The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Local News

February 4, 2014

Mike Pound: Snow days spoil plan to work at home alone

I woke up at 5:15 a.m. Tuesday and could sense that everyone in the house also was awake.

Well, not our German shepherd, Shilo. I could see that she was still sound asleep on her bed in the corner of the bedroom. When Shilo was younger, she was always the first one in our house to wake up. When Shilo was younger, she didn’t have a sense of time. To Shilo, 4 a.m. was pretty much the same as noon. As far as Shilo was concerned, any time she wanted to get up was the proper time to get up.

But Shilo isn’t young anymore. Now, Shilo wants everyone else in the house to get up before she does. And when she finally does get up, she groans as she stands on her feet. I swear if she could stumble downstairs with her eyes half closed and fix herself a cup of coffee, she would.

But she can’t, so she doesn’t. Instead, she just groans when she finally has to get up.

The reason everyone — except Shilo — was awake in our house was because it was supposed to snow sometime Tuesday morning. When my wife and our 16-year-old daughter, Emma, went to sleep Monday night, they did so secure in the knowledge that Tuesday was going to be a snow day for both of them.

When I went to sleep Monday night, I did so secure in the knowledge that Tuesday was going to be a long day for me.

So, at 5:15 a.m. Tuesday, my wife, Emma and I were all awake, but for different reasons. My wife and Emma were waiting for a phone call that I hoped would never come. The phone call would be from the school district telling them that school had been canceled. The call usually comes around 5:30 a.m.

At 5:29 a.m., I looked at the clock and knew I would find out what sort of day I was going to have in roughly one minute. When the numbers on my digital clock switched to 5:30 a.m. and the phone didn’t ring, I smiled.

Then, a few seconds later, the phone rang.

“Hello,” my wife said as she picked up the phone on the first ring.

“Yea!” Emma yelled from her room as my wife picked up the phone.

I held my breath while my wife listened to the automated message from the school district.

“Maybe they’re calling to say that everyone has to go to school,” I thought to myself.

I thought wrong.

A few minutes later, my wife got a text message on her cellphone. A few seconds later, my wife told me that she didn’t have go to work, either.

“Isn’t that great?” my wife said happily.

I pretended to be asleep.

I’m not one of those old grumpy guys who say things such as: “In my day, they never canceled school because of snow. One time the entire town was covered in 47 feet of snow, and did they cancel school? No. We swam to school in the snow. It took us a week to get to school and two weeks to get home. Sometimes we would get lost in the snow and wouldn’t make it home until April. But you know what? That’s the way it was, and WE LIKED IT!!!”

Sure, there might have been a time when students went to school despite heavy snow, but there also was a time when people thought cigarettes were good for you.

Things change.

So I don’t blame the school districts for not wanting kids out on the roads during a snowstorm, but that doesn’t mean I have to like sharing the house with my wife and Emma.

Late Tuesday morning, while I was drinking coffee and reading the paper, my wife asked me what I wanted to do.

“I have to work,” I said.

“No, seriously, what do you want to do today?” my wife said.

I didn’t say anything. Instead, I walked upstairs to the office and closed the door.

I wonder if I can stay here until spring.

DO YOU HAVE AN IDEA for Mike Pound’s column? Call him at 417-623-3480, ext. 7259, or email him at mpound@joplinglobe.com. Follow him on Twitter @mikepoundglobe.

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