Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Snow Day...Texas Style

This post is so late I probably would not have run it. But tomorrow we have the possibility of ice and snow again. I, for one, want to experience the delightful anticipation/possibility of a snow day again. (Because SPOILER ALERT we had a Snow Day from school last Friday!)

Taking it back to last Wednesday, central Texas temps plunged into the teens. This is very unusual for our neck of the woods. What was more unusual (make that unheard of) was a new phenomenon for these parts called "rolling blackouts." The electric "grid" was under such high usage that someone somewhere decided that electricity would come and go at will throughout the day to conserve it for people who really needed it. Apparently, my second grade classroom did not qualify, nor did the rest of the school. I had gone in early to run some papers, and found street lights, traffic lights, and in fact, all lights, off in my school's neighborhood. Children and parents eventually began arriving, and were assured that electricity would return soon. I ushered my students into a room with no light or heat, and the temperature hovered at about 40 degrees inside. The power would come on for about 10 minutes, and then stay off for 50 minutes, each hour. You may have guessed that there was little quality education going on. It's hard to write when your fingers are numb from cold. And I salute all the former inhabitants of the Little House on the Prairie for making those conditions sound like fun.

Before sending my class to lunch (where the cooks, unable to cook without electricity, were providing peanut butter sandwiches and apples ) I was told I could call my students' parents to see if they could be picked up. I had the advantage of having this class last year, and I know not only parent's phone numbers, but also grandparents, neighbors and babysitters of my students. The room was cleared in about 45 minutes and I got to go home (where there was electricity) and try to warm my hands and feet to the point that I could feel them again. (Again: Laura Ingalls Wilder: You have grown in my estimation of you for thriving during all those long, cold winters.)

We returned to a school with full electricity on Thursday, but there were rumors in the air about rarely heard words around here. Words like "ice" and "snow".

You know the drill: you wake up early to watch the news crawl across the TV to see if your district has called off school for the day due to icy roads. Usually? My district is the last to declare defeat.
This time? 5:21 am and it is NO SCHOOL! Sceptic that I am, I checked the district's website.
If you are from further north, these next pictures will probably have you rolling on the floor. If you are a reader from Canada, you are probably snorting your morning coffee. The picture above shows footprints on the sidewalk. Almost 1/2 inch deep!
And you'll notice that not even all the grass is covered with snow. But, hey: the ice landed where it was needed and the streets/buses were shut down. SNOW DAY!

We have nothing on our friends in Tulsa who are on their second week off from school. The stores are out of eggs, and I hear the only cheese left at the grocery store is mozzarella. Even Laura would not want to live in a world without cheddar.

I digress. Tomorrow, there is a possibility of icy roads in the morning. In central Texas, ice means the town shuts down. You wouldn't find me complaining about another day off of school.
And I have eggs and cheddar in the house.

Fingers crossed!


Dawn said...

LOL... my kids are praying (me, too!) for at least a 2 hour delay in the morning.

And actually, I'm worse than the kids... I'll probably be up multiple times throughout the night checking the district website.

Lynn said...

I'm so glad you enjoyed your snow day!! Your snow day that stopped the city would be what we call a skiff of snow. I can't imagine that food is in short supply because of a little ice & snow:-)definitely not the world I live in. I have never experienced a blackout, why would the electrical use be higher than air conditioners in the summer? Must be some reason, not fun to be without heat. Enjoy tomorrow's snow day and eating your eggs and cheese!!

Anonymous said...

It is CRAZY up here north of the RED RIVER!! People were standing in LINE today at a Tulsa Ace Hardware waiting for the Truck to come and deliver 300 snow shovels!!! The radio station was on ACE Hardware Truck watch.... I thought Santa was coming to town!!! After the big blizzard so many people either broke their shovels or decided everyone in the family needs a shovel so one person is not clearing off the driveway for 3 hours by themselves!
Some food was delivered today to local stores...and the shelves were again picked over....time to circle the wagons and wait out the next storm... never know if it will be as big as they predict...but E is sure we have changed our state song from OOOOOOOOOOOOKlahoma to OHHHH Canada! Stay warm, we sure are trying to! ~The other-mother-in-law!

Sarah said...

Oh my goodness. I can't believe the SCHOOL was subject to the rolling blackouts. I found it highly frustrating at home, but I can only imagine how it was for you.

We had FOUR snow days in the Fort Worth area last week, and one more yesterday. Of course my 8th grade son was giddy, but I was not having so much fun. My husband and I both worked from home, with no childcare for our 4-year-old. He kept having phone meetings and telling me to "keep her quiet." Argh!!!

Glad you got to enjoy your peaceful snow day.

Buttercup said...

My job never has snow days, but my cousin's kids in Connecticut have had six this year, which is some sort of a record. The blackout of 2004 made me much more appreciative of electricity and I am forever shutting off lights that aren't needed.

Hope you're keeping cozy.