Laura Zoeller

Workday canceled by sun? Why not?

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Back when I was a kid, I remember praying that it would snow. Not just a little, but snow deep enough to keep school buses from traveling our road, thereby necessitating a cancellation of school. Anyone who knows where I grew up will attest that it didn’t take a whole lot to make traversing my road a little sketchy, but snow days were few and far between.


It seemed like we got more snow back then, but snow days were not doled out wantonly in those days. The opportunities to sleep in, drink cocoa and build snowmen or forts usually had to wait for weekends. It seemed quite unfair.


Now a parent myself, I enjoy delays but not snow days, as the delay allows the kids a chance to sleep in a little, but the cancellations make child care and scheduling difficult. I also just don’t enjoy the snow like I once did, as I get cold easier and have several less-than-enjoyable memories of sled rides gone awry. (Ask me sometime about the time my mom and I hurtled downhill on a sled at high speed directly into a wild blackberry thicket. That memory is burned into my mind as deeply as the scar that is etched in my back.)


These days, it is the bright sunny days of spring and summer that call to me. But I no longer work a nine-month schedule, so I get no summer break. However, I did enjoy fantasizing about a “sun day” of sorts after reading about the school in Washington state that gave their students one.


Bellingham Christian School, located about 90 miles south of Seattle, had some snow days that they hadn’t used this school year. Since sunshine is often difficult to come by in the state known for its rainy weather, the principal closed the small, private school Friday and allowed the students a day off in honor of the weather forecast calling for 80 degrees and full sun.


Now, let me be clear: I love my job. But there are days when I would much rather stay in bed for a few extra minutes, linger over a cup of coffee and walk around the park or lounge on my porch all day. Sometimes in this daydream, I even imagine my family being there with me.


Can you imagine your boss calling you first thing in the morning and telling you that your job is closed for the day in honor of great weather? Saying that a beautiful day – not one filled with snow plows, gray skies and trying to stay warm – is suddenly yours to use as you see fit? Bliss, people. It is the definition of bliss.


The only stipulation that was placed on the students in Washington was that they should bring in a photo of their sun day adventures the next school day to share with the student body at an assembly planned for the occasion. A photo proving I enjoyed myself on a surprise day off?


Not a bad tradeoff, in my opinion.



Laura Zoeller can be reached at zoeller5@hughes.net.


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