Friday, February 02, 2007

Winter Weather (or not)

"There are only two seasons: winter and baseball."
~Bill Veeck

Hey all, if you didn’t get a chance to see it, my article on character development is up at WOW. I love what they did with the graphics and the pics ,too. Very cute. Got an email from the editor yesterday afternoon telling me one of their regular writers saw it and mine was the first article she read in the Feb. issue. She loved it!

In other news, all the teachers and students around here spent yesterday hoping for snow to fall and cancel school today ( it didn‘t). See, with the crazy warm temperatures we’ve had so far this season, we haven’t had a single school closing.

Now let me digress: I grew up in central NYS, smack in the middle of the lake effect snow belt. Then I spent 6 years in college and graduate school living in 2 cities on the Great Lakes. More lake effect snow. So when you talk about winter to me, it means temps below zero and wind chill WAY below zero. It means shoveling snow from November to March and having at least 2 ice scrapers and 3 extra pair of gloves in the car at all times. It means learning to take your driver’s test when you’re 16 on snow-covered roads, and mastering the art of the controlled skid, because otherwise you’ll have to wait months to get your license. It means the kind of cold where, when you breathe in, the inside of your nose crinkles up.

It does not mean, as people in my newly adopted hometown think, 3 inches of snow that falls in one night. It does not mean temperatures that flirt with zero overnight and then inch their way up to 30 during the day. It does not mean school closings for 2 days straight because the towns can’t manage to plow the roads.

When I was growing up, one of the most familiar sounds in the wee hours of the morning was the plow going down the street, scraping it clear and taking out people’s mailboxes on the way (we had to get a new one every spring). School never closed. Ever. Are you kidding? We would have missed ¾ of the days from December to February.

But here? We get an average of 5 snow days each year. And don’t even get me started on 2-hour delays. 6 a year? 10? No limit, apparently. I’d never even heard of the concept of the 2-hour school delay until I moved here. I guess it allows the plow drivers to sleep in until 5 or so and get the roads clear by 9, so that the buses can lumber on to school and collect their state aid for the day.

One time a couple of years ago (this is the best), every school in the county closed because of the threat of a storm. Guess what? Not a single flake fell.

Sorry for the tirade, but sometimes I just have to laugh. OK, have at it: what does “winter” mean to you??

Happy Weekend!

P.S. - If you haven’t signed my guestbook yet, what are you waiting for???


Judy said...

Allie, in the south it gets even worse. My daughter in NC called. It was snowing (a light dusting). Anyway, she'd had to run to the grocery store the night before. The powers that be had already started predicting the possibility of "winter weather" and the grocery stores were packed with people buying up milk and bread. You would have thought they were NEVER going to get food again. It's always been that way there. Here in the deep south, we don't even think about it. The last real winter weather we had was in 83. I think the whole city's water supply froze that Christmas. Now it's just cold (to us) and miserable. The nice thing about owning our own business is we can wait til the weather improves! :-)

Barb said...

WOW...I'm the mother-in-law of an author. How cool!