Monday, March 13, 2017

What did we do to p’o Mother Nature?

As I write this, the weather conditions outside are chilly. But after all, it still technically is winter.
Remember how upset she used to get on TV commercials?

So the idea that I had to wear a coat while enjoying a bright, sunny day wasn’t all that bad. In fact, I’d argue that the people who felt compelled to attend the South Side Irish St. Patrick’s celebration on Sunday got a nice day for it. My biggest gripe was losing that hour of sleep due to the coming of Daylight Savings Time.

BUT I ALSO have to confess to feeling a sense of dread, largely because the wintry weather conditions we have experienced this particular season have left me, for lack of a better word, wimpified.

You know what I mean. Following some recent winter seasons where we got hit with some serious storms and major drops in the temperature, this year has been ridiculously mild.

I’m vaguely aware of some snowfall we have had. But it was very bearable. My own personal memory of this year includes one storm that left some snow accumulation that – just at the point I would have had to go outside to clear away the mess – managed to melt aware all on its own.

So “dread” is what I’m thinking at the weather reports that say we’re going to get hit overnight with snowfall that could build up to about six inches of that sloppy, slushy mess.

I SUSPECT I’M going to be doing some serious sidewalk clearing Monday and Tuesday, shoveling away the slop and spreading the bag of road salt that I keep around to reduce the chances of anyone slipping on the sidewalk nearby and being able to have a legitimate legal claim to blaming me for the resulting injuries they might suffer.

Speaking of salt, I have to admit to getting a little chuckle from the recent activity of municipal officials in Gary, Ind., whom I write about for a local newspaper (I have to earn a living somehow).

It was just a few days ago that council officials decided to transfer some money around in their budget – specifically including a $25,000 transfer of funds meant to buy road salt.

Because, after all, this winter had been so mild that they didn’t need to make the buy. They could find other uses for that money.

WHICH MAKES ME wonder if they’re going to have to find a way to transfer the money back and make the purchase, or if they’ll wind up trying to get by with the road salt they already had purchased.

Because I know there are some communities that were so well stocked up on supplies for the winter that they certainly don’t need to buy a thing to cope with the mess that we’re likely to occur.

Now I know some people are going to rant and rage that I ought to take my complaints about winter weather and stuff them. Because, after all, I live in the Midwestern U.S.

I ought to be used to snow by now. I ought to consider it a natural occurrence. If I can’t bear with it, I ought to move – perhaps to some sort of place in the South where they regard the borderline neurotic behavior of Donald J. Trump to bear a resemblance to sanity.

BUT I’M NOT about to move, largely because I can’t envision life in some place where people think a January temperature of about 70 degrees is normal. Besides, there always is that moment early in a snowfall when the accumulation starts to build and the world gains that pretty shade of white that makes everything appear to be so pure and clean.

Then, of course, the snow gets sloppy and dirty and we all have to take out our shovels (or snow blowers, for those of us who either are too lazy to work a shovel or not quite so cheap as to buy a blower).

It’s time to clear away the mess. Which may be one of the few times we have a truly communal experience in our society.

As we all try to clear up our sidewalks and driveways so we can drive the car out to wherever it is we still have to travel to because we can’t very well get Mother Nature to write us a note excusing us from daily life’s activities just because there’s 4 inches of slush built up!


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