SNOW Days….and Erik Smith

Many years ago when we were applying for American citizenship for our then 2 and a half year old son, I sent letters to famous people requesting a note…something that would explain to my little guy about the importance of being an American. I probably sent out 20-25 requests….some of them pretty far fetched….like Oprah and Steven Spielberg. I received four replies. An autographed photo of Jimmy Carter. A very nice response from actor Jimmy Stewart’s secretary explaining that he was ill but would have definitely liked to respond. (He died a short time later.) A very nice letter and religious pamphlets from television minister, Robert Schuller. But the wonderful letter and autographed picture that drew the most profound reaction from my son – even then – came from Erik Smith, a local television newscaster. Why?

Erik Smith was probably the one celebrity who brought the most joy into our lives. He was the announcer of the area’s ‘Snow Day’ report. Those delightful days were the ones we didn’t have to stuff ourselves in to snow suits and hurry off to daycare and school. The days when we could stay in our jammies all day and make cookies. The days when we would construct snow forts and then enjoy them while sipping on steaming cups of hot cocoa. Sometimes – if there was a wind – we would drag in a tub full of snow to play with in the bath tub or on the kitchen floor. My husband was horrified the first time we did that. Heh. What’s a little melted snow? It mops up. Fun days. Surprise days.

When I was a kid we would gather around a radio to listen to the school closing list. When it came we would suddenly be wide awake and thrilled to death. We could hardly wait to get outside in the snow. My mom would make us wait until at least day light. We never worried about frozen pipes or empty refrigerators. All we cared about was building snow sculptures and throwing snowballs. Rolling in it. Sopping wet mittens. Frozen noses and cheeks. As I got older it was the snowmobile that provided the fun…and the task of going to the neighborhood market for needed groceries. Fun days. Surprise days.

I still enjoy them….and I am the Mom. A Teacher Mom. This morning I was up at four thirty am watching out my window. The television was on and already reporting the massive snowstorm that was edging toward us. At 5:10 am they finally listed my school district on the lengthening list of school closings. I was instantly wide awake. Old habits die hard.

My son is now two weeks away from turning 14. He just stumbled out of the bedroom and stood in front of the local news…still hosted by Erik Smith. He read our school district’s name on the lengthening list of school closings running across the screen, smiled and stumbled back to bed. Erik Smith can still bring a smile to my guy’s face. My angsty adolescent guy. Heh. Lucky man.

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2 Comments on “SNOW Days….and Erik Smith”

  1. Marymurtz Says:

    I just found you. I LOVED this post!!

  2. Jan Says:

    I enjoy reading your posts so much – you’re an inspiration to my creative side!


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