Caught Between the Mid-West and the East

Winter weather is a funny thing here in the mid-west.

Four inches of snow closes area school districts. The threat of bad weather brings all weather forecasters to double, triple and even quadruple their warnings of hard times ahead: Stay inside; If you must venture outdoors…; It’s going to get down to the ‘teens tonight! My favorite mid-Western tradition? The way salt trucks head out like an army hedging off Armageddon – or “global warming” for all you Neo-New Agers – dropping their loads twelve to twenty-four hours ahead of any perceived threat of bad weather. They certainly know how to salt, or over-salt in my opinion, but they act like they’re living in the stone age when it comes to plowing streets. Yes, salt is a good thing. But please, plow the streets!

My brother, who moved South a number of years back from the Northeast where we both grew up, tells me that everything is closed for even a dusting of snow. He and I grew up in a time in New York State when our school district remained open even when there was a foot of snow on the ground and more was still falling. I can count the number of times school was canceled due to inclement weather on less than two hands during my grade school years. And I think that’s a good thing mostly because if I had to suffer with a lack of days off from school, I think every kid should suffer the same.

But apart from my New York attitude of four inches is barely enough to cover the grass so why are schools and businesses closed?, I have to admit I kinda like the more laid-back attitude of the mid-West. Or at the least the part of the mid-West where I am currently living: Have a day off. It’s snowing.


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