Snow day

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It’s snowing here, and because these days anything with more than three snowflakes is considered a “storm,” I’m forced to endure another snow day. I hate snow days.

You’d think that since I work from home entirely on my own schedule, there’d be no such thing as snow days. And, technically, you’d be right. But everyone I interact with is taking a snow day, so I don’t get anything done.

For one thing, my wife’s a teacher. And for teachers you only need a rumor of snowflake for a two-hour delay, and one actual flake to cancel school. So that means I’ve got Sally in my hair all day.

Another is my whacko lawn-mowing neighbor. She doesn’t mow when it snows (usually), although she did mow twice last week in 20-degree weather. But snow brings out her other obsession: using her 100-horsepower leaf blower every half hour. You think I make all this up about her, don’t you? Nope. She doesn’t shovel; no need to. She just goes out every 30 minutes and spends 30 minutes leaf-blowing what miniscule accumulation has occurred in the previous half hour into submission. And she doesn’t just do her driveway and walks, either; she does the entire street in front of her house. That puts her and that portable jet engine about 50 feet from my office window, and only 20 feet from my shop door. She will do this for hours on end. Not so bad if I’m in the shop using tools, but I get zero concentration in my office.

And it’s not just the snow here, either. If an article I’m writing requires me to talk to a tool manufacturer someplace where it’s snowing, there’s a good chance I won’t be able to reach them. Likewise, if I’ve sent away for project supplies or materials, the shipment is always delayed by a day or more. In either case, whatever I’m working on has to be put on hold.

Then there’s the direct impact of the snow on me personally. At some point, I will have to stop working and go shovel whatever’s fallen (plus what my neighbor has blown up from the street onto my driveway and walks, of course).

I used to love snow days as a kid, and I still think that the splendor of a silent snowfall in the middle of the night is the most beautiful thing in the world. But that beauty is short-lived, and the general effect is to either make more work for me, or not allow me to do my work – which, in itself, creates more work.

A.J.

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