For some, being snowbound is quite liberating

02/21/2013 5:47 PM

05/16/2014 9:14 PM

Sophia Hoffman plans — really plans — for this stuff. All that white powdery snow that dumped on the area, closing schools, roads, movie theaters and some stores.

It’s why throughout the winter the fourth-grader from Lee’s Summit scans the newspaper looking for the weather forecast. If she sees snow may be coming, she goes straight for the Weather Channel. Gotta be ready, just in case, for that rare and treasured snow day.

Breakfast doughnuts from Lamar’s? Check. Activities planned for her and her older sister? Done. Homemade pizzas for dinner? Yep, Mom’s got that covered too.

Oh, Sophia was ready for Thursday.

“We called it our Snow Day Manual,” Sophia, 10, said Thursday afternoon just before she and sister Jordan headed outside, all bundled up, for play and shoveling. “I just told my mom what I thought we could do. … I’m always looking for a snow day.”

Days like Thursday seem to carry a greater meaning for some, especially in this world where everything and everyone seems overscheduled and overstressed.

A snow day means no homework. No trudging off to school or work. No after-school practice that Mom has to make sure her middle schooler gets to.

Just a little break. A free day.

Across the area, people were enjoying it.

“I just turned off,” said Megan Peters of Overland Park, a mom of two who typically would be at her marketing job at Umbrella Medical Systems. Though husband Trent had to work from home, she got the chance to just hang out with their kids, Lucy and Tate, ages 6 and 2.

They slept in, had a big breakfast and then went sledding. Later they planned to make snow ice cream.

“It’s been fun to kind of be with the kids and do what they want,” Peters said. “And just kind of rest.”

Rest isn’t just for the working adults. Sophia’s sister, Jordan, 15, typically has two hours of homework a night, weekly choir practice and other obligations from high school. So she was all about being with her family and creating memories.

“It’s a great chance to take it slow for a day,” Jordan said, “and enjoy the wintertime and time together.”

Allen Winningham and wife Kristie, of Blue Springs, are teachers. So a snow day really is a free day. Sort of.

They used the opportunity to do some cleaning. But for the most part they got to spend time with their two children, Bailey, 6, and Austin, 3, who was so excited about the snow day he got up about 6 a.m.

“For us, the school year goes by so fast and gets so busy, it’s good to have these days every once in a while,” said Allen Winningham, who with his wife teaches in the Fort Osage School District.

No doubt, all little eyes — and big ones for that matter — were on school closings Thursday evening. Fingers crossed. Snow day?

“I’m hoping for one tomorrow,” said Sophia, who later found out Lee’s Summit indeed would have one more snow day.

And as soon as the school called it, she probably got busy making a plan and telling her mom, Ruth, what fun things they could do.

Today just may call for Snow Day Manual, Part 2.

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