I awoke at 3:30 a.m. yesterday, mulling over the several things on my schedule and everything that needed to be done in between. But my inbox held a message from the Superintendent, indicating that schools would be closed. By 5:30, the automated phone call confirmed it.
That cleared my schedule, as all of my meetings or commitments were either directly tied to the schools, or with organizations that automatically cancel if school is called off for weather. In realizing that I no longer needed to pack Delta’s dinner for her school ski club trip, I lamented that the ski club would be missing what would undoubtedly be one of the prime skiing days in terms of snow quality in Gatlinburg.
Yeah, I know. "Snow quality" and "Gatlinburg" are terms that don’t normally belong in the same sentence, but snow on the slopes midweek, when most of the yahoos in camouflage are otherwise occupied, sparks a longing to ski.
By the time that the rest of the family awakened, I’d already assembled my gear. HWTFM took my car to work, leaving me with his snow-friendly 4WD… but by 8:30, temptation overtook him and he looked at the Ober Gatlinburg snow report online. At that point, he called home and asked me to wait — he was joining us.
There were a number of others from Oak Ridge who had the same thought, it seems. Delta found quite a few of her ski club friends on the mountain, and I found parents who, like me, didn’t want their kids to miss out. Some of the parents weren’t even skiing, just waiting and watching out the window!
Education is very important in this family, so know that we used our time wisely. Engaged in interactive learning, we studied Newton’s First Law of motion, and tested the effects of gravity and friction thereon. There was also a bit of chemistry review in observing the efficacy of CaCl in the ihibition of freezing water on sidewalks, parking lots, and hairpin turns in the road; also, we noted the oxidation of steel in the edges of our skis, in need of a tuneup. English was not left out, as Delta engaged in reading for an hour and a half in the car.
We observed the effects of wind on trees at altitude, incorporating a little life science. There was some practical application of geometry in gauging the exact angle of skis over a ripple in the terrain to yield a trajectory for maximum altitude, not to mention that we definitely met the Phys Ed requirements for the day. The only thing that was shortchanged was probably social studies… though Delta could cite her observations that people wearing camouflage can’t ski, and are likely to present a dangerous obstacle at some point on the slope.
I’m sure she’ll be much more attentive in school today, having had a chance to put all her studies to use yesterday. I know I’ll be more productive.