150. Buried Alive (Almost)

Life in the Midwest is not for sissies.

Yesterday, as you well know, Chicago was buried in over 20 inches of snow, ice, wind, thunder, lightning, and wind chills of 20 to 30 degrees below zero. But the city also experienced a rare event.  Closure of the schools.  The last time schools were closed due to snow there was 12 years ago.

Here in Seattle, we close the schools for any light dusting of the white stuff.

All of the Midwest is dealing with the worst blizzard conditions in years.  They’re too tough to ask for outside help and they’re used to dealing with it.  Along with potty training, even the urchins are taught to deal with snowdrifts taller than they are.

When I heard that the Chicago schools had closed yesterday and today, I didn’t need to see any other reports to know what a hellava storm they were having.

When I was growing up in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, I can’t remember  a single day St. Patrick’s School was ever closed due to heavy snowfall.  If you didn’t plow your way through the snowdrifts following a blizzard and make it to the school cloakroom in time for school, the Sisters would call you a “Pansy”.  This fate sometimes befell new kids, but they never repeated the crime a second time.

Judging from this video, the Midwestern kids still know how to cope with hazardous arctic winters. This little Chicagoan exemplifies their typical pluck, fortitude, and can-do attitude.


Here’s some scenes from the corn belt.  This morning, I found an email from my nephew Eddie Ford with these photos he took on his iPhone in Cedar Rapids.  

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The photo on the left is of my hardy 83-year-old brother-in-law Bob Ford out shoveling snow.

I also opened another message from my niece Denise Fortune in Wisconsin.  She wrote:

“(My son) Tommy went to bed last night knowing that he had no school today due to blizzard conditions. Snow days always have us dreaming of that day off in front of the fireplace watching movies that we’ve been putting off for days like today, or catching up on a good book while buried in lots of warm blankets and eating hot soup and a warm cup of tea.

I suppose though, deep down, he knew that those dreams are never meant to be until the “job” is done out in the driveway.
I’ve attached a picture of Tom this morning dealing with the unfortunate placement of a snow drift on our front walk. He was literally up to his hips in snow. The drift in front of the garage door was even higher when he opened it up this morning.
I can see why they used to tie a rope to the outhouse and barns back in the day…..
Dee”

Obviously, when it comes to snowstorms, the capable Tommy can not only walk the walk, he can shovel it as well.

Here’s a little slide show of more of the Midwestern snowflakes this week.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Hang in there, everybody.  Hopefully, when the snow melts, the crocuses will make their grand entrance.

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7 Responses to 150. Buried Alive (Almost)

  1. Borgen says:

    It begins to look like the winter in Norway!
    Pat!
    Did you get my comment from yesterday?
    I think we are cousins 3 times.

    • Octo-woman says:

      Hi, cousin! My sister Joan and I were so excited to read your comment yesterday. She may have contacted you already, but as soon as I can get them together, I’m going to send you some photos and also some names of relatives you may know. We want to know all about you. Isn’t the internet amazing? We would never have known of you without it!

      Much more later.

      Pat Ford

  2. Joan Fitzpatrick says:

    I have taken in the Homeless. Three ladies came to my door last Monday with no place to live. So what could we do but invite them to share our roof. ……………..To explain we should go back. Jeff’s mother in law (Bette Spaight) rented a house for the Month of January. Jeff and our Grandaughter Jane brought her out in her car. They stayed a week and went home on the plane. On the way here they went through 3 blizzards, and some road closings.

    Before the end of the month, Carrie (Jeff’s wife) and Paula (her sister) came out t0 drive Bette home. They are having terrible weather all the way back to Iowa, so we have been trying to keep them here until things have cleared up a little. They have finally decided to leave this morning, but against our wishes. It will be “nail biting” all the way back to Iowa. They have been sun bathing and swimming while they are here. Why anyone would want to leave here and go back to Iowa, is beyond me. Today in Cedar Rapids is is supposed to be 12 below.

  3. Christine Ford says:

    Aunt Patti,
    I felt I should inform you that even northern Texas’s weather is crazy! We are in the very low teens since last Tuesday with that ice/snow sleet storm. Our schools and most of the offices are closed now for the third straight day! We have ice/ice spots everywhere and no signs of warming up of the temps or the sun appearing to get rid of this ice! You may be aware that Green Bay Packers and Pittsburg Steelers have brought their “home weather” to Texas for the Super Bowl! Semper Fi …

  4. Linda Lewis says:

    Annually, my sister, who lives in Jackson Hole sends pix of snow in her yard. The most fun ones are of moose and sometimes their calves eating the lower branches off their trees. It’s normal for them to have snow a sub 0 temps. But this is a year to remember. All these pix make me nervous. Next Wednesday I’m off to go to Vermont to visit my grandson giving his Gettysburg Address in front of a panel of judges. I called the car rental office directly and they do not have chains…saying they are buried in several feet of snow, but that the roads are clear. I’ll take the little girl’s advice on wearing snow pants and how to take them off.

  5. Tim Fitzpatrick says:

    It is a riot! I work for a compay with 14 offices across the USA and one in India. Yesterday our Dallas and Austin offices were closed because of the freezing weather (30 degrees F) and about some ice. Yet our Souix Falls SD office was at full staff. (-35 degrees F and 16 inches of snow). Only in America!

  6. Rene' Melchior says:

    Tim, our kids had 8 days out of school for 8 inches of snow. My kids were ready to go back to school! It is rediculous!

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