Monday, January 25, 2016

Snot and Ice

Philco Transitone Radio
Did you know that there were supposed to be elections in Haiti but they were called off? The Haiti Provisional Electoral Council decided to postpone Sunday's vote because there is "too much violence throughout the country." Not a huge news story, but one that means something around here where Haitian people wash up on our shores daily. Anyway, you wouldn't know about that if you were watching CNN or MSNBC over the weekend. What they were obsessed with was snow. How much snow there was going to be. How you must not leave your home once it starts snowing. How much water and canned tuna you should buy to sustain yourself through the snow. How Chris Christie trundling back to New Jersey will make it all better. Snow, snow, snow, from morning until...  well, until maybe we have another mass shooting... in the snow. The news networks were obsessed.

When I was a kid we didn't have all the pre-storm hysteria. There would be a prediction of snow the day before by the weatherman, and the next morning we might wake up to snow, or not. What we looked forward to as kids was waking up to a lot of snow. So much snow falling out of the sky that we hoped for the best outcome, school closings. I still remember sitting at the table in that little kitchen with the turquoise colored walls, listening to WGN on the Philco radio.
"...All District 146 schools in Tinley Park, closed. Lincolnway High School, New Lenox, closed. Trinity Lutheran School in Tinley Park, closed. Bremen High School, Midlothian, closed..."
The suspense of waiting for our school to be called was unbearable. We continued to prepare for school as if it was going to happen, right on up until that blessed announcement.
"... Saint George School in Tinley Park, closed..."
Whatever was said after that didn't matter. We were free for the day. I could hear my mother's faint moan when the radio guy announced that we had a snow day. We would rush up to our bedrooms and dig out the snow suits, boots, mufflers, gloves, and hats. 

I was hearing the very serious news people on CNN Saturday morning, warning people to stay indoors, that to go outside in the snow meant certain death. Ha! Idiots. Snow means snow men, snowball fights, sledding, snow forts, soaking wet clothing and snot running down your upper lip. We defied death when I was a kid. Snow was made for fun and a reprieve from that homework that I almost never did. One thing though, I don't remember my dad ever taking a snow day. He seemed to always leave for work no matter what the weather and come home again in the evening. It just never seemed to keep him from leaving for his job. Unless, he was more like me than I have ever thought. Because if I knew I would be stuck in a house with a bunch of screaming, fighting kids, that smelled like wet wool, I'd leave for work too and drive directly to Funk's Tavern.
My Little Sister, Sue

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