Remembering When We had a Snow Day

The house phone rang this morning around 6am with the prerecorded message from the school's Alert System giving us the big news of the schools being closed due to “inclement weather”.  At the same time the house phone rang, so did both my cell phone and Mr. Rosemary Lane's, and of course we received an email message on both of our computers. Geeeesh…talk about the era of automation!!
I remember when I was in grade school…we had to listen to the radio for school closings. We were tuned in to WIP 610 on the AM dial in Philadelphia. About every half hour beginning long before we were up out of bed, the station's radio personality would read the list of school numbers for closings. We would come downstairs and sit down at the kitchen table, barely looking at our cereal, and waited intently to hear if our school number was going to be read off on the closed list. "Schools 298, 299, 300 closed" the radio announcer would say...and then we waited for what felt like an eternity. “Please say 301, please say 301, please say 301” we would secretly be chanting to ourselves. And then, on that oh so rare occasion, the radio announcer would speak the numbers we’ve been waiting to hear…3-0-1. Yahoo we were off from school!!!! All of a sudden we were famished and we’d tear into the cereal as if we had not had anything to eat for a week.

After our cereal fest (more like a sugar fest) we’d run upstairs and begin to” bundle up” in about ten layers of clothing so we could go outside and play with our friends. I remember one year I built an igloo made of snow. We had a block mold, to this day I have no idea where it came from, probably a neighbor or possibly one of my younger sibling’s Christmas or birthday presents, but I didn’t care, it occupied me for hours as I built my house of snow!

My sister and brother were far more clever with ways to keep themselves entertained on the unexpected day off. We lived on a one block hill and our neighbor Mr. Phillips, who lived across from us but was also on the next road down, had this huge hill in his backyard. One year my sister and brother built a giant slope on the Phillips’s hill complete with a jump that actually rendered them airborne for about a good 15 feet. They had one of those plastic saucers which they would ride starting at the top of the Phillips’s hill, through the Phillips's backyard, and then all the way down the Fortune Road hill which was a whole block long! From there they would make the left onto Louise Avenue which took them clear out to Jenkintown Road. And, to make the ride even faster, my smart little brother and sister would pour water down the slope which would freeze and become really slick. The thrill of that snow saucer ride I am sure rivaled that of any amusement park ride of the time!

When I was a teen the main hill for sledding was at the senior high school. And boy did they have a great hill for sledding!!! Scores of kids would gather at this hill to catch their winter ride. We had graduated to a real sled by our teenage years and the fun thing to do was to pile ourselves on the sled, maybe 3 or 4 people high all lying on our bellies, and head off down the hill trying to keep everyone on the sled until we got to the bottom. Of course if you were on the top of the stack the likelihood of falling off was pretty high, but the fall itself was part of the fun!

Now in the short time it has taken me to write this blurb about my good old snow days, Grace and her friend have already gone outside, played in the snow, and now are back inside to get warmed up and look for something to snack on. I suppose at some point today I will make the trip over to our little hill which is a couple blocks away, and watch the kids as the go sledding. Maybe I will even take a spin or two down the hill on one of their sleds…if not for anything else but for “the sake of old times.”
Wishing you a wonderful day!!
And if you are in the wake of this big nor-easter, have a great SNOW DAY!

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  1. Hope you're enjoying your snow day! I remember getting those on occasion when I was a child too. I grew up in the south so we didn't get them often! Stay warm!

  2. Brings back memories of when I was a kid, and then when MY kids were kids. They'd be in an out 4-5 times a day, piling all of the snow clothes on the floor by the door. I'd throw everything in the dryer while the kids warmed up and then back out they'd go.

    We have snow here in Western PA ( about 4-5 inches thus far ) but no blizzards coming our way, thankfully.

    Your post was a fun read...I enjoyed it.

  3. Barbara I enjoy your blog so much, I look for you each day. Lol, Today your blog brought back some happy memories for me as well. I used to listen to WIPam radio station too, I grew up in So Jersey that snow looks great. I now live in sunny Florida. Thank you so much for sharing your home/pics you are an inspiration. Marian

  4. How fun to read your post! I enjoyed hearing about Snow Days from your youth and how you listened to the radio to find out. My latest post is about the Snow Days we NEVER get here.

  5. Enjoy your day!! I love snow days when my kids were younger as a mom and as a teacher. :)

  6. I can't believe how much snow you all got! Have fun!

  7. Yahoo!! I can remember waiting by the radio to hear if it was going to be claimed a "snow day" and that was just about 8 years ago and I wasn't a student, I just worked at the school! Exciting stuff. We did have a snow day back in 1956 in Santa Cruz. We were only about 5 feet above sea level but, believe it or not, it snowed right on the beach. Everybody left school and went "up the hill". Needless to say, the school didn't recognize our "dr. excuses" the next day!!..Happy Snow Day..Judy


  8. yea, no school - the kids must be loving all the snow that you are getting. Sounds like you had fun times growing up. Stay warm and safe.

  9. Hi Barbara,
    Thanks for finding my blog now I have found you and became a follower. Loooove your blog.
    I bet it was fun to have the snow day. Woooo Hoooo!


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