Daily Archives: January 12, 2016

Snow Day!


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It looks like we got about 6 inches of fresh snow overnight.

There is a mood of festivity on the forums and social media networks as parents, teachers and students joyfully announce, “Snow Day!”

Snow days are a rarity here on Beaver Island.

It’s not that we don’t get weather. We get snow; we get ice; we get sleet and other nasty combinations of winter weather. But we rarely have days off because of the snow.

We aren’t in the “snow belt” where  huge accumulations of snow fall day after day, all winter long. That happens along the coastlines, where the land mass and water temperature create their own weather system, referred to as “lake effect snow.”  Beaver Island, being just a speck in the mass of Lake Michigan (not even large enough to show up on many maps), doesn’t generate enough warmth to create lake effect snow. Most of the time, anyway. Two winters ago, a freak band of warm air traveled right up the center of Lake Michigan, dumping over a foot of lake effect snow on us overnight…and the mainland got none of it. An occurrence like that is even more rare than a snow day on Beaver Island.

We don’t have a school bus system here. We have a transit bus that picks up a few students, but mostly the parents deliver their own children to school. We have a small enrollment: less than eighty students, this year, in thirteen grades. Many students live within walking distance of the school. After clearing the necessary routes to the airports and emergency services, our road crews seem to have a route that prioritizes students and workers. In any case, they make short work of making our roads accessible after a winter storm. All of these things cause snow days to be rare, and a cause for celebration.

Today is my day off. I don’t have to go anywhere. The wind has stopped its bluster. The snow is beautiful to look at; every window presents a lovely winter landscape.  I’m going to clear my desk, clean the refrigerator, make a big pot of turkey soup, bake bread and work in the studio. I will eventually have to go out to shovel a path to the car, and clear the snow from it, so that I can get to work tomorrow…but that can wait for later.

For now, I’m happy to be cozy inside, looking out.

The other cause for celebration today is my granddaughter’s birthday. Smart, creative, kind and beautiful in every way, Madeline brings joy to all who know her. Today is her sixteenth birthday. Happy Birthday, Madeline!