Yearning for snow

I didn’t much like school as a child. I’d like to say it was because the curriculum wasn’t challenging enough for my gigantic brain.

I didn’t much like school as a child. I’d like to say it was because the curriculum wasn’t challenging enough for my gigantic brain.

But that wouldn’t be true. I just spent too much time daydreaming.

“This is Bill Hewitt and Brian McFarlane. We’re in overtime at Maple Leaf Gardens tied at two apiece — Game 7 of the Stanley Cup final between the Leafs and the Red Wings.

“Gordie Howe moves up to centre ice and breaks in on goal. It looks like it’s all over but, no, Leaf rookie Ray Smit strips him of the puck and takes away a sure goal! In all my years of broadcasting I’ve never seen such a great a defensive play.

“Tim Horton takes the puck from the corner over to Baun up to Keon at the Leafs blue line. Keon loses it but look, Smit has it. The crowd rises to its feet. He’s over centre. What a move, folks, he just went around Bill Gadsby like a hoop around a barrel.

“He’s in all alone. He shoots, he scores! The Leafs win the Stanley Cup! That’s the greatest goal I’ve ever seen. The crowd is shouting, “Ray, Ray, Ray!”

“Ray, Ray, Ray!” It was Miss Wright, my third grade teacher. “Ray, answer the question.”

“Um, is it, he shoots he scores?” There was loud laughter in the classroom.

“The question is, what famous thing did Julius Caesar say when he entered Rome and the answer is, ‘Veni, vidi, vici!’”

“Yes, Ma’am, Don Ameche.” There was more laughter.

Like I said, I loathed school. So every Monday morning brought a performance worthy of Marlon Brando.

“Mom, I’ll make you an offer you can’t refuse. Let me stay home and I’ll do your dishes.”

“How wonderful, Ray, I’ll leave them and you can do them after school. Now get going!”

One Monday morning a few weeks later, a miracle happened. I woke up to a world of white.

The snow drifts were as high as the front window, Dad was sputtering about moving to Florida and mom was fretting about her rose bushes.

“Hey, mom, school’s probably cancelled, right?” Mom looked uncertain.

“I’ll call Mrs. Boyce up the street and see if she’s sending Stevie to school.”

She got off the phone and nodded.

“You can stay home.”

The resulting shouts of joy could have woken the dead. A whole day off!

By 9:30 I had my toboggan out and Stevie and I were exulting in freedom. A few minutes before noon, the snow plough came through. I was thrilled.

Stevie and I could now play road hockey all afternoon!

When I came inside, mom was just hanging up the phone.

“That was your principal. He’s wondering why you’re not at school. I told him you’d be there after lunch.”

My world crashed. I could barely eat my five peanut butter sandwiches, two Twinkies and apple.

That afternoon Mrs. Wright told everyone who missed school to put up their hands. She stopped first at Evelyn’s desk and asked why she was away.

Evelyn replied that her mother was concerned about the snow and kept her home. Miss Wright smiled and said that was fine.

Several other girls were away for the same reason but Miss Wright soon stopped smiling.

By the time she got to Stevie and me she was angry.

When Stevie said his mother had kept him home, she smacked his desk and said that was no excuse. Stevie got a detention. She turned a baleful eye toward me.

“Why did you stay home, Ray?”

I desperately tried to think of an excuse.

“Why did you stay home?” she yelled as I fumbled for an answer.

“The heartbreak of psoriasis!”

I got a detention, anyway. And the moral? Never try to snow a teacher on a snow day.

*Names have been changed.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Vancouver Island’s current COVID-19 case count officially hits zero

Of the 130 recorded Island Health cases, five people have died, 125 recovered

Iconic white raven returns to Parksville Qualicum Beach area

Photographer John Domovich: ‘It blew me away when I first observed it’

Qualicum Beach man arrested over racist incident at Tseshaht First Nation

Port Alberni RCMP said the man turned himself in

COVID-19: City of Parksville announces gradual re-opening plan

Sports courts and playgrounds to open June 5

Search and rescue crews help locate 62-year-old Nanoose Bay mountain biker

RCMP: Man got lost on trail and did right thing by calling for assistance

MAP: Dr. Henry reveals which B.C. regions have seen most COVID-19 cases

B.C. health officials release a first look at how the novel coronavirus has reached all corners of the province

‘I’m pissed, I’m outraged’: Federal minister calls out police violence against Indigenous people

Indigenous Minister Marc Miller spoke on recent incidents, including fatal shooting of a B.C. woman

Plan in place for BC Ferries to start increasing service levels

Ferry corporation reaches temporary service level agreement with province

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

B.C. starts to see employment return under COVID-19 rules

Jobless rate for young people still over 20% in May

Alert Bay resident carves tribute to his community kicking COVID-19’s butt

‘Our little village crushed the curve with love and commitment’

Lithium-ion battery fire damages suite in Nanaimo

One man displaced from home after battery for radio-controlled toy bursts into flame while charging

End of an Era: Tofino hair studio closes shop

“We were getting excited to start ramping up and then all of sudden we had to close our doors.”

Kelowna Mountie on desk duty following ‘aggressive’ arrest

The officer involved in an arrest that took place on May 30 in Kelowna has been placed on administrative duties

Most Read