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Slice of Life 12: Before the first snowflakes fall

It’s been a quiet Sunday. After we got home from church this morning, I spent most of the day hanging out with the boys, catching up on some school work, and planning for tomorrow. Without any birthday parties today or other family obligations, I also got to spend some time reading. This year hasn’t been a great “reading year” for me (there’s always been something else I need to do), but today I made the time to finish reading Angie Thomas’s The Hate U Give (which was excellent, by the way – will need to blog on that later).

But in between reading and working and snuggling with my youngest (how much longer will he like snuggling with his mama? I can only hope—), I also found myself checking the weather forecast for Winter Storm Stella, who is headed our way and, if the models are correct, promises to  be “massive” and “crippling.” Last week in our department room, several colleagues groaned at the possibility of more snow. After all, every snow day we have now is another day tacked on to the end of the school year.

As for me, I generally don’t mind a snow day here and there. It’s certainly not fun shoveling all that snow, and neither is losing power, but I don’t know. I like snow days. There’s something a little magical about them. It’s almost as if time stops and the only thing to do is to hunker down, enjoy some hot cocoa, and gather our blankets together on the sofa, read, or watch movies.

Of course, there’s also how beautiful snowscapes can be. Dull and dry, brown frozen ground becomes blanketed in white and tree branches shimmer as snowflakes catch the sunshine.

That said, it looks like Winter Storm Stella is going to be much bigger than anyone anticipated. Every model I’ve looked at shows worsening conditions. On Friday, the models predicted about 5-8 inches. This morning, the models showed 6-12 inches, and just now, the Eastern PA Weather Authority released updated projections of 18-24+ inches for the area.

The boys happen to have off tomorrow for a teacher in-service day, so they’re super excited at the promise of a 4- or 5-day extended weekend. When I told them we might get two feet of snow, I could see the wheels turning in my six-year-old’s head. “That’s half my size!” he said, his eyes widening.

When I said that the projections could always be wrong, his older brother quickly added, “We should wear inside-out pajamas tomorrow night. It works every time.” It’s true. Inside-out pajamas are powerful magic.

As for me, with the storm ahead, I’ve been mulling over some contingency plans for the day or two we’ll miss this week. I’m guessing there will be a lot of excitement in the air at school tomorrow. If we could track conversations in the cafeteria and hallways, my guess #winterstormstella would be trending, and I imagine lots of students asking that million-dollar question, “Do you think we’ll have school tomorrow?” Meanwhile, I’ll run to the store like so many others and stock up on snow day snacks, including some microwave popcorn for our usual snow day movie marathons (I’ll leave the bread, milk, and eggs for others).

Winter Storm Stella . . . here we go.

slice of lifeThis post is part of the Slice of Life Challenge, hosted by Two Writing Teachers, who have created a space for writers and teachers of writers to come together. To learn more about this challenge, click here.

Filed under: Blog, Slice of Life

About the Author

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English teacher. Writer. Reader. Photography hobbyist. Daughter of immigrants. Wife to best friend. Mom to three Jedi-in-training. She/her.


  1. All I can think of is Marlon Brando yelling “STELLA!!” in Street Car. That’s kind of how I feel about this Stella. We have the same predictions in Maine. Here’s to Punxatawney Phil’s predictions!!


  2. I’m going to try the inside out pajamas too. I still feel magical about snow too — even when snowed in like my first winter in Yuma CO. When I lived in south Louisiana snow was a rarity and schools always closed. Talk about MAGIC!


  3. Thomas J.

    From school cancellations to family life, from its transformative beauty to the pain of shoveling it, your discussion of Stella’s effects is, at the very least, comprehensive, if not also well-written. You snatched a blog idea from me, but I will find another topic to inform my loyal followers of!


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