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February 22, 2011

It is 23 degrees this morning and Columbus has 1.25 inches of snow. And half of the schools in the area are closed.

Now, back in the day, when was a child, I had to walk two miles through knee deep snow. LOL But seriously, I do remember distinctly walking to elementary school through snow to the top of my boots. Remember those floppy rubber boots you pulled on over your shoes? Those! We used to get to school and they would be full of snow! The teacher made sure we turned them upside down in the ‘cloak room’ so they would drain. That’s how deep the snow was. In all the years of elementary school we never had school closed.

Then in high school I was eligible to ride the bus because we lived so far from the school. But still I remember standing across the road from our house waiting for the bus again in six inches of snow. Ralph drove the bus along the entire route on unplowed roads. Plowing country roads just wasn’t done. Even State Route 21 never got plowed! And even then it never occurred to anyone to cancel school!

West Elementary School stood on a high bank. For many years the school was heated by coal and the janitors just dumped the ash about 20 feet out along the side of the building. This had created a pretty steep bank. By the time I was in school I believe the building was heated by gas. Or maybe they had figured out something else to do with the ashes.

Regardless of the depth of the snow we had to get our snow clothes on to go outside for recess and the most popular outdoor activity on those days was sliding down that bank and trying to stand up till you got to the bottom. In the middle the bank was highest and steepest. There only the big boys had the nerve to slide down. As the bank tapered to either end the slope was less steep and shorter. That’s where the smaller kids slid. I don’t ever remember a teacher standing over us calling out cautions or worrying about someone breaking a leg. The daycare director in me says, “Oh mercy! Look at the possibilities for injury and the sure probability of liability!” It seemed that no one worried about that when we were kids.

We would get covered with snow and our boots again would get filled with it. (unless we were able to sneak out without them. You could slide better in flat soled shoes.) Standing outside every entrance to the school were several brooms. When the bell rang at the end of recess we all took turns sweeping one another off before we went back into the building after recess.

Now it never occurs to the teachers to send the kids out in the snow. In fact, it is probably prohibited in a lot of systems. I think of the crazy things we did as children. And you know what! We lived through them! I let my kids do crazy things and although I’m sure a full body Xray might reveal a few cracked bones, they lived through it all, too. I have to admit that when I heard of them jumping out of the hay window of the barn down into the pile of hay they had just thrown out for the horses I had heart failure. They did admit that the landing was kind of hard. Give me Grace! Well I guess I don’t need it anymore—they have grown up and Notah is letting his kids do crazy things.

Now I use up my share of Grace for other things.

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