||edHelper's suggested reading level:
||grades 5 to 6
||Flesch-Kincaid grade level:
||body-warming, chapped, minivan, nonperishable, sudsy, tradeoff, all-time, extension, outage, jets, prospective, cope, heading, Gotcha, throne, outer
||Cheyenne Williams, Southern Indiana
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By Brenda B. Covert
1 Shoshana and Cheyenne Williams had a hearty breakfast of chocolate waffles with honey butter and glasses of cold milk. On normal days the twins scrambled to get cereal or a toaster pastry before heading to school, while their parents rushed off to work. However, everyone was home today, and Mom had whipped up their all-time favorite breakfast. "We ought to, as long as we still have power," she had said. "You never know when a power outage will occur, and then we'll have to survive on peanut butter and jelly."
2 The girls' eyes strayed often to the dining room window. Huge clusters of snow were swirling to the ground outside their home in Southern Indiana. Because the air was thick with snow, they could just barely see the woods at the edge of their property. The blustery wind whistled around the corners of the house.
3 "This is a terrible time for a blizzard to strike," their father grumbled. "I was supposed to meet with a prospective client today." He took a noisy sip from his coffee mug.
4 "At least you don't have to worry that your boss will send someone with a four-wheel drive to pick you up," Mrs. Williams replied. "Chet did that to me two years ago, you know. He doesn't believe in snow days."
5 "Snow days!" Shoshana and Cheyenne chimed, giving each other a high five.
6 For the girls, a blizzard meant that school would be closed for several days. Once a few years back it had snowed so hard and long that they had missed two whole weeks of school! That was fun until they realized that the tradeoff was a shorter spring break and an extension of the school year into June. Still, blizzards were exciting. Trees cracked and fell; power lines went down, forcing them to live like pioneers; and the flat landscape was transformed into a winter wonderland. The snow itself had many uses. Shoshana favored making snow angels and building herself a snow throne, while Cheyenne enjoyed a good snowball fight and stomping out giant letters that formed words that could be read (she hoped) by passengers in the jets that flew overhead.
7 For the adults, a blizzard meant shoveling snow, collecting firewood, stocking up on nonperishable food, and worrying about survival. What would they do if a tree fell across the driveway? Worse yet, what if it fell on the house? Where would they go if the power went out? If the minivan slid into a ditch, how would they get out? How would they cope if the big freeze caused a pipe to burst? How many sandwiches could they eat before sandwich spread started coming out of their nostrils?
8 When Mrs. Williams told her girls that they could go outside as soon as they had each done three chores, both Shoshana and Cheyenne groaned. "Can't we do that later? What if the snow stops?"
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