A snow day perfect for sleds | Home Again

By Joanne Peterson | Feb 10, 2019

This morning, my grandson Adam texted me three photos taken from inside his family’s West Seattle home, views of the snow-covered front yard and street. Adam’s ecstatic message: “GRANDMA! SNOW! THERE’S NO SCHOOL TODAY!”

I thought back to my own elementary school days in Edmonds, when the rare wintry words “No School Today” caused me the same rush of excitement. Children in Western Washington simply can’t count on many snowy days.

I’ve said before that in my father’s Western Auto Supply store on the northwest corner of Fourth and Main, he stocked a few sleds each winter. Realistically, how many sleds could he hope to sell?

If there was a hint that enough snow might accumulate to make sledding possible, the few shiny American Flyers sold quickly. Possibly the next winter, those purchases still would have their new-sled gloss, but one or two days of sledding on a sloping Edmonds street would bring joy to their proud young owners.

The rest of us hauled out old family sleds from our garages, dusted off a year’s worth of spider webs and didn’t worry when we heard the grate and grind of the runners scraping across patches of bare pavement.

Those were years when Grandpa and Grandma lived in their apartment in our house. The minute I heard that it was a “snow day,” I dashed to their apartment to shout, “GRANDMA! GRANDPA! SNOW! THERE’S NO SCHOOL TODAY!”

Sledding with friends awaited, but I knew Grandpa also awaited!

Not long after breakfast, my brother and I bundled up and hurried to the back yard with Grandpa, who by then wore an old wool plaid jacket, equally old woolen hat, worn leather work gloves, striped overalls and his high-top work boots. Grandpa, with his playful spirit, was as eager as we were to throw snowballs and build a snowman.

Wouldn’t my grandparents be astonished that today my grandson sent something called a text from something called an iPhone to make the same “snow day” announcement I shouted to them in their little apartment?

This morning I awoke to a frigid Edmonds world filled with snow blowing, wind howling, cars sliding. This evening the temperature is 26 degrees, with no more snow likely soon but with below-freezing temperatures expected.

In Reykjavik, Iceland, it’s currently a 36-degree morning, with an expected high of 42 degrees.

Why do I mention Iceland? Friends flew from Seattle this morning to Reykjavik, if weather conditions at SeaTac didn’t change their flight plans. Why Iceland in February? My friends wanted to visit a country they’d never seen, and they had time to travel now.

So, as I write this, that’s where they are.

I suspect other friends teased these good-humored folks about their choice of winter destination. People from the Pacific Northwest travel in February to the warmth of Arizona or Hawaii or Mexico, right?

I am pleased with the imaginative choice my friends made. I think they will come home with amazing memories of a beautiful country and friendly people.

And of course they can mention that while they were in Reykjavik, it was a balmy 10 degrees warmer than Edmonds.


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