Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Tuesday Slice of Life: Inclement Weather

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Tuesday Slice of Life: Inclement Weather

Last week's weather "polar vortex" was intense, even for Wisconsin standards. We had three days off of school, due to inclement weather. I've been teaching for nineteen years in Wisconsin, and I do not recall ever having this many days cancelled in one week. 

This meant two days of instruction last week instead of five, which meant lesson adjustments. Meetings were cancelled and rescheduled (and rescheduled again). In addition, this meant that I had a lot of extra time at home with my own children. I always welcome this gift to slow down and be home with my family.

As the parent of a tween and teenager, my kids don't need constant supervision anymore. However, much to the dismay of my children, I am not the kind of parent who allows for unlimited gaming or Netflix viewing. Besides reading, writing, catching up on laundry, and constantly cooking and cleaning up after my kids, we put together many jigsaw puzzles, baked banana bread together, played marathon sessions of inside catch with our dogs, and conducted various home science experiments (such as creating more snow out of boiling water outside). 
Our second puzzle complicated puzzle in a day!  
What happens when you throw boiling water when it's -37 degrees below zero with the wind chill? 

Boiling water instantly turns into snow! 

I also wrote daily Haiku. Here are a few stanzas I penned throughout the week (not necessarily meant to be read as one piece): 

School cancelled prior
snowfall. Robo text alert.
Celebration screams.

Ice crystals dance in
fresh coat driveway snow. Puppy's
tail wag excitement.

Continuous Snow. 
Shovel. Repeat. Break. Shovel.
Nearly nine inches.

Winter skin cracks hands,
lips dry-parched for thirst. Bitter,
stale air circulates.

Paw raising cold. Chill
pricks nose hairs. Bars, churches closed. 
Paused mail service twice. 

Last weekend's temperatures were unseasonably warm. Huge chunks of snow melted, leaving the sidewalks drowning in deep puddles. Freezing temperatures returned, and the last mornings have made for icy sidewalks and side streets. Tonight we are scheduled to receive more snow. 

Although I loved spending more time with my family last week, I hope that Punxsutawney Phil's predicition of early spring proves correct. I am already yearning for Spring!  


  1. Here in NC, the news of the vortex was riveting - we saw the videos of the boiling water freezing in the air. I cannot imagine that kind of COLD! I love that you spent the time off writing haiku - and the juxtaposition of bars/churches closed. Dire straits, indeed! And more snow tonight - oh, my! Do stay safe and warm.

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Fran! The cold was so extreme. It is rare that we have weather this frigid that you can turn boiling water into snow!

  2. I love the haiku about continuous snow. Up here in Ottawa we had our snowiest January on record - and today they canceled school buses again because of road conditions. I'm tired of winter & we've got plenty left. Also, I'm excited that you did the boiling water experiment. We love that!

    1. Thank you, Amanda! Those cold experiments are really fun, right? Next time I want to try a raw egg outside!

  3. We had a snow day today. These elicit a stream of celebratory memes among members of the group text! We’ve had two snow days, which is unusual for us. I actually like shoveling snow, but we are running out of places to put it. I think the boiling water test is this year’s ice bucket challenge! Here’s hoping you won’t have to make the missed days up in summer!

    1. Thanks for taking the time to read and comment, Glenda! Unexpected snow days are a lot of fun! So far we don't need to make anything up...fingers crossed that continues!

  4. Good for you for engaging with your kids and not letting them have unlimited screen time. And, besides, if they did that, then they would have never gotten to do those awesome boiling water tricks! (That scares me, again and again, every time I see videos of it.)

    Glad you've had an increase in temps this week. While next week's weather doesn't look promising, it is my hope that Phil will be right!

    1. Hi Stacey, thanks for reading and taking the time to comment! Truth - you do need to watch how the wind is blowing when you throw boiling water into the air!

  5. I enjoyed reading about your days off with your kids, packed with variety. Your third haiku stanza also sticks with me. I read a different meaning in 'break,' my first time through: the impact of cracking cold, rather than a short shoveling respite.

  6. We avoided the Polar vortex for the most part last week--at least the extremes. But we do have a day off today due to extreme wind chill. I loved reading about your family adventures, which no doubt create many more memories than endless gaming or Netflixing would!


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