I feel as if far too often people focus on the negative aspects of teaching… or of anything, for that matter. Sure, I get told to “fuck off” more often than most educated professionals, and yes, the days can be long. Also, yes, at times I feel unappreciated, and no, if it were solely up to me and my preferences, I would not wake up at 4:30 every weekday morning. But why focus on the negative? The truth is, I have a rewarding job that offers me good benefits, the chance to help shape the future, and I get a few more months off each year than the vast majority of working class professionals. Oh, and of course, there are snow days.
Snow days are perhaps the single best benefit of teaching that doesn’t actually involve the act of teaching. This morning, at 5:00AM, I was sitting at the kitchen island sipping at my pre-workout and checking email, my car heating up in the driveway, when I got the robocall. “…will be closed today…” and “…all nonessential staff should…”. So, two things. First, I feel like a five-year-old on Christmas morning every time this happens. And second, if those of us who actually teach kids stuff are “nonessential staff” then we seriously need to reprioritize at some point. But not today. Today is a snow day!
I got in an extra long workout, went to the grocery store, and made a few phone calls. I came home, made eggs and sausage for the kids, and wrote a couple of poems. I watched the kids play in the playroom, called Grandma and Grandpa on speaker phone so Titus could talk to them, and sipped at still more coffee. I chatted with Sonja, shoveled the walk, and then came back in for lunch. As I was heating up leftovers, I saw a bottle of Chard in the fridge that I had chilled for future purposes. I heated up my leftover Dolmathes and Greek potatoes in the microwave, and snagged a corkscrew from the drawer. People should drink wine with lunch more often. Especially on Mondays.
The 2014 Alpha Omega Napa Valley Chardonnay is precisely what you would expect from master vintner Jean Hoefliger. Gentle aromatics waft casually from the bottle, still more eagerly from the swirling glass. A beautiful light golden hue tinged in pale emerald, subtlety and balance define it, while the classic Napa Chardonnay characteristics are undeniable from start to finish. Pear, Golden Delicious Apples, and butter abound upon a palate that is defined by beautiful, creamy roundness. If someone tells you they don’t like Napa Chardonnay, have them try this.
Sitting at the island with fresh snow coming down on my newly-shoveled walk, sipping at wine and enjoying my leftovers while I spent time with my small kids and my beautiful wife on a day that had, until 5AM, been dedicated to almost non-stop work, I couldn’t help but feel relaxed. More than that, I felt blessed. Titus looked up from his potatoes and asked expectantly: “Smell it, daddy?” I flicked my wrist, sending the wonderful stuff up against the side of the glass and releasing the scent for him, then held the crystal glass under his nose. My wife looked down at him from her seat immediately to his left. “What does it smell like, Titus?” He sniffed deeply, and replied: “Mmmmm!”
Cheers to snow days,