The federal government is closed today, and my employer follows OPM’s schedule. That means…I have a snow day! Where I grew up in the Midwest, adults do not get snow days from work. Like ever. Even schools have strict guidelines for closing. 

When I began student teaching, it was January, so I got plenty of experience with this. One night there was a snowstorm accompanied by wind that resulted in monstrous snow drifts all across the college campus and parking lots and made cars disappear into lumps under a thick white blanket. I knew I would have to dig out my car in the morning, so I set my alarm for 4:00a.m., and headed out with a shovel. When I thought I had dug away enough snow to get out of my parking space, I went back inside to shower. Alas, when I returned an hour later, I couldn’t get my car out of the drift. Snow was packed under my car, and the more I tried to move it, the slipperier it became beneath my tires. I tried desperately to shovel away more snow and tried to back up and then go forward at different angles but nothing was worked. Time was ticking – school was hadn’t been canceled, and I needed to get on the road.

Out of the blue, a guy showed up. We’re talking six in the morning on a college campus, so not many people were out and about. Without saying a word, this dude proceeded to hack away at the drifts with his own shovel. Then he hopped on the hood of my car and told me to put it in reverse. The car still wouldn’t budge. It took some back and forth, with more jumping on my trunk and hood, but eventually my car was freed, and I got to school.

The guy was so bundled up I didn’t recognize him, and I was in such a selfish hurry, I didn’t stop to chat. But I wish I would have verified his name and thanked him properly, because that day, he was my hero.