Grieving the Loss of Snow Days

Was there anything better than a snow day? I realize that the idea of a snow day is contextual. I understand that anywhere outside the South snow makes no difference in one’s schedule, habits, or joy. But I am a native North Carolinian. I know what it is like as a kid to be glued to the local television station aching for the weather forecaster to mention snow. The meteorologist didn’t even need to have much confidence in the forecast. Once the possibility of snow was present, my prayers and the prayers of all my friends and classmates, could take it from there.

Hearing the news anchor say, “Greensboro City Schools will be closed,” was like hearing that you had been given an extra day of life. It was as if all your neighborhood friends were born on the same day and you would all collectively have a surprise party together that the entire city would have to observe. All worry and concern was covered up by the snow. Homework could be left undone. Tests would have to wait. All that was left was fun.

Chronologically I’m now a grown up. Nevertheless, as a pastor the snow day used to still threaten joy. Granted, it was rare, but it was possible. The probability of snow times the probability of that snow occurring on a Saturday night produces a very small percentage. I’ve probably had to cancel all services less than 5 times in 30 years. But still, the chance of it happening was enough to feel like a kid again, even if my sermon was already written.

Alas, due to high speed internet and accessible consumer electronics, the reign of the snow day has come to an end. As long as the power stays on and the internet stays up I can live stream. Even if I can’t get to church, all I need is a laptop to run my visage across the parish and beyond. The probability times the probability times the probability is now so tiny, I must say good bye and move on with my life. It seems sad that “progress” has taken away something that could bring so much peace and happiness.

What if the Blue Ridge District of the United Methodist Church, and all districts of the UMC for that matter, chose a lay person to be the Snow Meister. Once per year, at a random date and with only 24 hours notice, the Snow Meister would declare a snow day. All church meetings, worship services, and emails would cease for that Sunday. This event could even happen in the summer. There’s something quite Jubilee about that isn’t there? I know it’ll never happen. But a kid can dream.

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