Back then "Snow Day" simply meant a day off from school. Before the Martin Luther King Holiday, winter breaks and longer spring breaks, we had to rely on Old Man Winter to save us from the long monotony of school in the stretch from early January to March.
If the threat of a storm approached at night, I'd sit with my five brothers and sisters in front of the television to see if there were any closings already being announced. If the magic words hadn't appeared, we'd go to bed hoping to hear them in the morning. Sometimes they'd be announced quietly. A mother, having heard the dreaded words earlier and trying to find a few minutes of peace before the chaos began, would simply let her six children sleep longer and wake up on their own to the miracle. Then the news would be trumpeted through the house by one of us six. Most times, one of us would be up early to catch the news scrolling on the TV, and the trumpeting would start.
When it was my turn to be the mother trying to hold on to that morning peace (you know what they say about payback...), I couldn't help but join in the shear joy my children experienced with those two simple words, "Snow Day!" Because they mean a day to do nothing but enjoy your freedom from the routine. No school, no work, no errands - just play.
So today we have a Snow Day in Washington. I'll have to admit my spouse was watching the news screen pretty carefully last night to hear those magic words, "Federal offices in the DC area are closed..." He didn't exactly trumpet the news, but did wake me up to let me know at 6 am. Thanks honey. Because with an empty nest now, snow days mean you can sleep in. But somehow, the day loses it's true meaning when the view from the bedroom window shows a wet, rainy street. Is this really a Rain Day?
Enjoy your day off DC area and really spend the day doing nothing if you can. Remember your childhood and find that joy once again. At least this day off is paid for, your next one might not be. Somehow I don't see us celebrating "Sequestration Days."