Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Did we set a record for snow?

This weather soon history. Photo by Gregory Tejeda
I despise the slop of snowfall as much as anyone else does.

Yet I can’t get myself all excited about the fact that we likely broke a record for the most days in the Chicago area without any measurable snowfall.

IT SEEMS THAT when we went without snow on Sunday, it was the 280th consecutive day without any of Suzy Snowflake’s friends paying us a visit. That tied the old mark set back in 1994.

When Monday turned out to be nothing more than a foggy, overcast day with only limited flakes (less than 1/10th of an inch of snow), 2012 went into the record books.

Yet what does it really mean?

Think about it; 280 days is just barely over nine months. Which means we made it through the spring, summer and autumn months without any snowfall. Isn’t that the way things are supposed to be?

I CAN’T GET all excited, particularly since it seems it’s just a matter of days before we get the first snowfall of this winter season (even if winter proper doesn’t begin until Dec. 21).

I also see those weather reports from the weekend that show how Minneapolis got whomped this weekend (almost as bad as the Chicago Bears got beat), and how heavy snowfall is moving through Wisconsin and Michigan.

How long until it dips down and pays Illinois a visit?

I just don’t see that we have really accomplished much of anything. The “record” for the longest time period without a snowfall in Chicago strikes me as being the equivalent of those sports broadcasters who tell us a hitter’s batting average against left-handed pitchers during Tuesdays in August.

THE SIMPLE FACT is that we’re in December, and it’s going to snow soon. Hopefully, it won’t be one of those heavy storms that shuts the city down – although it is inevitable that we’re going to get hit with one of those in coming months.

We’re in the Midwestern U.S. It snows here. That’s just fact.

There’s also another reason why I can’t get into the spirit of us having had a record-length period of time without any snowfall – it wasn’t that long ago that we had that storm of historic proportions.

You remember February of 2011. You remember Lake Shore Drive being totally covered and shut down for a time. I remember feeling fortunate that I do much of my income-earning work from home, because I wouldn’t have been able to make it to any traditional workplace for a couple of days.

IN FACT, THE memories are still vivid of having to go outside with a shovel and dig my brother’s car out, because he was trying to drive back home and it got stuck in a snowdrift about a half-block from his residence.

It helped that a pair of our neighbors saw our plight and came out with their own shovels. My brother eventually was able to drive to the residence and park his car – at which point he then came inside and passed out in his bed from exhaustion (he had just finished working a shift).

That storm feels so recent that I have a hard time accepting that we had a lengthy stint without any snow! Record my tushy.

I honestly feel like we ought to be entitled to much more time before we get the first snowfall of this winter season. It hasn’t been long enough since we had to worry about shoveling snow and keeping our walkways clear enough so that we don’t slip and fall on our collective heinies!


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