Sunday, January 20, 2013

Snow Day

Friday was a snow day.  School was cancelled.  We just stayed in.  All for about 1 inch of very slushy wet snow.  By noon it was already well into the 40's and any evidence of a storm was mostly gone at our house.  It was a beautiful sunny day.  I commented to Doug how I had been entertained by the reaction of several "newbies" to the state who thought it was crazy for school to be cancelled for such a minor "snow event".  Doug's reply surprised me...

You see, four winters ago, we made similar comments.  We both grew up in a snowy mountain valley and I don't remember school ever being cancelled for snow.  We had shovels, snow blowers, ice-scrapers, and snow tires.  Every family member had snow clothes.  Part of learning how to drive was learning to drive through snow.  It wasn't so different when we lived in the Midwest.  BUT, our first winter in the South, we thought it was absolutely ridiculous for them to be so cautious about every little snow storm.  Delays, cancellations, warnings, and advisories abound.

Doug turned to me and said "I think it was probably a good call."  He said that the longer he lives here, the more he realizes that there is wisdom in their caution.  "There is no infrastructure to manage the snow,"  he said. "We aren't well-equipped."  He's right, of course.  There are very few plows.  Most households don't have shovels, ice scrapers, and snow clothes.  And don't get me started on Southerners driving on snow packed roads.  It's terrifying.

It made me think a little bit about how I react when there are other types of storms in my life...when something hard or challenging comes my way.  I tend to just plow on through life and not let things slow me down.  I throw on my theoretical "snow clothes", grab a shovel, and deal with it.  This method has mostly served me well.

But, I'm learning that there are times and circumstances that facing the challenge head on isn't the wisest thing to do. Perhaps the wise person is the one who recognizes when they aren't equipped to deal with a particular demand or challenge and they choose to take a "snow day".  They pull inside, spend some time with their family, and wait for some of the drama to melt away.  Looking back, I can see times when I actually made things much harder for myself and my family by acting too quickly.  I dealt with storms that if I had simply waited patiently, I wouldn't have had to deal with at all.

"There is wisdom in caution."  Nicely said Doug.  Perhaps I will get better at taking snow days.


  1. Ooh, that's deep. To piggy back with your analogy, we also have to be careful not to judge others when they do not deal well with a challenge that may not seem to be that big of a deal to us. Maybe our life experiences have prepared and equipped us to deal with the "snow" in a way that someone else may not be prepared. They can still be a strong person, and their garage is probably full of rakes, weed whackers, etc., just not the snow shovel they need for the current storm. We shouldn't think they are weak for not being able to cope with the challenge better. We've just all been blessed with a different set of tools and we each have different abilities and capabilities for working through challenging situations.

    Don't know if that made any sense to you, but it was a good thought for me. Sometimes when someone is having hard time coping with a situation that doesn't seem that difficult to me, I pridefully think, "What's the big deal? So-and-so just needs to buck up. If I can do it, they can do it." But we are all different.

  2. Wow--this is beautiful, Becky. Kudos to Doug for having the thought and to you for taking it and running with it. And thanks to Tammy for her comment as well. I really hope no one is judging me for dealing with my own snow "year" so badly!! ;)

  3. Cindy, you are one of the people who really showed me that sometimes slowing down and stepping back is the best solution. It is one of the many ways you have inspired me to be a better person.

  4. LOVE these thoughts...and- I miss those crazy southern snow days:(.

  5. Becky--I never saw that you had responded to my comment. (I'm really bad at forgetting to click the button to see later comments.) That is so kind of you to say. I feel like my last year has been handled so poorly (15 month long temper tantrum, anyone??) that it's nice to know I've provided inspiration in another moment...