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Washington Voices

Snow days can be memorable break

Time to savor winter’s magic

Childhood winters that included snow days remain magical in adult memory. During last week’s snow days in several Inland Northwest school districts, Facebook was filled with photos of children enjoying the magic.

Posing with their snowpeople, gliding down neighborhood hills on sleds, throwing snowballs at the parents you could not see behind the cameras.

Facebook also featured adults in the snow. Many of these adults did not have snow days. Mass transit and four-wheel drive vehicles cut down on snow days for adults. You can get to work, and so to work you must go.

The photos the adults posted were an attempt, perhaps, to recapture some of the magic of a snow day. See me shoveling. See me walking my dog in snow as high as my dog’s belly. See me measuring the snow berm next to my car.

This is not a new phenomenon. The King Collection in The Spokesman-Review archives contains photos and memorabilia from the King family, who thrived in Spokane in the early 20th century. Their photo albums are rich with adults posing in winter shots.

A January 1913 snapshot of the man shoveling his sidewalk in north Spokane was placed in an album next to a photo showing Monroe Street “after the snowplow has passed.” There are trolleys in that photo.

The King Collection features men and women in the snow in the hills around Spokane, on skis and snowshoes, in boots. And men on their roofs, shovels in hand.

Some grumbled last week that school districts overreacted by declaring snow days. But consider them an investment in our mental health.

Snow days free children from their winter school routine. And they free adults from at least part of a day’s routine. You shovel snow in your work clothes. Climb your roof proudly, and pose on top, as if you’ve conquered Mount Everest.

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