Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Everyone is Talking About the Weather

School closings seem to be the topic of discussion during this spate of icy temperatures.  Below zero temps are not uncommon, but they aren't run of the mill either.  So, when the temperature dips below freezing there are plenty of comments about the weather.
Some are meant to be helpful. 
"Dress warm if you are going out."
"Make sure to close your drapes and shades to keep the heat in.".
Others are darn right funny,
"Don't touch your tongue to metal, even if you are double dog dared."
"Don't make angels in the snow while naked." (this was prompted by a police blotter item about a local man found doing exactly that!).
For some reason, sitting here keeping warm, I remembered the first few weeks of January, back in 1961 where the temperature dipped to below freezing for days.  We couldn't get out of mother nature's chilly grip.
That year started with an ice storm on New Year's day. 
Ice covered everything.  The road conditions were dismal.  The tree limbs groaned and cracked under the weight of the ice.
The days that followed brought more below zero temps. 
It seemed as if the January thaw would never come.
Another ice storm I remember occurred while I was with my Mom a few years ago. 
Mom's hearing wasn't the best.  We were sitting in the living room watching TV when I heard the first sounds of ice hitting the house.
I went to get the portable oxygen tanks, and a few flashlights, just in case the power went out.   She couldn't figure out why I was in a flurry of activity.  The storm worsened, and Mom sat relaxed in her chair as I went from one end of the house to the other, checking the conditions outdoors.
Tree limbs were crashing into the streets behind the house.  I could hear them hit.  Mom, heard nothing.
I made a pot of coffee and sat there envying her ability to be oblivious to the storm and the possible consequences. 
The power did go out.  We were without lights the rest of the night.  I switched her over to the portable tanks and made sure she had a flashlight by her bed.
We were fortunate to have a gas stove in the kitchen. Mom could have a warm breakfast even without power. 
She was disappointed to learn that we weren't going out for breakfast.  It was something she looked forward to every day. 
No matter how bad the weather, my Mom and Dad were out and about.  She always said that the streets and driving conditions were okay.  Of course, she wasn't driving.  I remember calling them during a blinding snow storm to see if they were okay.
"It's not that bad out.  We just got back from the store.", she announced.
I could hear my father grumbling in the background. 
Shortly after my father passed away, Mom was going out for her morning coffee.  I was living out of town back then, and my sister told me about this particular event.
That snow storm dumped quite a bit of snow in a short amount of time overnight.  My sister called my Mom and warned her not to try to get out of the driveway until someone came to plow it out.
Sis drove by Mom's house when she drove the kids to school. 
"There is the car teetering on a snow bank!", exclaimed my sister.
"Mom tried to drive through the snow piled up by the city snow plow.".
My sister suffered from MS.  Yet, she managed to get out of her car and helped my mom out of her's.
Sis laughed about it later, but she was furious at the time.
I do know that Mom learned that her car didn't have the power to bust through the snow.
Funny, how the weather can trigger memories. 
Mom and Dad are gone but their winter adventures would fill volumes.