The longest snow day ever

December 17, 2008 | Advent

So last Thursday the kids were sent home from school at noon because of an ice storm. Up until 30 minutes ago, they were STILL here. That’s almost a week off — and not because the weather continued to be bad but because National Grid did not return power to our school until last night. Then, this morning, in a cruel twist, we had a two-hour snow delay to boot. It’s been some week, and we were among the lucky, lucky few who did not lose power in our town. I don’t know how we managed to slip through those cracks, but what a blessing. So many families we know had no power for five days. No heat, no lights, flooding basements, spoiling food. It got to the point where I felt bad telling people that we hadn’t lost power.

Still, those who did were in amazingly good spirits. They talked about the kindness of friends and neighbors, about living by the heat of a wood stove and realizing that they were living like those from Colonial times, about the sense of community that was evident as people slept over friends’ houses and stopped by to do laundry. We did offer our house to one family. They said they were going to the shelter at Town Hall instead. Dennis pointed out that it really wasn’t surprising that someone might choose a shelter over our crazy house and that sometimes he’d like to go to a shelter. Nice.

Today things are back to “normal,” or as normal as they can be at this point. Chiara will have her holiday dance recital in a few hours, and our school will go ahead with its Christmas concert tonight. As I sit in my warm and well-lit house, for which I am more grateful than ever, this weather-related event seems very much in season — in more ways than one. Sure, we expect storms and cancellations and power outages in the winter, but this week, as we await the Gift of Light that changed the world forever, how fitting that we spent so much time these past few days reflecting on the darkness and how lost we would be without light in our lives.

And on that note, I must end with my favorite Bible passage:

“In the beginning was the Word,
and the Word was with God,
and the Word was God.
He was in the beginning with God.
All things came to be through him,
and without him nothing came to be.
What came to be through him was life,
and this life was the light of the human race;
the light shines in the darkness
and the darkness has not overcome it.”
— John 1:1-5



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