredient of, well… snow) is a day where you cannot leave the house. Where work and school and errands don’t exist, chores are put on hold and pajamas are never changed out of.

A Snow Day, in my family, is a day where the only things that matter are the people you’re stuck indoors with. A Snow Day yields a much needed break from the ho-hum daily rat race.

It’s a heaping pot of homemade vegetable soup and a warm apple pie consumed at the table which is littered with playing cards, Scrabble tiles, dominoes, and sprawling doodles from rounds of Pictionary.

It’s my demanding that the pellet stove be turned up and my brother feigning heat stroke so that I don’t get my way. It’s us bickering back and forth and my mother reminding us of the sacredness of the Snow Day. It’s my getting my sleeping back to drape over my shoulders and my brother taking off as much of his clothing as possible without being completely obscene.

It’s Law and Order: SVU marathons, (or SUV, as my father insists on calling them) and time for favorite movies we’ve all seen so many times that the dialogue is in stereo from our uncanny ability to recite each line with perfect timing and inflection.

“You know,” Mom says, the reception’s a little static-y, so I have to cock my head and move my body slightly to hear her. “Without you here, it’s really not a proper Snow Day anyway.”

Perhaps, I am not physically present for this particular Snow Day. But, a Snow Day is us, our family, and being connected, so, in that way, I am having a Snow Day in California.

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