Mac Brown Period 3 1/15/04

Snow Day

(based on true events)

I hate the snow. Especially in Bellingham, where it's cold enough to freeze the balls off a brass monkey but never cold enough to have snow stick on the roads. All it does is turn into slush here, making the days look gloomy and depressing. How do people enjoy snow? Snow turns to slush, and slush is no fun. You can't sled in slush. You can't make snow angels in slush. You can't have snowball fights in slush. You can't make snowmen with slush. Snow sucks. "You're listening to KGMI 790, News Plus," the broadcast radio announcer spoke, almost too cheerfully for six o'clock in the morning. "Okay kids, it's time for you to listen in. School cancellations stand, thus far, as: Lynden, closed; Mt. Baker, two hour delay."
Oh, no! I thought. If Mt. Baker is open, the Bellingham district has to be! My anticipation continued to build as he continued reading.
"Everett, closed; Marysville, closed; and now, the one you have all been waiting for, the Bellingham school district, closed!"
I love the snow. Snow on days like today is great. Finally I can actually enjoy it! Heavy snowfall sticks on everything, including roads. There will be no driving today. No buses, no cars going up and down the roads, no sand trucks spoiling the beautiful white, soft, fluffy snow, and no school to keep me from enjoying the weather. Life is great. Snow is great.
I turned off the radio and looked at the clock: 6:15 in the morning! Sure snow is great and all, but I must take advantage of sleeping in because I don't get to do it very often. I turned off the lights in the upstairs before slowly trudging back down my stairs and into my bedroom. The soft cotton comforter warmly welcomed me into its depths, and as I laid my head down onto my pillow, I couldn't help but hum Christmas carols. Sleeping in a winter wonderland.
"GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOD MORNING BELLINGHAM!!" screamed my backup alarm. Shuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuut up, announcer. My fist pounded into the snooze button, turning off the obnoxious man's voice. But I couldn't stop his annoying words from echoing around in my ears. Yes, what a good morning it is.
I sat up. Massaging the inside corners of my eyes, I rubbed the crusty sleep boogers away from my face. After what was, in my opinion, tough competition for the loudest, longest yawn ever performed, I stood up and walked to the kitchen.
Hmm, what to eat for breakfast? Too many choices, so much time. I searched through all the cupboards and closets and refrigerator shelves, pulling out what looked like random food elements, but really they were the very important ingredients to my all time favorite morning meal: The Farmer's Breakfast. After twenty minutes of preparation and cooking, a plate of crisp, steaming golden hash browns and a huge mound of eggs sat in front of me. It didn't sit there for long, though. Within five minutes my stomach held three eggs (my prayers go out to the mother hen) and one large potato. Life was good.
My shower lasted what seemed like an eternity compared to the two minute get-wet-and-get-out I usually get on normal Tuesday mornings. Have you ever seen what scientists like to call the vacuum effect? Where a gas builds up for so long in a sealed container, that when the seal is finally broken the gas goes flying out, creating a mushroom-like explosion? Well, I have now experienced that first hand. As I stepped out of my bathroom, a huge waft of steam burst out into my bedroom, sucking me out with it. It was rather nice, actually.
Dressing myself, on the other hand, was a complicated mess. Am I going to go out in the snow, or should I stay in the comforts of my warm, soothing home? I decided that I would enjoy my quiet realm as long as I could, and put on some comfy sweatpants.
Hot chocolate was the next big event of the day. Who has a snow day without hot chocolate? Crazy people is your answer to that question, and I am no crazy person. So I headed to the kitchen with my underpants over my head and a cape made out of aluminum foil...only kidding, I said I wasn't crazy. The Nestle Milk Chocolate Hot Cocoa mix was in the cupboard next to the microwave. I grabbed an ingredient envelope and a coffee mug. The tap water didn't reach very high temperatures, so I filled the mug to its brim with lukewarm water and placed it in the microwave for two minutes. That ought to do it.
Two minutes later I opened the microwave door (once again, a vacuum effect of steam came pummeling out) and grabbed for my hot chocolate mug. HOT! I dropped the mug inside the microwave and the boiling fluid streamed down my arm and into my shirt.
I hate snow days. Only these kinds of accidents would happen on a day like today. Why else would I be having hot chocolate? I could be sitting in my safe, hot-chocolate-free classroom at school right now, but instead I'm dancing around like a marionette being manipulated by a mindless puppeteer. The right side of my upper body seared with pain as Hell's River continued to flood over my skin.
Like I said before, I'm not crazy, but all of my neighbors probably believe otherwise. I couldn't think of anything that would cease the pain of the boiling water. Suddenly, I whipped off my T-shirt and tore out the front door, jumping in a huge pile of fluffy snow and rolling around to soothe my pain. On second hand, snow is good.
As I reentered my house, shirtless and shivering as if I was being tickled with ice cubes, I began to ponder the roundabout events that just occurred. If it wasn't a snow day, I wouldn't have had the hot chocolate, but if there wasn't any snow I wouldn't have found a way to put out the fire on my skin. It's funny how certain events of a day can spin you in circles like these two. Maybe I spilled hot chocolate on myself just because there was a way for me to cool off. Did these to events have some sort of connection to each other? Does everything happen for a reason? Does Advil cure headaches? I would soon find all the answers to these intellectual questions.
First question to be answered: yes, and it also helps reduce pain from intense burns. My right arm had now turned a maroon red, and caused the most tremendous amounts of pain with the slightest of touches. To solve this problem I headed for the first aid kit and heavily wrapped my arm first with gauze, then with bandage tape. Now, you may think that I'm a baby who can't handle pain. No comment.
I was about to sit down on my downstairs couch and begin reading the first book in the Robert Langdon series (most famous for The Da Vinci Code), when an epiphany swept over me: I'd rather watch TV. But, as I was reaching for the remote, I heard a huge crash coming from my bedroom. It sounded like a million golden coins crashing down on a very thin piece of metal. Either that or glass shattering. I walked into my room, but nothing looked out of place, so I continued to the bathroom. Upon opening the door, I saw shards of glass sprawled across the linoleum floor. My shower door had completely shattered for no apparent reason at all. There was no bit of evidence to show that some solid object had come into contact with the door, causing it to break. And as I swept up the shards of glass, that little thought popped into my mind that had visited me earlier when I spilled cocoa all over myself. What if I hadn't taken a shower earlier? What if I had been inside the shower when the door broke? What a disaster that would have been. Perhaps I was on my way to answering my bigger question: are there such things as coincidences?
Forty-five minutes later the bathroom was cleaner than it was before. I had swept up the glass into a cardboard box, vacuumed the whole bathroom and my bedroom, wiped down the counters, cleaned out the shower, removed the jagged pieces of glass still hanging in the doorframe, cleaned the toilet, and windexed the mirrors. I hate snow days.
Returning to the television, I finally received the opportunity to just sit down and relax on my snow day. Unfortunately, I failed to realize that the only television shows on while I'm at school are the ones I never get to watch. Who would of thought? From soap operas to talk shows to commercials.the only thing I could enjoy watching was the Spanish channel, and only when I muted the volume and dubbed in my own words. That got boring after, oh, I'd say about two minutes.
By this time in the day I was starting to get hungry again. My stomach growled and ached, begging for something I could put in it. All the thoughts and ideas I had about coincidence and everything happening for a reason gave me this quasi-transcendentalist feeling, and I tried to think: what would a transcendentalist eat for lunch? They are very philosophical and they love nature. Hungry.nature.and then it hit me: A turkey sandwich. Perfect.
I made myself the most gorgeous turkey, ham, and bacon sandwich I had ever seen. Nature would have been proud. I almost decided to have milk also, going with the "one with the wilderness" theme, but I wanted Coca- Cola more. As I began to devour my sandwich and coke, my brother came into the kitchen with his hair in knots and his pajamas still on. Without giving me any recognition, he put his hand in the goodies cabinet, it coming back with three double-chocolate brownies. Next he headed to the fridge, pouring himself a huge glass of milk to wash down his chocolate delights.
Suddenly, as he was taking a few huge gulps of his drink, he spat all of the milk out of his mouth. It sprayed everywhere: all over my sandwich and his brownies. He dumped his glass out, and curdled chunks of sour milk were clunking as they hit the stainless steel sink. While he was gagging from horrible taste in his mouth, all I could think about was: That could have been me.
By now I was starting to become convinced that this snow day had more of a purpose than getting me out of school. It was a message to me; it was teaching me that there is a more powerful being in this world that can't be discovered by any of our five senses. Maybe everything happens for a reason, like we're set on this invisible train track that guides us through our life, without stopping until it's reached its final destination. Maybe there are no coincidences. Maybe there is such a thing as fate. One thing's for sure: I needed another Advil. And my brother needed a tic tac.
Once again a transcendentalist sensation permeated through me. It felt as if my surroundings and me had some sort of interconnected web that protected me from disasters (besides the cocoa, of course).
Darkness began to make its home in Bellingham around six in the evening, and I still hadn't gotten myself outside to sled yet. I don't own any sleds, and I thought it was too late to try and find one, so I figured my sledding days were over for this year. As soon as I thought this however, as is connected by some telepathic web that binds us all, my friend Kyle called and invited me to go with him. I gratefully accepted his offer, considering he had extra sleds, and put on my snow gear and headed outside.
Kyle lives just up my hill, so I began walking up the steep path of unpacked snow to his house. I slipped several times before making it to his house. There he was in his front yard, wearing an all white snow suit that resembled the Stay Puff Marshmallow Man. He tossed me a sled, and we continued walking to the peak of Toledo Hill.
Toledo Street is a great sledding hill, except for one problem: if you don't stop before reaching the bottom you go straight into Lakeway Drive. So Kyle and I picked a designated wipeout point, a place near the bottom of the hill where we could jump off our sleds so we wouldn't go sliding into our deaths at the intersection. The yard with the flagpole was the wipeout point for us. It was probably five houses before the intersection, a good place to stop before going too far.
I noticed Kyle's Christmas tree sitting out in his front yard. I was confused because I thought the boy scouts were supposed to have come early this morning.
"When are they gonna pick that up?" I asked, my curiosity getting the best of me.
"Uh, I don't know. They were supposed to pick them up this morning or something, but the snow must have cancelled their plans."
At the top of the hill we set down our sleds and hopped in them. After a count down of three seconds, we were off. There's nothing better than soaring down a hill face first on your stomach, the icy wind licking your face, freezing your lips closed and nostrils together so it's impossible to breathe. Twenty miles per hour, thirty miles per acceleration continued as I flew down the hill. I was reminded of the scene in Christmas Vacation when Chevy Chase greased the bottom of his saucer sled and left a trail of fire behind him as he bolted down the mountain. I could just picture the size of the flames behind me. I smiled at my thoughts. I was Flame Boy.
Unfortunately my flames ended abruptly when I hit the curb of the sidewalk and went sliding out of control. I tried to reposition myself on the road, but it was hopeless. I was stuck in the small track on the side of the street that led water into the sewers, and in front of me laid a huge jump that must have been created by earlier sledders.
I went off the jump at twenty-five miles per hour and hit the ground with a hard thud. My ribs caused me a sudden jolt of pain, taking my attention away from the path my sled was taking, and the object that stood just ten feet in front of me.
I glanced forward after tending to my ribs just in time to see what my sled hit: a Christmas tree. My sled halted to an abrupt stop and I was launched out of it, landing face first into the needles of the Douglas fir. Pain seared through my face, it being the only thing that wasn't protected by huge masses of winter clothing. Scratches and scrapes leaked tiny amounts of blood from my cheeks and forehead.
I absolutely, without a doubt, hated the snow. My face was a mess, I was losing blood, my ribs hurt, nay, my whole body hurt, and I was covered in tree sap. On any typical day I would be fine, but only on a snow day would I have been catapulted into a Christmas tree left by the boy scouts because they couldn't make it up the hill due to the weather. Only on a snow day would I have burned my arm because of a freak hot chocolate accident. Only on a snow would my shower door break, probably because of the frigid cold, making me clean my entire bathroom. It was official, the only thing snow days did for people was make them freezing cold, wet, and miserable.
Slowly but surely, I got back into my sled and continued down the hill. As I slowly continued my decent down the hill I saw a car begin to back out of its driveway about five six houses down. All of the sudden it lost control and slid out onto the road, almost hitting a car parked on the street behind it.
I slowly calculated what my distance would have been if I had not wiped out into the Christmas tree, and realized that I would have been right underneath the tire of that out-of-control car if it wasn't for that Douglas fir. The pain of my wipeout didn't hurt so bad once I realized I could have been road kill six houses down.
And here I was again, back to this one thought I'd been having all day. If it wasn't for the huge amounts of snow, I wouldn't have gone sledding and wiped out. But at the same time, the snow caused the boy scouts to cancel their pick up rounds, leaving that one tree in the way to prevent me from an extremely shortened life span. Transcendentalism pulsed through my veins again, and I shivered from the sudden surge, rubbing my forearms frantically to warm myself back up.
For some reason though, my left glove got snagged on something protruding from my right arm. I looked down at my arm to see thick pieces of what looked to be glass from a Christmas tree ornament projecting out of my skin. Yet, I couldn't feel anything, which was rather odd considering I had burned this arm severely only a few hours back.
I rolled up my sleeve and prepared myself for what was coming next, an image of bloody glass shards poking in to my burned flesh. I was shocked to see that that wasn't the case, because the gauze and bandages I had put on earlier to stop the pain had protected my skin from the glass. A whirlwind of thoughts suddenly spun in my head like a tornado. So that's why I poured cocoa on myself, to protect me from the glass ornament that hung on the tree that saved my life from the slipping car. Every event was connecting with each other as my spiritual web of connections continued to fill itself out.
As I picked up my sled at the bottom of the hill to walk back up the icy street, one more thought popped into my head: I love the snow.