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Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2016

Snow 'Emergency'

Posted Sunday, January 15, 2012, at 1:11 PM

The older I get, the less I understand.

We live in West central Indiana, it is officially the middle of January, and it snowed. As the snow clouds were moving in, the weather people were warning us about the coming calamity. The panicked masses looted grocery stores.

Why is it that whenever there is snow on the way, everyone starts craving french toast? Suddenly everyone has to stock up on bread, eggs and milk. I can only hope that people keep adequate supplies of cinnamon and powdered sugar in their cabinets to survive the crisis.

All of the area schools were delayed. Having received at most one-half an inch of snow, that would have never happened when I was a kid. Incidentally I walked to school every day in a foot of snow, against the wind, and up hill both ways.

When it snows over night, we know that in the morning it's going to be cold, dark, and slippery. Start early and go slowly. Since this happens every year, everyone in Indiana should know that by now. At least that's what everyone's employer expects us to do. It's not like we live in Georgia where snow is a rare occurrence and one inch brings everything to a grinding halt.

During the late 70s in Grant County, where I grew up, it took a snowfall of 10-inches or more to cancel school. A real snow emergency happened in 1978. I can't be 100 percent sure I remember correctly, but I believe that school was closed less than two weeks during and after the great blizzard of 1978.

During the blizzard, we recorded a weather report for relatives out East announcing that with the wind chill, the temperature was 99-degrees below zero. The ambient temperature was either -40 or -50. I remember it being so cold, that if you spit, the saliva would turn to ice in the air and bounce when it hit the ground. We were told that frostbite would begin in 30 seconds, but we played outside longer than that without any injury.

The best part of the blizzard of 1978 was the drifts. We lived in a two-story house. The neighbor across the street did too. Between our houses was a two-story high snow drift. Fortunately, the wind whipping around the house left the front door and most of the porch clear. That let us get to the grocery store on a neighbor's snowmobile.

The neighborhood kids tunneled through the snow drift like a colony of ants. It was the worlds most awesome snow fort. Our parents were fearful that kids walking over the top of the drift would sink into it and disappear until spring. It was a sad day when an articulated loader and a road grader came and cleared our street.

This recent snowfall did prove to be an emergency for one soul I know: Maggy, my little girl beagle.

Maggy, true to her sooner hound nature, would rather be nestled in a warm bed than take a walk in the windy, dark, snow-dusted yard. She can "hold it" for a remarkably long time. My beloved, She Who Must be Obeyed, is a kindred soul with Maggy on this one issue. Fortunately, my beloved doesn't need to brave the elements to go potty.

But sooner or later, both Maggy and I have to brave the elements. While dogs are typically quite finicky when it comes to wearing clothes, Maggy has decided that she likes having a winter coat. The coat doesn't make it any less of a snow emergency for her, but at least it will ensure that she survives until the weather turns a day or week later.

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