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  • Katherine Dudley Hoehn

Snow Day in Florida

Not in Florida - happy dog Dallas in Virginia, 2009

We’re hunkered down here in northeast Florida with a Nor’easter blowing through for a couple of days. It’s not actually snowing because this is Florida, but it is weather that keeps you indoors, cancels activities, and causes the most euphoric feeling of freedom. It is a perfect day of nothingness (at least others might call it nothingness), ripe with possibilities. I’m still in my jammies, wrapped in a cotton blanket, sitting in my favorite leather swivel chair with my feet cozy warm in socks and boiled wool slippers.


When my sons were growing up, we had actual snow days. In the Washington, DC, area, everything was cancelled due to even a small amount of snow. Public transportation stopped, and people stayed home because it was dangerous to drive due to poorly plowed roads and people who had not a clue how to drive in it. Then, there was not a lot of working from home, but this same sort of euphoria that I feel today. School and work were cancelled, replaced by sledding, hot chocolate, cookie baking, roaring fires, making snowmen, and enjoying a break were parts of those impromptu days of fun.

Comfort food

Today feels like that, minus the snow, extreme cold, and excited children. My volunteer responsibilities were cancelled and it is too nasty, and potentially dangerous with all the falling tree parts and heavy wind, to take Leah for a walk. She is confused and unhappy about it, but she does not like the rain and blowing wind. Her outside time today may be confined to trips through the porch and out the doggy door into her private compound under the trees that is not such a nice place in the rain.

"Please take me for a walk!"

So far I have made phonecalls, cooked vegetables for another meal, made oatmeal topped baked fall apples, finished a book and started another, ordered a few things online, consumed a pot and a half of coffee, and enjoyed the heck out of my freedom.

My latest favorite book series Maisie Dobbs mysteries

Wet garden on "snow day"

This day is a gift. A sort of blank slate that I want to use wisely. But it must be memorable, fun, and somewhat productive because tomorrow I will have to clean up the mess outdoors; hickory nuts galore, branches, moss, and debris now litter the garden and driveway. The trees are getting a haircut by wind, today.

I have a long list of other things to accomplish. Next to my chair is a pile of work to be done – bills to pay, more phone calls, homework for my writing class, research for my book, and notes for a new project I am excited about.

But if memory serves me correctly, much like unreachable New Year’s Resolutions, I have unrealistically piled too many things into my Snow Day to-do basket. Part of this gift of time is the freedom to be a little less productive. That might mean a nap, a movie, chatty phone conversations, or allowing myself to go down the rabbit hole of research for my book – something that is fascinating and fun, consumes hours, and ends up being not altogether productive.

Leah, hopeful

It is good to have an impromptu holiday from time to time. It shouldn’t have to snow, or rain like cats and dogs, in order for us to give ourselves a day off. We deserve it and very little must be done right now. It all can wait, because it is my day. The exception may be Leah's walk in the rain, which will make her happy and give me time to think about the next fun activity. Today is about fun and setting aside responsibilities. After all, it’s snowing in northeast Florida, metaphorically speaking.

Two Very Different Snow Days

Dallas in 2009

Leah in 2021

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Nov 21, 2021

This storm day was such a gift. I live for cozy days like the one you described. Heaven.


Nov 06, 2021

I just said to a friend from the Berkshires‘ “It’s like a snow day here!” I have had a similar experience today… cooking, snuggling up with the two dogs in my care (who do not like the rain either!), reading, cooking, corresponding, and drinking tea. The short burst of work this morning felt so productive and eases up the rush back to normality tomorrow. You capture the essence of the day so well!

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