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First Snow of the Year

If you live in the Midwest like I do, you never know when to expect that first snow of the winter. This year it came a little after Halloween. Most people curse it, but my family loves it.

In fact, we have always had the motto, “When the weather’s bad, the Murrays go out!” This only pertains to winter weather, as we aren’t huge fans of storm-chasing tornadoes.

The four of us once went across town in a raging blizzard to choose an elliptical in a sporting goods store. We were the only ones out on the road, so we figured we’d probably get some great service in the store. That we did. We found a great elliptical and tried it out for size in our snowboots. Any elliptical that runs smoothly with some size 12 men’s boots is a winner in my book.

We’ve gone to check the roads just out of town to see if the snow was really up to the hype the weather people on TV claimed it was. Indeed, they were usually right, but as hearty Midwesterners, we had to see for ourselves.

Truth be told, my two sons were mainly along to gauge the severity of the storm to the possibility of a snow day the next morning. Even though I write from home and teach online, the mention of a snow day still makes me as giddy as a school kid.

Those days of being a young girl waiting to hear my dad, the high school vice principal, tell me those glorious two words…Snow and Day…still are inside me waiting to celebrate, even though I’m closer now to being a senior citizen than a school child.

Even though my two sons are now out of the house, I just love the suspense of waiting to see if our town will scroll on the bottom of the TV screen with a late start or no school announcement when winter is fully underway. Although it doesn’t make a difference to me now one way or the other, I delight in thinking that I should cuddle with my dogs, make some hot cocoa, and put the Hallmark Channel on all day to catch some Christmas movies while I work.

When people hear I work from home, they automatically assume I’m in my pajamas all day. Snow days give me an excuse to live the life that everyone thinks I’m living already. Cue the couch and the bonbons for an afternoon break. It’s a Snow Day, after all!

My sons and I lived our family motto of going out when the weather was bad on snow days most of all. We had a favorite restaurant that served s’mores at the table, complete with a mini fire, skewers to roast the marshmallows, and of course, graham crackers and chocolate. Those s’mores always hit the spot, but on a snow day, they were a million times better.

Tonight I carried on the family motto, even with my husband working a late shift and my sons now living in two different cities. The weather was bad…so I went out! I didn’t have a crucial mission other than picking up some pills at the Target pharmacy and replenishing our toilet paper supply. Of course, my Target visit took a couple hours for all of that.

As I drove into the parking lot, I began to wonder if Target had changed their hours. My car was one of a very few in the lot. Even though this wasn’t technically a snow day, it sure seemed to be a “snow night!” I rarely ran into another customer, and I felt like I had won a contest where the prize was having an entire Target store to myself.

Yes, it was THE time to shop. And yes, my small purchases made me almost as giddy as the elliptical purchase on that one snowy night a long time ago. First snow of the year…check. First outing in the snow…check. Missing the rest of my family on this trek…check.

Oh well. As any Midwesterner knows, the first snow is never the last snow.