Snow day

We had a lovely snow day yesterday. First of all we were not snowed in. At any point in the day we could have gotten in our car and driven to town if there had ben a need. However, the schools were closed. County offices were on an only essential personnel basis. The same was true of the Air Force Base. We had had plenty of warning of the blizzard, so we had the worship bulletins prepared and it was easy to have the office closed for a day. I did go out to visit with one church member in the afternoon, but for the most part had a day off.

The storm started with rain, but the rain didn’t come until late on Thursday. None of our Thursday activities were disrupted. We went to the play in the evening and didn’t get home until 10:30 or so and the rain was just beginning to fall as we pulled into the driveway.

It snowed pretty heavily during the morning, but the winds never did pick up in our neck of the woods, so we just watched the snow pile up outdoors. After lunch I went out and cleared the driveway and it was warm enough that it stayed clear until a little dusting of snow blew over it in the evening. We had power and Internet service all through the storm, so there were no inconveniences that way.

If you are going to have a snow day, it isn’t a bad way to have one. The moisture is good for the hills. The snow makes everything look pretty. All in all there is nothing to complain about.

And today we’ll go back to normal. The high school music competition that had been set to begin at the church at 9 am has been moved back to 11 am. I have a few clerical tasks that I normally do on Fridays that I’ll complete this morning, but other than that we’re back to business as usual.

It is a blessing that this storm isn’t going to disrupt church attendance on Sunday.

The more relaxed pace of the day gave me a bit more time for reading and one of the things I read was a magazine column by an other whose articles I read most months. We’ve never met, but his writing is very familiar to me and I feel like I know a bit about his life from having read his articles over a period of several years. His column this month is about his learning to admit that he has slowed down a bit as he has aged. He wrote that so far the effects of aging haven’t become a problem for him. Sure his knees hurt sometimes and he walks a bit slowly than once was the case, but his slower pace allows him to see things that he missed when he was barreling through life a breakneck speed. He’s turned over the day to day operations of his business to younger, sharper minds and occasionally he notices that they are sharper, think faster and are more capable of multitasking than he. He notes this truth, but says it doesn’t bother him. Being mostly retired allows him to focus on one thing at a time, which, once you’ve tried it, is very fulfilling. He knows he is no longer able to safely manage a large sailboat single handedly, but that gives him more time to sail in a small boat. The small boat isn’t as fast or as capable, but it gives him the pleasure of sailing all the same.

I don’t know the age of the author, but I imagine him to be a bit older than me. I’m still enjoying the bustle of the office and I don’t mind being the one who has to go in on a snow day. I actually was at the church twice during a day when we were officially closed. It didn’t seem like a problem to me and the day definitely seemed to have a slower pace than our usual. I like the feeling that others are depending on me and occasionally turn to me for advice and support. Most of the time I don’t mind my phone ringing and the inbox of my email filling up.

But I do think about what it will mean to retire from time to time. It isn’t an unpleasant thought. If retirement could be a bit like a yesterday, it wouldn’t be bad at all. I might take a few more naps. I would know that I could go out and about if I needed to, but that I could also sit and enjoy a book a bit longer in the morning if I wanted to. It might be possible, as the author noted in his column, that will find great pleasure in doing things one at a time.

Here’s the problem, however. I wonder if retired people get as much fun out of a snow day as we do. I mean if you don’t have the routine of going to the office every day, do you really appreciate a bonus day off? I remember how we used to long for summer vacation when I was in elementary school and how after a few months of vacation we used to look forward to the return of the school year. We didn’t like to admit it, but we were ready for school to begin in the fall. The novelty of being able to sleep in (which I’ve never done much anyway) wore off. The lack of structure, so treasured at the beginning of the summer, turned to occasional bits of boredom by the end of it. I think we would have enjoyed snow days, but that wasn't something we ever got when I was a kid. The school busses didn't run when the weather got bad, but we kids in town were expected to be able to walk to school regardless of the weather, and that seemed to work out just fine.

I’ve been blessed with a good life. I’ve always had meaningful work. I’ve never had a sense of not wanting to have my job. Sure there are things that drive me up the wall. There are frustrations I could live without. One day it will be time for me to move on. Something, however, tells me that the time hasn’t come quite yet.

Copyright (c) 2018 by Ted E. Huffman. I wrote this. If you would like to share it, please direct your friends to my web site. If you'd like permission to copy, please send me an email. Thanks!