That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it. On Sunday around 10 a.m. I opened The DaVinci Code and was not seen or heard from again for almost eight hours. If you’ve read it–and you liked it–you know of which I speak. I couldn’t stop. It was as if an unseen force was turning the pages. Eventually I became hungry and thirsty, but the book was relentless. I had to deal dirty: “Okay, okay, I’ll read ten more chapters. Then can I have a snack? I’ll just grab a box of Cheez-its, nothing fancy or time consuming.” And the book agreed to my conditions. I warmed up leftovers for lunch, but I do not recall eating anything after my 6:30 p.m. crackers and soda, which I ate one-handed. My other hand was chained to the book. I felt I owed it to the characters to stick it out and stay the distance–what they endured lasted less than 24 hours, after all, and I just couldn’t see stopping the action for, say, a meal, or laundry.
So that’s why I didn’t blog on Sunday. I know, I know, what about the previous THREE DAYS? That’s right, I am at work after a four-day weekend. You’ll recall my, er, concern about the impending winter weather from last Wednesday, and it did come–freezing rain and regular rain and temperatures hovering between 30 and 32 all day Thursday, and Thursday was a glorious day–no school, no kids, no work, no contact with the greater public. I knew we would have to make up the day on one of the two workdays built into Christmas vacation. Fine, I didn’t mind losing one day. It was worth it.
But when my alarm went off at 6 on Friday morning I flipped on the television to confirm that we had a 2-hour delay, and why not?–the temperature was already 34 and the rain had stopped the night before. I saw all of the other school systems scroll by, all 2-hour delays, and I ALMOST turned off the TV and reset my alarm for an hour later, but I am an audio/visual learner and I needed to see and/or hear about the delay before I proceeded. There was no delay. In fact, THERE WAS NO SCHOOL AT ALL. I was furious. I went immediately to the window, sure that 6 feet of snow must have fallen unbeknownst to me during the night. But the ground was clear. The gradually lightening sky was BLUE. I could see SUNLIGHT. There was ice on the trees, yes, but it was melting. I could see and hear it melting. I later learned the reason for the cancellation: the bus parking lots were icy. I have always believed that the buses went to the kids, not the other way around, so I’m not sure why they couldn’t salt the parking lots and send the buses out onto the clear streets. By 9:30 the sun was shining, the sky was blue, and it was 45 degrees.
I ended up going to work for a few hours on Friday, and because I got so much done I am able to sit here at work, at my desk, and blog on a Monday morning. I guess I shouldn’t complain, even though my Christmas break is now TWO days shorter. If you are thinking, “well, not really, you just got those two days a little early,” you should stop it right now. If you are a teacher you understand that a “true” vacation does not really begin until you know you do not have to go back to those sniveling immature excuses for–I mean, children–for several days. Long weekends are pleasant, but they are not “breaks.” Hence, Thursday and Friday could not possibly be considered part of Christmas vacation because I was well aware that I’d be right back here today. In fact, I consider Thursday simply a recovery day from the plague of days that preceded it. As soon as I saw the cancellation notice Thursday morning I became semi-comatose. For a list of things I did NOT do on my snow day go here. What I did do would not constitute an entire post: I slept really late, watched “Little House on the Prairie” and “Magnum P.I.” reruns, and ate. My brain and my body needed the maintenance time, like when websites shut down for several hours and are not operable. I was definitely not operable. By the time I finally became operable it was time to come back to work. See? NOT a vacation at all.
And so the real vacation will begin on Thursday, and then there will be plenty of time to do vacation-like things–shopping, cooking, my annual Christmas craft all-nighter. And if I’m lucky I’ll be abducted again…there’s quite a lineup of suspects on my nightstand, and I’m such an easy target.