Monday, February 8, 2010

Snow in Midwest in February. Oh My!

I’m not sure what to think of the possible 10 inches of snow that could start falling on the Chicago area some time later Monday.

Is it some sort of cosmic justice for those of us who snickered at the District of Columbia area residents who had such a bad time of things last week coping with a severe snowstorm? Or is this “the almighty’s” way of letting us know he’s bored with the story of Scott Lee Cohen (seriously, we’re now eagerly taking the word of an alleged prostitute as to who is qualified to be a public official?) and wants us to move on to something else?

WHATEVER THE SITUATION is, there’s a chance that we’re going to get the heaviest snowfall (thus far) of the 2009-10 winter season in Chicago. The couple of times it has snowed to date, the amounts weren’t all that bad and it was more the drop in temperatures that caused problems for many people.

Now, we have the potential for problems with people who just can’t get a grasp on the concept of slowing down their driving below the posted speed limit so that their cars don’t go spiraling out of control and crashing into something (or someone) else.

Of course, these kind of people will think it is someone else’s fault for being in the way of their car that was spiraling out of control.

My serious point is that the next couple of days will be interesting. They will be challenging. But they also are something that should fully be expected by those of us born and raised in the Midwestern United States.

IT’S WINTER. IT snows here. It gets cold. This is the real world, not that wimpy weather you left behind in Arizona or Georgia (although watching The Weather Channel on television in recent weeks, I have been surprised by the amount of snow that has fallen in parts of Dixie – not exactly what is expected). In fact, the one group of locals I will sympathize with are those who rely on public transportation and are trying to learn new routes to get to places, because the Chicago Transit Authority budget cuts imposed Sunday caused their old routes to be slashed.

As much as I don’t care for the slop caused by winter snowfall (the cold I can cope with, you just put on another layer of clothing), what really is going to tick me off is going to be the shock and awe expressed on various news reports from people who are going to want to react as though the fact that we get a few inches of accumulated snowfall in a few hours timespan is somehow historic in nature.

It happens every year.

We expect it. It is the reason why we look down on other parts of the country that let snowfall throw them so far out of whack.

SERIOUSLY, WATCHING THAT Weather Channel video of car after car after car sliding on the ice and careening into each other while the anchors/meteorologists act amazed is laughable. Hearing that government officials in other cities behave in ways that make you think a natural disaster has struck them makes me respect our borderline corrupt political people all the more.

At least they can cope with snow.

In fact, about the most sensible thing I heard out of the snowfall that hit Washington, D.C. last week was the reaction coming from the White House and adopted-Chicagoan Barack Obama. Two feet of snow accumulated in the nation’s capital, which caused first daughters Sasha and Malia to consider pulling out the sleds so they could go riding around the White House grounds.

Perhaps the reality of our situation is that we need some snowfall right about now. Too many of us, including probably many people who didn’t even bother to vote in last week’s primary elections, are now getting all bent out of shape.

THE AFOREMENTIONED COHEN (who was the Democratic Party’s nominee for lieutenant governor until he said Sunday he would give it up) is getting most of the attention, but many of the races ended up with absolutely nonsensical results. Illlinois has become a place where someone who can get roughly one out of five votes can actually win an election, because there were so many candidates seeking office and the reality is that NO ONE truly captured the public spirit.

Maybe we need a snowfall heavy enough that there is a school day, or perhaps someone has to take a day off of work because making the daily commute on Tuesday or Wednesday will be next to impossible.

In short, this snowfall could literally turn out to be what gives us all a breath of fresh air – along with slushy snowfall.

If some people take great joy in the concept of a “White Christmas,” perhaps what we need these days is a white Valentine’s Day (it’s Sunday) to help us relax. Clear our heads by shoveling our own sidewalks. Then perhaps we can stop reacting in such irrational ways.


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