Snow Day!

 Snow Day!

By Sean McVeigh

We’ve been duped. As soon as I heard Punxsutawney Phil did not see his shadow, I packed all the winter stuff away. In my mind, summer was right around the corner. A few days in the 50s all but cemented my belief that winter was in the rearview mirror. Early Monday, my wife told me that Mayor Adams had already canceled in-person learning for Tuesday and I thought it was all a crock. Well, Tuesday morning, I stood corrected. Being it’s all I had available, I put on my flip flops and boardshorts and got to work shoveling. Ok, maybe I had a few warmer articles of clothing to dip into for my laborious morning.

Although we had some snow a few weeks ago, it was not too impressive. This was really the first “snow day” we have seen in a couple of years. Rockaway people certainly, as a whole, are beach people. We thrive during the summer months. From businesses and bars to showcasing the local art and creativity, the warmer weather brings out the best in all of us. And yet, there is just something about a snowy Rockaway.

After Covid, I thought snow days were a thing of the past. Luckily for everyone, it seems like the city’s online infrastructure is as well-kept as the real-world thing and, for many, online learning was not an option. There was a lot of blame going around for the technical difficulties that were being experienced. I’d like to know who screwed the pooch, too. This way I can shake that Luddite’s hand and congratulate them on making thousands of kids’ day! Many private schools elected to cancel classes completely, as well. A prudent decision, in my opinion. Let kids be kids! And what better way to do that than with a snow day.

These new dunes look like they might be able to put up a good fight in a future storm. Let’s hope we never have to find out. In the meantime, they are now confirmed to make for some pretty good hills to sled on. I can’t tell you how many kids I saw running down the block, sleds in hands and smiles plastered across their faces. They’ve been waiting for this their entire lives … literally!

Snow days, as an adult — and I use that word in the loosest possible terms — are not nearly as fun as they used to be. I find that they now involve a lot of shoveling and a lot of staring out the window. A seasoned veteran will probably drop a few gems such as, “sheesh, it’s really coming down out there, huh?” or “looks like it might be letting up soon.” That said, even though I might not have been out on the “slopes,” I was enjoying every minute with a childlike grin on my face.

Is there a better end to a snow day than the sun coming out and doing the Lord’s work, clearing off cars and putting the finishing touches on the stairs? That’s what I call the perfect snow day. Wednesday morning, we all woke up again and it was business as usual. But for that one day, especially for the kids, the real world was put on hold.

Photo by Jill McVeigh

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