Today, Anne had another snow day. At this rate she will still be in school well into June. The school district is already cannibalizing teacher development days to help make up this growing deficit. Some of the more rural school districts are in even worse shape and look like they could push out to the 4th of July. It has been a rough winter this year and it is still only the first week of February. The Post rated this season #18, in the all time record for Saint Louis annual snowfalls. We’ve gotten 28” of snow so far and as I said it is only the beginning of February. The record from 1912 is 68”. At least we’re nowhere close to that.
I went to work today and it was a challenging commute. I had gotten outside early and was digging out the walks, while the Prius egregiously idled, when a dog walker came by and asked if I was really going to work. I told him that I had to, which seemed to placate him, but in truth I could have just as easily called in sick. I do feel sick, sick of winter. Throughout the day, my mind sought relief from this season and continually turned to thoughts of summer vacation. This turn was aided by a missive from one of our Rochester friends who should be just going, “Phssst!” to all of this bellyaching, but instead Chris offered the following most encouraging thought:
When the depth of winter darkens your door with steely skies and blasting flurries, smile to yourself and think lakeside summer thoughts of chilled white wine and sizzling barbecue sunsets with old geezer friends.
Summer vacation was an early 20th century idea. Horace Mann formulated this concept. He felt that year round schooling would over stimulate young minds and lead to nervous disorders or insanity. He was probably thinking about the teachers. School’s summer vacations soon led to family summer vacations. Stay at home moms need a vacation too, even if the kids came along too. Americans now work most of the year, to enjoy a few precious weeks off in the summer.
This summer the heart of my summer vacation will be spent in the New York Finger Lakes. Oh, I’ll still visit the cabin on the shores of Lake Superior, but this year as just a way station. We and our old geezer friends will all celebrate our mutual turning old. Anne of course will still get her full allotment of cabin time, because as a substitute teacher she can choose to enjoy the entirety of the three best things about teaching, June, July and August and not be bothered by any pesky makeup days. I just wish that I could too.
Summertime and the living is easy.
Fish are jumping and the cotton is high.
Oh, your daddy’s rich and your mamma’s good looking.
So, hush little baby, don’t you cry.