Attention Virginia! This may come as some surprise, but it’s the end of January. It’s winter. It has a tendency to get cold. Sometimes there’s snow. How is this new information? The schools just announced Day #4 of school closings due to the fact that we had 2 inches of snow. Not two feet – 2 inches. I’ve been stewing all week to write about it but I hadn’t yet found the time since my work was NOT canceled due to aforementioned 2 inches of snow. I continue to work from home, staring out the window all day at 2 inches of snow. And my kids. Home. And not at school. For 4 days. Because of the 2 inches of snow. I can’t take it any more. I must speak out.
This week, the Richmond area was dealt a near deathblow by Mother Nature. A vicious two inches of snow hit the region Tuesday evening, rendering our meager transportation system seemingly useless and families everywhere dumbfounded. As a result of the chaos that these two inches of snow has brought to our lives, our school children have had ZERO days of school this entire week.
Monday was closed for the national MLK holiday. (A fine and right thing that this former Yankee is happy to see the South getting right.) Tuesday, the forecast was for snow late in the day. Not early, mind you, late. My friends and colleagues in NJ had an early dismissal since they were getting close to a foot of snow. As I sat at my desk at 4PM on Tuesday and looked out the window, my children played in the yard that was strangely snow-free. Huh.
Tuesday night, the mother lode hit and two massive inches tumbled down upon us. Admittedly, the temperature sank well below freezing and there was ice. Not surprisingly, there was no school on Wednesday. (Even though my NJ friends had only a delayed opening after their foot of snow, but I’m over that) If only by precedent, if there is no school on a day when there is zero snow, you can’t very well have school the morning after it actually did snow.
Wednesday night, we readied backpacks and organized homework, only to get the dreaded phone call once again that school was canceled for Thursday. Despite no snow having fallen for 24 hours. And that it had only been two inches. The ringing phone was starting to remind me of some horror movie when the killer kept calling every time he scored a victim. Richmond, it seems, has no snowplows. Or salt. Or sand. Or (insert your next word as you see fit). Throughout the week, parents and children were out and about – going to stores, museums, trying to stay busy. I’m not sure how this could have been possible given the state of our roads and that perilous two inches of snow, but somehow they managed.
Moments ago, the phone rang yet again, proclaiming that Friday’s school is canceled as well. I don’t know quite what to say. Perhaps there’s a conspiracy. Maybe there won’t be school for the rest of the winter. Maybe Virginia is employing a top secret program to institute home schooling but just not telling anyone. Each hour that passes, I see the light in my wife’s eyes fade a little bit more. The children are walking around the house in a fog, eyes bleary from too many hours of Xbox. Their faces, scratched and scarred from scraping against the frozen ground in an attempt to sled down our hill that has too little snow.
I’m not sure that we will make it through another day. I try to stay secluded in my 3rd floor office. My door closed, afraid to hear the mayhem that might be brewing below me. I fear we may be down to our last slice of bread. I consider making a run for it, if only to head to the schools and open the doors in a desperate attempt to restore order to our world. In the meantime I stare out my window. At the two inches of snow. God help us.