As I am sitting here at work, posting on my blog, when I really should be doing actual work, my mind wanders to this time two years ago… Snowmageddon. A term coined for the snow storm that hit Atlanta in January 2011. Snowmageddon meant the city of Atlanta was shut down for practically a week… Snowmageddon meant two years ago today I was not sitting at my desk at work, I was sitting at home enjoying my fourth day in a row of no school.
Our wonderful southern city was hit with more or less, six inches of snow, which is nothing to seasoned snow northerners. However, with a city who rarely sees snow, or low temperatures to this extent, our mere six snow plows barely made a dent before above freezing temperatures finally melted away the storm.
As a teacher, and a salary paid employee, I was thrilled with the possibility of a snow day. We had only been back to work for three days, Christmas break was barely in the past, I was just beginning to remember my new students’ names, when snow showed up in the forecast. Our school district builds two bad weather days into every calendar year. Two penalty free days off of school, and I was hoping we would see those two days go to use. I had no idea my wish would more than come true.
As usual the night before a possible snow day, I got everything ready for work. In an attempt not to jinx a possible non-workday I always plan as if work is happening. It’s difficult to sleep those nights, the urge to hop out of bed and scurry to the window, hoping to see white falling from the sky, is indulged once or twice before morning. Finally, my alarm went off, I rolled out of bed and made my final assessment. The ground was covered, and snow was still pouring from the sky. My excitement grew, but I refused to allow it to take over until the school closing list scrolled to Newton County on the morning news. As soon as I turned on the TV I realized it was official, no schools in the area were in session, no one would even be able to go to work. Nick and I had a snow day on our hands, and after snoozing for a few hours longer, I was ready to start our day.
We bundled up, dug out our flexible flyer sled, corralled the pups into leashes, and went out the door. I hadn’t seen snow like this in years. It was everywhere! The streets, sidewalks, and lawns blended into a solid sheet of untouched snow. As we made our way down the street I couldn’t help but feel a little sorry for disturbing the sheet of white with our stomping, frollicking, and running around. However, soon after we began our trek my thoughts began to shift to the sledding slopes the Candler Park golf course would be transformed into.
A recent move placed us three and a half miles away from our favorite sledding spot. However, we decided there was no better way to enjoy the snow than to take a nice stroll before sledding. Halfway there we both had a new appreciation for what a couple of miles actually was, but it was still worth it. The city was closed. I had never seen the streets so empty, and things so quiet. We took turns sledding down the middle of typically busy streets, and eventually, we arrived to our destination and the sledding began.
Few things are better than the feeling of flying down a hillside. You are barely staying on as people, plants, and moving objects fly past you. You realize how the seemingly endless hike to the top of the hill is worth it for this feeling. We took turns riding down the many hills of the park, and with practically every ride down Jake was right on our tail. Chasing us on the sled was his new favorite past time, while periodically being distracted by the excitement of fellow sledders, skiers, and children around us. After a couple of hours we were worn out, frozen, damp, and shades of pink and red all over. It was time to go home.
The walk to the park felt long, and after hours of running up and down hills the walk back felt like an eternity. We were all cold and ready to get home. We were a slow moving group as we made our way through town, but with every step we took we were making progress, we were a step closer to home. That mantra was on repeat in my head, Nick and I were silent, keeping our focus on the next landmark we were trying to pass. About halfway to the house Jake quit. He sat down, and refused to go any further. No amount of coaxing, cooing, or pulling would move him from his spot. We finally gave in and traded off carrying him, and by trading off I really mean Nick carried him 3/4 of the way.
Another quarter of the way home Nick’s arms gave out. Jake couldn’t be carried anymore, but every time he hit the ground he would lay down and refuse to move. We tried putting him on the sled, but he wouldn’t stay on his own. Eventually I had to sit on the sled, hold Jake, and Nick had to pull us the rest of the way home. It was nice to no longer have to walk, but it was no easy task trying to keep us on that sled for another half mile. We barely made it to our front door, and we all collapsed into a pile as soon as the heat hit us. We slept very well that night.
I was excited to find out another snow day was awaiting me. Each day passed with movies, relaxation, and prep for the next day of work, and each day I received an e-mail, phone call, or read on the news another day of school was cancelled. A solid week went by with temperatures staying below freezing. My initial joy of snow days began to sour as I realized make up days were in my future. My winter break disappeared, I was about to face another eleven straight weeks of school with no break.
It was a bittersweet week of snow, but I will never forget how the city looked. How a six inches of snow and ice shut down a city for a week. Videos of people sledding down Peachtree Street flooded YouTube, I never tired of watching the traffic cams as they scanned a snow covered, empty I-85, I-285, the downtown connector, and I-20. It was surreal. It is something I may never witness again, which worth making up a few extra days of work anytime.
- Visual journal
- Rubber cement
- Scrapbook paper
- India ink
- Book pages
- Printed photographs
This visual journal page is a collage of photographs I took over the course of the week off. I wanted to take pieces of things that happened during the week and create a scene that reflected everything. Which involved sifting through many pictures, cutting out sections of them, and piecing them back together. I began by creating the sky. I wanted a stormy, but bright sky, and ended up finding scrapbook paper with interesting colors and texture. I ripped it up and glued it down.
I wanted to recreate the front of my house, which meant I needed to included the many trees that surround us. I decided to create silhouettes of the trees using India ink, and quickly painted them around the scene. Once the ink dried I added dots of gesso in the sky for snow. Next, I began creating the ground. I ripped up any white, snow sections of my printed photographs and began gluing them down. I covered the entire bottom two thirds of the page before I moved on to the cut out pictures. I took our house and carefully cut it out, and glued it to the right hand page. I added our stairwell to create depth. On the left side page I cut out pictures of our snow covered rocking chairs, an old fireplace, the only thing standing from a burned down house, and of course our puppies Jake and Kody. After playing with the composition I glued everything down.
To create even more depth I ripped up smaller pieces of white and overlapped areas of my glued down pictures, such as the puppies’ paws and the bottom of the house. In reality if these were sitting in snow, the snow would cover the very bottom, and I wanted to replicate that look. After I finished it looked a little bland. The white caused everything to blend together, and I decided to add pieces of ripped up book pages to emphasize areas. The brown contrasted well with the white, and my page was complete.
Create a wintery page for the wintery season. Reflect on your favorite snow day or how you have never seen snow, be creative, and interpret it to your liking!
Thanks for stopping by! I hope you enjoyed my snow post for the chilly month of January. If you have an urge please like, tweet, comment, share, and subscribe! I can’t spread the word about my blog without you!