Yet another snow day today…I simply can’t believe my kids are off again for the reason of snow! The house phone rang this morning around 6am with the prerecorded message from the Honeywell Alert System giving us the big news of the schools being closed due to “inclement weather”. At the same time the house phone rang, so did both my cell phone and Chris’s and of course the email message on both of our computers. Geeeesh…talk about the era of automation!!
I remember when I was in grade school…we had to listen to the radio for school closings. We were tuned in to WIP 610 on the am dial in Philadelphia. About every half hour beginning long before we were up, the station would read the school numbers for closings. We would come downstairs and barely look at our cereal as we waited intently to hear if our school number was going to be read off on the closed list. Schools 298, 299, 300, and then we waited what felt like one long stretch of minutes. “Please say 301, please say 301, please say 301” we would secretly be chanting to ourselves. And then, on that oh so rare occasion, the radio announcer would speak the numbers we’ve been waiting to hear…3-0-1. Yahoo we were off from school!!!! All of a sudden we were famished and we’d tear into the cereal as if we had not had anything to eat in 5 days.
After our cereal fest we’d run upstairs and begin to” bundle up” so we could go outside and play with our friends in the white fluffy snow! I remember building an igloo one year. We had a block mold, to this day I have no idea where it came from, probably a neighbor or possibly one of my younger sibling’s Christmas or birthday present, but I didn’t care, I was occupied for hours as I built my house of snow!
My sister and brother were far more cleaver with ways to keep themselves entertained on the unexpected day off. We lived on a one block hill, and our neighbor across the street, Mr. Phillips, had this huge hill in his backyard. My sister and brother built a giant slope on the Phillip’s hill, complete with a jump that would send them airborne for about a good 15 feet. They had a saucer which could start at the top of the Phillip’s hill, go down the Fortune Road hill which was a whole block, then make the left onto Louise Ave. taking them clear out to Jenkintown Road! And, to make the ride even faster, they would pour water down the slope which would freeze and become really slick. The thrill of the snow saucer ride rivaled that of any amusement park ride of the time!
When I was in high school the main hill for sledding was actually at the senior high school. Scores of kids would gather at this hill to catch their winter ride. We had graduated to a real sled by our teenage years and the fun thing to do was to pile ourselves, maybe 3 or 4 people high all lying on our bellies, and head off down the hill, trying to keep everyone on the sled until we got to the bottom. Of course if you were on the top of the stack the likelihood of falling off was pretty high, but the fall itself was great fun too!
Now in the short time it has taken me to write this blurb about my good old snow days, Grace and her little friend have already gone outside, played and now are back inside to get warmed up and look for something to snack on. I suppose at some point today I will have to make the trip over to our little hill which is a couple blocks away, and take the kids sledding. Maybe even I will take a spin or two down the hill on one of their sleds…if not for anything else but for “the sake of old times.”