Tuesday, December 16, 2008

the snow day that wasn't

The kids were hoping for a snow day today, or an ice day, or some reason to sleep in and not go to school day.

It didn't happen. As predicted earlier in the morning, before the self induced weather frenzy set in amongst the local meteorologists, the ice stayed north of I-40 and we missed the bad stuff.

Now, snow days in Indiana were a regular occurrence when I was growing up. They were a rarer happening when my kids were in school. In fact, during the winters of 78-79 I missed over a week of school due to snow. When you open the garage door and a wall of snow greets you, there is a great chance that the buses aren't going to run. That blizzard was amazing. We had front end loaders going down the street trying to dig us out as we lived on a snow emergency route...yep, they have such street designations in South Bend, In. One of the ancillary benefits of living in a lake effect snow region.

I remember after they somewhat cleared the main road, a neighborhood dad with a huge truck came and picked up the moms from the area and hauled them to Martin's grocery store. My mom came home with some powdered milk and a few other things. She said the only vehicles they saw were snowmobiles. A neighborhood lady had to be taken to the hospital on a snowmobile so she could deliver twins...I later babysat for those kids.

The neat thing about that snow storm was the way the drifts surrounded our house. While we had a wall of snow in front of the garage, the side yard was bare to the grass. We could go out the side garage door and over to the neighbors and not step in any of the white stuff. I spent some time next door with Carla making chocolate chip cookies while her husband Mike helped my dad dig out the driveway. She and Mike didn't have kids and as the whole city was shut down, it was a great time to just hang out.

My husband talks about that blizzard as well...he was one of the guys driving the snow mobiles around. He said they raced up and down Michigan Street in downtown South Bend with other guys from all over the town. He said it was a blast.

They don't have weather like that in South Bend anymore....not sure if it is climate change or what, but for all the danger extreme weather can bring, it also brought some amazing memories and a sense of community that is unique to such a shared experience.

1 comment:

Anne's BLOG said...

I guess those talking heads feel obligated to report weather conditions, ad nauseum, for the benefit of 'surrounding areas'. But it sure does get old when nothing happens here.
Back in 1968 TV proclaimed some possible precipitation, which ended up being a record-making 17 inch snow storm ! Go figure!
Where you live sure makes a difference! The other day, my New Hampshire cousin reported that they has a "messy situation" with the snow/ice, "but we're used to it. My husband went on to play tennis, indoors of course, but reported it was slow going to get there."