I recently heard that the Campbell Soup Company “is on a mission to preserve and protect our most magical of winter birthrights: the snow day.” A giggle escaped my lips and grew into a cacophony of roars, hoots, hollers, and knee-slapping laughter, complete with tears escaping the corners of my eyes. I simply could not stop laughing. It was as if I were banished to the Perpetual Isle of Tickling (to quote a line from Veggie Tales).
I did a little research. Yes, I googled, okay? And it all became clear to me. Campbell’s Soup Company originated in Camden, New Jersey, where the average snowfall per year is only 13 inches. So THAT’S why they want to preserve snow days!
Allow me to explain. I was raised in northern Michigan. And I have close friends from upstate New York. On a good year, we may have 50 inches of snow, but usually, it’s closer to 90. I remember one winter morning when I looked out of my living room’s picture window and only saw snow, with drifts so high we could barely see the tippy tops of the telephone poles. That’s the only time I ever remembered a snow day, where we didn’t have to go to school. The entire city was paralyzed and it took us two days to dig our way out.
Save the snow day? (I’m still laughing!) Every day - from October through May - was a snow day! If we’d had a snow day every time the snow fell, we’d have never completed our education! We really did walk uphill in the snow to and from school! We made snowmen that stuck around for months. We built snow families and snow forts and snow animals and snow vehicles. We wore snowsuits and snowshoes and snow boots for months. The summer softball pitching arm was perfected by the winter snowball fights. Friends recall walking to the bus stop in Rochester, New York, and having to grip stop sign poles and hold onto fire hydrants to keep from being blown away.
Whoo! So, I have settled down now. I think I’m beginning to get it. It’s a reminder to look at life through someone else’s life lens. For although a two-foot snowfall is business as usual for me, it could invoke sheer panic in someone unfamiliar with the powdery substance. And even though I only received one snow day during my entire elementary experience, children certainly deserve random skip days, and I suppose snowfall is as good an excuse as any.