Saturday, March 03, 2007

Grouse du Jour

It's not as if we need another thing to support the reality of global warming, but I have one: We're forgetting how to deal with snow. We have had two snows this winter here in southern Vermont and both of them shut the schools, canceled public meetings, and moved dentist appointments. It didn't use to be like this. I grew up in Michigan where in order to have a snow day the cars had to actually be unable to move, perhaps not even visible. Short of that, people were expected to shovel themselves out, get their kids to school and their own butts to work. Tire chains, short shovels, and buckets of sand were an accessory in every trunk. Child-eating snow alligators were common. Okay, I made up that last part.

It may be that winters are so less severe than they used to be that we've lost our nerve and gumption to move and move through snow. And with the 24 hour news and weather channels so amplifying the drama of any kind of inclement weather that every dark cloud is a calamity in waiting, I think we've forgotten how utterly ordinary it is to live in snow. Four inches of the stuff closed the schools here yesterday. I'm sorry, but that's just embarrassing.


Blogger chuck said...

I am beginning to feel guilty living up here in Hillsbor OR we have only had one real bad snow and ice hit that shut down much of the cities around Portland for a couple of days other than that it has been BEAUTIFUL if you dont mind a few raindrops.

Blessings to you from Hillsboro OR

11:08 PM  
Blogger Kelsey said...

From Ohio, I lived in North Carolina for a spell. While their I witnessed with a sort of morbid superiority, as Raleigh was shutdown by a half inch of snow. Kids spent the night in schools. Motorists spent the night on the interstate. It was pathetic.

9:06 AM  
Anonymous Metz said...

I too grew up in Michigan and remember missing the bus one day because of snow drifts, after slogging back home and calling our father at work we were told to hoof it the 2 miles to school.
Now today my mother (smugly I might ad) that the town convinced the superintendent of schools that he can't use whether or not he can get to school in his 4wd as a gauge of whether or not school should be closed. Keep in mind these are the same people who sent 2 kids slogging 2 miles through snow drifts to school. The difference between then and now? These are their GRANDCHILDREN we're talking about. A whole new set of rules apply. I wonder how many school officials get calls from irate grandparents, "You are NOT making MY grandchildren go out in this weather, they could freeze or the bus could slip on the icy slush and go plunging off a cliff!" nevermind that there aren't any cliffs in TR Michigan. ;-)

3:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Tom... Global warming ???? We are having the coldest string of weather since the 50's...-25F today... It may be true the Earth is warming... I just wish it was true here in Alaska..Everyone's septic system is frozen.... I heard today that this year is cooler than last... global cooling??? Hmmm... What will we do then??? Hard to know what to do... Tom in Fairbanks

2:26 AM  
Blogger Tom Bodett said...

Tom, If you ever see one of those old "Alaskan for Global Warming" bumper stickers, would you get one for me? It would be a great conversation starter around my little blue state. We've had the warmest winter in recorded history in New England, which is saying a lot. They've been recording things out here for a long time. If we could have swapped 20 degrees with Fairbanks, everything would have been perfect.

8:05 AM  

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