Snickerdoodles, Slippers and a Snow Day at the BBC March 02 2015
On Wednesday, I awoke to this:
Again ... for the sixth time in four weeks. They should change this announcement to the following:
Storm induced school closures are a necessary evil. When you choose to live in Atlantic Canada, it is inevitable that, like them or not, you will deal with the odd snow day and the smell of fish and chips. I agree entirely with closing schools when the roads are treacherous, but I do have a love/hate relationship with this type of day.
I am not a neat freak or the most organized mom on the planet, but I do like to be prepared. As a mother of three, I love a good weekly meal plan and will coordinate my day planner with our fridge calendar every few days. These tiny chores fulfill my unrealistic desire to know what is happening and when, because in reality I know that anything can and does happen and usually at the worst possible time. I do not like surprises, bad or good. Even the thought of a well intended surprise party makes me cringe. I hope that my husband heeds this warning: Never (ever) have a surprise party for me without me knowing, baking the cake, and putting up the banners first. Got it?
I shudder when the school cancellation message arrives at 6 am. But, my kids have no idea. I announce that they have a snow day when they trickle down the stairs, with a forced inspiring “YAY” for their benefit entirely. Having said this, I don’t completely hate the snow day, and this is where the love part of my love/hate relationship comes into play. I do love throwing parental caution to the wind; not having to comb hair, brush teeth, or enforce a dress code is wonderful. Letting my kids wear their jammies under their snowsuits conjures the image of a mom who just lets everything roll, right! But I know that once the novelty of said day wears off, after we have completed every last-minute craft that I can think of, baked a batch of storm cookies, and I have killed the pot of coffee, we will all hate each other’s matted hair and morning to afternoon breath.
So, after waking to find that school and therefore early dismissal were cancelled on a Bozzy Book Club day, my inbox quickly filled with emails between Judy, Kate and I wondering what to do about our BBC meeting. We chose to go ahead with our planned book club, knowing that some of us would be able to brave the storm with little distance to walk, fuelled by a desperate need to get out of the house. My commute to book club was wonderful with a willing chauffeur steering our easy to park vehicle.
The vibe at the Bozzy was perfectly suited to a schizophrenic kind of day – when the weather transforms each time you blink, from grey clouds to falling paper-like snowflakes to torrential rain that is broken by a glorious sunset. The lighting was moody but brightened by the string lighting and strung banners. It was cozy, the kids wore their slippers while they munched on freshly baked snickerdoodles and the brewed coffee warmed the adults cold hands.
Then Kate Inglis, our Bozzy author of the week, arrived and everyone turned into monsters. It was, ummm, lovely.
I have been following Kate's blog for a few years now and her writing is deep and alluring. It is both gritty and beautiful at once and complemented with stunning, soul revealing photographs. Kate Inglis is one tough cookie. If you follow her on Instragram, you can see her stacking wood and sanding walls, but you can also see her sitting on a velvet Victorian chair in vintage crinoline. This tough cookie did not mind driving to Lunenburg on a snow day and she snorted, snarled and growled her way through a reading of monster poetry in her fuzzy wool socks. The kids had a blast.
Before she turned into a monster, however, she shared a little bit of her own story with the Bozzies. Growing up as an aspiring roller girl didn’t quite work out for Kate, but she seems to have succeeded in fulfilling her back up plan - becoming an “auther”. She showed the kids what it is really like to be a writer or an illustrator. She showed them how the rejections and critiques can bring out fear, sadness and insecurity in even the most successful writers.
She also shared the rewards of her hard work and persistence, which are her two children’s novels, The Dread Crew and The Flight of the Griffons.
Typically, at a Bozzy Book Club meeting, Judy, Kate and I facilitate the afternoon and lead the kids from one activity to the next. On Wednesday we sat back, sipped specialty coffee and watched Kate Inglis take the floor with verses from her upcoming Nimbus release If I Were A Zombie.
She, and the children, transformed themselves into ninjas, zombies, giants, robots, pirates, ghosts and even ugly fairies as Kate read her newest work. These poems were inspired by her son’s desire to have a book written for him. Her natural maternal response was to write a book of poetry that is all of the stuff that kids love and grown-ups tell them not to. It was hilarious, in a pick your nose and eat it manner. Kate has a way with words and with kids that makes storytelling her clear calling in life.
After her reading, Kate encouraged the kids to create their own monster tales. Several of them proudly shared their work with the group and all were supportive and attentive to one another.
My own children have continued to work on their stories and pictures each night since, which is the most satisfying aspect of the Bozzy Book Club for me as I get to witness the next generation of storytellers and bookmakers perfect their craft.
We extend a huge thank you to Kate Inglis for coming out to the Bozzy Book Club on such a snowy day and look forward to reading If I Were A Zombie in all of its gory glory this fall.
Next on the BBC agenda is a Prince and Princess themed day with Lunenburg’s Mayor, Rachel Bailey. We look forward to her visit and hope that she doesn’t need to hitch a ride on a snowplough to get to the Bozzy.