Yesterday a snowstorm allowed me to lighten up my life a little with a day off from teaching. It was, however, not an especially soothing or tranquil storm. In the early morning, it had already changed to driving sleet, and by 10:00 it was simply slushy rain. I never once thought about taking a walk in the park, as I often do during the more beautiful winter storms. However, I did have a refreshing day, one of those wonderful gifts that are occasionally dropped into teachers’ laps. I spent a few hours at school, all by myself in the stormbound building, and I accomplished much. I listened to flute music, prepared some promising lessons, and just generally “put my feet up” and felt the pleasure of having a surprise holiday. Later, at home, I read a few chapters in Middlemarch, did some light writing, and enjoyed the candlelit glow of my apartment. The rain was constantly swishing up against the windows and a bitter-sounding wind was blowing, but I felt perfectly comfortable. I felt fortunate to be in out of the storm with my books, my computer, and – best of all – my thoughts.