I've been noticing a trend lately that has been bothering me. Maybe all the whiteness outside is starting to get to me, but it seems to me that The North is becoming very wimpy. Last Friday, the reports starting going out that there was a "Winter Storm Warning" for our area. Before snow started to fall, at least one place closed in anticipation for the coming snow. Really?? Please. This is the north, for Pete's sake. Surely we have the salt and trucks needed to keep things running.
The mounds of snow that surround our driveway are growing. The snow is not falling today, and I am thankful for that! The mounds are growing because of all the snow that has to be shoveled off the driveway. Even though the mounds are three to four feet high (maybe higher in some places!) there is no comparison to the winter mountains we had way back in the winters of '77 and '78.
During the winter of 1977, I was attending college in Searcy, Arkansas. Back home in Ohio, lots and lots of snow was falling, and I was happy to be down south and away from all the white stuff. But, one day, while sitting through one of my classes, I heard someone exclaim, "It's SNOWING!!! Suddenly, there was a mass exodus from their chairs over to the windows! "Ohhhhh", "ahhhhhh", "It's so pretty", "Look at it!" The three of us that were still in our seats, were obviously from the north. We had seen snow before. The snow continued, and our professor called everyone back to their seats. She continued teaching, but the falling snow still commanded everyone's attention. Classes were eventually canceled. We ended up with several inches, and were able to make a mighty fine snow woman.
Things back home were much different. Blizzards, snow, ice, school closings for days. I didn't get to experience that particular Ohio winter, so I'll fast-forward to the next year, 1978.
I was out of college, and back home, and working at our local grocery store. This was before Wal-Mart, and before Super K-Mart. This was even before purchased items were scanned. I actually had to punch in the numbers and the department by hand for every single item. Yeah, we're talking way back in the day. But, I digress.
The winter of '78 started early, hit hard, and seemed to last forever. On the days when the weather was exceptionally bad, my dad would drive my sister and I to work. We worked at the same store and had the same schedule. There were times when the visibility was zero, due to the swirling and blowing snow. We persevered on, and made it to work. One time things got so bad that we were stranded at the store. A few of the employees who lived out of town, actually spent the night at the store owner's (aka Earl) house. Those of us who lived in town got home via the store owner's son-in-law (aka Greg) who had a 4-wheel-drive jeep (and we're talking the army-style jeep with zip up windows, not the SUV model).
The next day, the weather had not improved. I didn't even think it necessary to call in and say we wouldn't be coming to work. I was all set to hunker down and watch t.v., hoping a good movie would be on. (Also before dvd's, vcr's, movie rentals.) But before I had a chance to get comfy, our phone rang. It was Earl.
Earl: I need you and your sister to come in today.
Me: The roads are too bad, we weren't planning to come in.
Earl: People need to buy eggs and bread and milk. I need you to work. I'm sending Greg to pick you up.
Me: But, I wasn't coming in.
Earl: Greg will be there in 30 minutes.
And, sure enough, he was. Earl called us because of the two for one bonus. It turned out my sister and I were the only cashiers there (out of about 12). And, it turned out that a lot of people needed eggs and bread and milk. And, they were willing to brave the nasty weather to get it! People were lined up all the way to the back of the store. As if that wasn't enough pressure, Earl would stand right beside us as we were ringing up the groceries, and start asking questions. No pressure there.
At the end of the day, Greg was there to take us home.
I don't know how much snow we got that winter, but there were mountains of snow that lined the roads. There was so much snow that it seemed as if we were driving through dirty, snowy tunnels. There were mountains of snow in the middle of parking lots. And, I'm also pretty sure that we were way into April before all the snow had melted away.
So, let's not be acting like southerners who aren't prepared for snow.