We used to call Maggie our snow dog. As for Gus? I am now officially dubbing him the blizzard dog.
The wind is howling and blowing snow in his face. Parts of the yard are clear, while areas have two-foot drifts. And Gus can't get enough of it. He's running around in circles, snapping at the snow with his mouth and then every so often he runs and dives into a snowbank.
Here's the wide shot for perspective. In the last half hour, Gus been out and in five times.
So yes, we are having a snow day. And no, Gus isn't the only one excited about it. AJ just came wandering out from his room.
"School cancelled?" was his morning greeting.
"School's cancelled," I confirmed.
He raised his arms in the air, "Yes!"
There's something universal and timeless about the excitement of an unexpected day off from school. No matter how much technology changes the way we learn about it.
I remember listening with hopeful anticipation to the legendary voices of Boone and Erickson on the radio as they'd read through the list of school closings and delays. They'd announce the schools in alphabetical order, and so as they got close to "E", we'd pay closer attention. I'm pretty sure I held my breathe. And then, there was the let down if they didn't say "Elk River." But a few minutes later, they'd re-start the list, and the anticipation would build again. We'd keep listening right up until the moment we were sent out the door to wait for the bus.
Contrast that with the present. Several neighboring school districts announced last night that they'd be closing. Before the snow ever started. I set my alarm for 5:45 this morning, got up and turned on the TV. I watched the alphabetical list of schools sliding across the bottom of the screen: Carlton, Cloquet, Drummond... when they hit the D's, I started watching more closely. How ironic that I again live in a school district that starts with "E"... Duluth, East Central, Floodwood. No Esko. That feeling of let down.
But forget about waiting for the list to rotate through again. I headed for the computer. Nothing yet on the 'DIO website. Nothing on the News Tribune's website. I checked Facebook. Sure enough, another TV station had just posted a link to the latest school closings. And there we were! It's still exciting, but not quite as magical as hearing it on the radio.
About 30 seconds later, the phone started ringing. I made a mad dash from the computer in search of a phone, trying to stop the loud ringing before it woke anyone else up. It was an automated message from the school, announcing the closing.
Gus has just come back inside for the eighth time. He has the Kong toy in his mouth that I threw out the door during trip number two or three. AJ thinks he's going to play Xbox NHL Hockey all day. He is wrong about that. And Sydney has just come stumbling from her room.
I guess it's time to make the most of our snow day.