Wishing on a Snowflake

One of the things that I love / hate about my hometown is its peculiar behavior during winter storms.  One of my high school buddies moved here from Alaska in ninth grade, and he was incredulous at our collective response to a single snowfall.  We flooded the supermarkets, cleaning them out of bread, milk and toilet paper (why this unusual combination?  Why not bottled water and canned goods?  Has anyone ever died from a lack of toilet paper?)  We cancelled school, sometimes before the snow had even fallen (and occasionally it never fell at all, leaving us all looking foolish.)  And when it was falling, we were staying indoors with hot chocolate and videos, not daring to enter the frozen wasteland.  Meanwhile, he would wander around outside in shorts, famously shrugging, "It's not even cold yet!"

Snow chatter starts about 24 hours before it's "supposed to" come.  (And another thing: what in the world did we do before Doppler?  This might be a case of a little knowledge being dangerous.)  It's something to talk about, though, and I love to see the kids get excited.  So this afternoon, when I greeted my first student, I said, "Ready for a day off tomorrow?"  She grinned.

I said, "You know how to make sure school is canceled, right?"  She didn't.  "Do all of your homework.  Get ready the night before.  Plan to go to school, and then we won't have to."  (This is completely true, by the way -- even more so now that I'm a teacher.  If I'm not prepared, I will absolutely have to go anyway.)

Her mom shook her head. "Be careful what you wish for," she said.  "I used to teach school in Buffalo, and the girls I lived with told me to lay all my clothes out the night before we were supposed to get a big snow, so we could have the day off.  Well, I did, and the storm came, and we didn't have school for a month!  They were literally carting snow out of the city by the truckload.  We were in school until July that year!"

"Hmm," I said.  "Can you lay out just some of your clothes?  Like, maybe just your socks?"