THE WEATHER OUTSIDE IS FRIGHTFUL

Be Delightful, by Rich Paschall


If you live anywhere in the United States, except the extreme southern portions, you will eventually get your share of winter weather.  The further north you live, the worse it is likely to be.  Here in the upper Midwest, we are likely to get a lot of snow and much sub freezing weather.  Some years we get a lot of subzero weather when I can look forward to the possibility of the pipes to the kitchen sink freezing.  It is somewhat less than joyful to discover the water does not run in the kitchen.

During my many years in Chicago land,  we have enjoyed some of the biggest snowfalls ever.  By enjoyed, I mean we were all stranded somewhere.  Hopefully, you made it home before the snow got too deep.  In 1967 as a youngster, I thought it was fun to have over two feet of snow.  School was cancelled and we got dig out cars and play in the street.  We could walk right down the center of usually busy Irving Park Road (Illinois 19) and not worry about traffic.  Buses were stranded everywhere as they were connected to overhead electric wires and could not get around stalled cars and snow drifts.

January 1967 Pulaski and Irving

January 1967 – Pulaski and Irving Park Road

By the Blizzard of 1979 we were not as amused with the snow as we were at a younger age.  In fact, it was the storm that pushed Mayor Bilandic out of office.  We can forgive almost any sin in this town except not moving the snow.  If he had not insisted the city was on top of the situation as the blizzard was raging on, he might have survived the poor effort. Like the snow in a soft storm, Bilandic was pushed to the curb in the following election.

We did not have another great blizzard until 2011, but we have had plenty of large snowfalls before and since.  I have done enough snow shoveling for a lifetime.  If you are lucky enough to have a snow blower, you learn they are not much good when you start measuring the snow in feet instead of inches.

February 1, 2015

February 1, 2015

Recently at work we heard that there was a state of emergency in the Atlanta area as they expected 1 to 4 inches of snow.  One to Four!  Of course we were all amused that they had to shut everything down over an amount of snow we would consider practically nothing.  On the other hand, they do not have mountains of road salt, a fleet of snow plows and an army of city workers prepared for even the smallest of snowfalls.  If the Department of Streets and Sanitation does not move our snow in a timely manner, the mayor will be the ex-mayor after the next election.

One year we decided to escape the winter with a week in Florida.  That was also the year that Florida did not escape the winter.  Everywhere we went from Orlando to the southernmost reaches of the state, we heard the locals swear to us that they NEVER have an entire week of weather like that.  Even Mickey Mouse must have gotten giant ear muffs for his mouse ears.

At least we had the beaches to ourselves.  From Clearwater to Sarasota and Miami to Key West, we did not have to fight crowds of locals and tourists for a spot in the sand.  Only the seagulls were walking around.  Perhaps it was too cold for flight.

Florida in January?

Florida in January?

Perhaps there just is no escaping Mother Nature.  If she so desires, she can stalk you around the continental USA like the merchant of evil she can sometime be.  Winter vacation in Florida is no guarantee of warmth.  When it is barely warmer than 1300 miles to the north, you are being advised that you should have stayed home.

So if the cold and the snow has overtaken your area, what should you do besides fret about the accumulations outside?  Aside from clearing a path in the snow, it may be time for a snowman, snow fort and snow ball fight.  It could be the time to get out the sled or toboggan.  You may wish to lace up the ice skates if you can actually get to the ice rink.

At this point in life, I can recall all those things fondly, but would rather delight in the inside of the house.  After all, there are so many things I consistently delay, a snow day or two would seem like a great time to start.  I have accumulated many books over the years that I have intended to read.  It would seem that not being able to go to the Wild West Sports Bar and Grill should not be so troubling.  I can always start one of the mysteries on hand or dive into the John Adams biography.

This January, I have continued my quest to watch all of the James Bond movies in order. I am now on the Daniel Craig films and have just one more to go. There are other DVDs I have had for a long while that I would like to watch, or watch again.  When the thermometer shows Zero degrees or the snow is piling up, the fire can be so delightful.  If you have a fireplace, that is.  Otherwise, just get a warm blanket.

24 thoughts on “THE WEATHER OUTSIDE IS FRIGHTFUL

  1. Hello! As a New Yorker, I never knew of the Windy City’s “Blizzard of 1979” and its effect on the longevity (or lack thereof) of Mayor Bilandic’s time in office. As someone who also lives in a region that sometimes resembles the frozen Arctic more than it does an American city, I found myself laughing at the line you wrote about snow blowers and how they’re pretty much useless when the white stuff is also the several-feet-deep stuff. How true that is!

    In regards to watching Bond, enjoy! If you have not done so already, you might want to look at the two prior versions of “Casino Royale” if only to compare it to the canonical Bond entry of the same name. The first version arrived as an installment of the TV series “Climax!” in 1954 and starred an American actor named Barry Nelson as “Jimmy Bond” I kid you not. Nelson, an American, was the first person to play the very British super-spy on TV or in film. “Casino Royale” would return in a 1967 feature film in which David Niven (and others) gave humorous takes on Bond. Again, I kid you not.

    In closing, thank you for an very enjoyable and highly engaging blog entry. All the best now and in the future.

    Sincerely,
    Keith W. Viverette, Sr.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Jane Byrne campaigned on the city’s inability to move the Blizzard of 79 out of our way and thus became the first woman mayor of Chicago. It is interesting that you should mention the three Casino Royales. I have seen them all and that is my next entry on SERENDIPITY.

      Liked by 2 people

    • Hey, Keith. First things first. I remember “Climax”. It was hosted by William Lundigan and Mary Costa. I also remember Barry Nelson’s “Jimmy Bond”. Nelson was a perpetually young actor who began as a MGM contract player in the 40’s. His biggest film was “Mary, Mary” with Debbie Reynolds.

      As for winter. Ixnay! As a TV news reporter with more than 40 years experience, winter became my worst enemy. The blizzard of ’78 was a Cecil B. DeMille affair that is still the benchmark for many folks.

      Currier and Ives be damned. I’ll watch winter from inside, thank you.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. A book reading day, a good day to haul out the Legos, or mess about on the computer (unless the power goes out), between bouts of filling the woodboxes and filling the wood boxes and… well, you get the picture. And watch the cats express utter outrage that it’s still winter, no matter what door they go to.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. well of course you should. I always did, with a cat trailing along behind, waiting patiently for me to get a path out to the driveway…
    I have one now that sits on the bookcase in the kitchen, watching the winter world outside, alert for stray leaves, small furred creatures, and monsters. When I let him out he sits on a bench under the window, peering in at the kitchen he just left. Sometimes the other cat will sit on the bookcase and stare back at him, nose to nose through the window.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. We’ve had some doozies around here in the past decade, but not as damaging as the big one in February 1978, It wasn’t the deepest snow, but it arrived VERY fast and with such bitterly cold weather and high winds and dense, rapid snowfall that thousands of people were caught in their cars. A lot of deaths. It was a giant of a storm. Garry has written about it. Many people have written about it. It was a hurricane with snow and though we have had bigger in the sense of deeper storms, nothing has wrought the havoc that the big Blizzard of 1978 brought to New England … and specifically, Boston. The only equivalent snow disaster was the White Hurricane of 1889 (I think) in Brooklyn, New York.

    Liked by 1 person

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