Tuesday, January 13, 2009

A Catty Comment on the Weather

So this is how people react to winter where I grew up (and yes, I'm from North Dakota, but the mindset is identical - so laconic that you'd think tempers had frozen solid):
[S]ome Minnesotans took it as just another winter day, even in the state's extreme northwest corner where thermometers bottomed out at 38 degrees below zero at the town of Hallock and the National Weather Service said the wind chill was a shocking 58 below.

"It's really not so bad," Robert Cameron, 75, said as he and several friends gathered for morning coffee at the Cenex service station in Hallock. "We've got clothing that goes with the weather. ... We're ready and rolling, no matter what."

(Source: AP via Columbus Dispatch)
And this is what happens here in Southeastern Ohio: Monday morning, with a scant 3/8 inch of snow on the ground, school is delayed two hours, with my husband - and our one and only car - out of town for the day.

Another 3/8 inch fell this evening, again on bare ground, and I'm already wondering what'll happen tomorrow. Not to mention Friday, when we'll get subzero temps, which also typically crash the school system. Adding to my antsiness, the radio station that posts closings is super-slow to update and the school's website has been down for over a month.

I realize that the root of these hassles is poverty. Well, okay, also an absurdly nervous superintendent. But if the region weren't so poor, roads might get cleared. The school district's website might get fixed. And there'd be less worry about kids being underdressed for the conditions. Those same kids don't get subsidized meals when school is off, nor do their parents typically get paid if they can't make it to work.

Failing that, I'd love at least an improved weather prediction service. Like this one (via Lynn Gazis-Sax at Noli Irritare Leones).

(Translation: Temperatures have been pretty darn brisk in Germany, too - at least for those not snuggling their own personal furry heat source.)

Frustrated as I am with the capriciousness of my school district's snow day policy, I'm not blind to my blessings. A friend of mine, a transplant from Indiana, loaned me her car Monday so I could haul my kids to my office, meet with students, and then schlepp the kids to school by eleven. When I thanked her that evening, she said:
None of us have family here.
And so all of us have family here.


Sugarmag said...

A studio cat haha! My kids were out of school yesterday and today, third day this year. I don't mind having them home but we will all regret it in June. :(

Henry said...

Now I know what my second career is. I shall ingratiate myself to a German meteorologist and become the next European media sensation. Blogging Schmlogging.

Sungold said...

Hi Sugarmag - We've racked up three snow days now, too, including one yesterday that was for cold, not snow. Last year we had several makeup days in June, in addition to losing a couple of long weekends, so let's hope this year is easier for all of us. The district is using a lot more two-hour delays this year, possibly because everyone was so annoyed last year - including the employees in the superintendent's office, I'm sure!

Henry - I think the German market for studio cats is probably saturated. But maybe you can import the model to the U.S.? Seems like the Weather Channel ought to offer a full-time gig for you.