Saturday, February 23, 2013

The White Stuff

Snow was a big deal in Baltimore. The anticipation was everything. Local news stations aired what they deemed "The Snow Show"--constant coverage of the impending storms. Families performed snow dances. Schools canceled at the mere threat of a couple inches. And those snow days off from school were incredible. My parents were just as excited as my sister and me. It meant no work for Mom because she was a gym teacher, and a much shorter, calmer day for Dad, who was a principal. Yup. Snow days were the absolute best. The days were spent sledding, building snowmen and drinking hot chocolate. If it was still snowing at dinner time, the four of us walked to our local Pizza Hut to devour a few slices of pizza and root beer. Snow in Baltimore was always an event, and I guess that's what made snow days so special. Snow in Chicago is a completely different experience. It's no big deal to the locals who are  hardened to fierce winters. The streets are plowed and scraped clean before you even wake up in the morning and the entire neighborhood snow blows sidewalks and driveways in less than an hour. Most disheartening of all-- schools never call off for snow. I think the last time the kids had off school here was a few years ago when three feet of snow dumped on the area. When we woke up yesteday morning, about three inches of snow covered the ground. The kids got dressed early and made a snow castle and threw a couple snowballs. Then, it was off to the bus stop. School was on time. I felt a tinge of sadness realizing that Julie's day would be spent at school instead of frolicing in the white stuff. I guess we better get used to it. We're Chicagoans now.

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