Do You Still Hope for a Snow Day?

I was raised in the Catskill Mountain area of New York known as the Borscht Belt. If you live in an area where it never snows, I guess a snow day means nothing to you. But as a kid, on those seemingly endless winter days when snow fell seemingly endlessly from the sky, I remember sitting in front of our kitchen radio, listening eyes wide and hopeful to our local station WVOS and praying for those six magic words “School is canceled for the day.”

Don’t think I hated school. I didn’t. I loved learning (still do) and had lots of interesting extra-curricular activities. But none of that mattered when the snow fell. I loved that wondrous feeling of joyful release when a snow day was declared and I loved being released from any obligation whatsoever other than to goof off (a skill I’ve retained to this day). Even now as snow falls outside my Brooklyn windows – and even though I am on a personal sabbatical – I still feel the excitement of a snow day.  It’s as if I know I have the right to do nothing. Dolce far niente – it’s sweet to do nothing (in Italian).

The streets are quieter. Kids head toward the parks looking for enough snow to sled on or make into snow balls or wonder of wonders turn into a complete snow person – a rare thing here in the city.  Parents lucky enough to get their own snow days get to play with their kids or maybe steal some peaceful moments at home if at all possible. And I can’t wait to get out and listen to the relative quiet. (Except soon we will be in real blizzard conditions and my romanticizing will probably come to a sliding halt.)

My heart goes out to anyone who has to work outside today or shovel the stuff or drive through it or have blizzard winds drive snow particles into their face as they travel to and fro to an office that is still open. I wish all of you could have a carefree snow day too – no matter where you live. Even if you love your jobs, it’s sweet to do nothing. Wouldn’t it be great to have an extra national holiday where you don’t have to do anything special – just feel free as a kid on a snow day?

In the meantime, here’s a little something from me to you:


And for those of you who are not into Simon cartoons or cats, a very different take on Snow by the Red Hot Chili Peppers:


Thoughts and memories about snow days very welcome. And for those of you who had to brave the conditions today, feel free to vent here. 😉


About the author…

Ronnie Ann, founder of Work Coach Cafe, bases her real-world advice on her many years as an organizational consultant where she helped interview and hire people, added to a certificate from NYU in Career Planning & Development and her own adventures as a serial job seeker. She can also be found on her new blog, and on Google+.


  1. I got up this morning ready to go to work, but hoping that my employer’s website had posted a notice that the place would be closed. No such luck. Then I checked my email and my supervisor emailed to say it would be okay for me to stay home. He didn’t have to say it twice.

    I’ve been in a job search rut and feeling stuck for several years now. So an occasional snow day to recharge, however slightly, works for me. 🙂

  2. Hi Perri!

    Ah! Nice to know you got to share my wonderful snow day. If I were queen, we’d have them all the time – but w/o snow. 😉

    As you know, I wish you much luck finally finding a job you love. Can’t wait to get that comment! But in the meantime, we’re here for you.

    ~ Ronnie Ann

  3. Brings back memories of my childhood in upstate New York. Making a snowman and snow angels. A life filled with wonder. It’s nice to take a moment once in awhile and remember how things were. Much better than the reality of a job search.

  4. My thinking exactly! 😉

    ~ Ronnie Ann

  5. One snow day every once in a while is fine. It’s the idea of an unexpected day off that catches you by surprise in a good way.

    In the past week however we’ve had four snow days, which is way too many!

  6. I am very fortunate these days as I am not really working (just part-time – very part-time – at a chain retailer). I am even more fortunate to be a “dislocated worker” eligible to return to school to finish my degree, with my education (and fees…and books…) fully funded. I feel blessed by a miracle as I am able to attend school full-time and actually participate in activities, and am attending a dream school (not everyone’s cup of tea, but pure bliss for me). My snow days this past week meant no classes and more study time, much appreciated.

    And like others, I have childhood memories of upstate NY winters. It took a lot of snow for schools to close, though! We lived way out in the country at a crossroad intersection, the only house for a mile around. Several times people got stuck in a drift and couldn’t get out, and actually ended up having to spend a night (or two) at our house. One time it was a woman who had gone to the pharmacy for medicine for her sick child, and she was crazy with worry. My mother was a nurse and spent the whole evening reassuring the woman about her child’s illness. The summers following these instances, each and every person who’d stayed with us the previous winter would stop by at some point and bring us gifts – homemade jams and jellies, cakes, a beautifully sewn throw pillow, and other assorted goodies. One winter it was so bad for so long that my parents couldn’t even get the driveway plowed – and we had a tractor plow! Family members brought us bread and milk and eggs by snowmobile.

    Those three dreaded words still send shivers down my spine – “lake effect snow.”

    I recently received the sentiments below in an email and it really tickled me – it’s ALL TRUE. I’m sharing it here (author unknown, it’s one of those endlessly forwarded emails), as along with the snow comes bitter cold. After these recent snow storms, some of it may be true for more than upstate New Yorkers.


    65 above zero:
    Floridians turn on the heat.
    People in Upstate New York plant gardens.

    60 above zero:
    Californians shiver uncontrollably.
    People in Upstate New York sunbathe.

    50 above zero:
    Italian & English cars won’t start.
    People in Upstate New York drive with the windows down.

    40 above zero:
    Georgians don coats, thermal underwear, gloves, and wool hats.
    People in Upstate New York throw on a flannel shirt.

    35 above zero:
    New York city landlords finally turn up the heat.
    People in Upstate New York have the last cookout before it gets cold.

    20 above Zero:
    People in Miami all die.
    Upstate New Yorkers close the windows.

    Californians fly away to Mexico .
    People in Upstate New York get out their winter coats.

    10 below zero:
    Hollywood disintegrates.
    The Girl Scouts in Upstate New York are selling cookies door to door.

    20 below zero:
    Washington DC runs out of hot air.
    People in Upstate New York let the dogs sleep indoors.

    30 below zero:
    Santa Claus abandons the North Pole.
    Upstate New Yorkers get upset because they can’t start the snow-mobile.

    40 below zero:
    ALL atomic motion stops.
    People in Upstate New York start saying…’cold enough fer ya?’

    50 below zero:
    Hell freezes over.
    Upstate New York public schools will open 2 hours late.

  7. LOVE the poem and ‘warm” memories Michele!! Ugh…the words “lake effect” send shivers up my spine too and I lived much further downstate – but we almost always had snow in the winter back then anyway.

    As for DCJobs…my heart is with you. Waaaay too much snow for your area. But thank you for generously taking some of ours. 😉

    ~ Ronnie

Speak Your Mind