Monday, November 26, 2007

From Lori's Beachwood
Picture Collection

The small figure you see in the picture above is my son. He'd just been dropped off by the school bus and was trudging home through the snow. The covered vehicle is my poor car.

Snow and freezing temps are at the top of the long list of things I hated about my exile . . . oops, I meant my stay in the Cleveland area. But for probably 3 of the 4 years we lived in Beachwood (a suburb of Cleveland, Ohio) this is typically what our neighborhood looked like, not long after (and sometimes on) Thanksgiving Day. Even worse, this mess didn't usually leave for good until AFTER Easter. Come on. Those of us from the Delta know it's not supposed to be snowing after Easter, much less in freaking EARLY MAY. I'm SO GLAD those days are in the past. But even now, I still can't help but wonder how the early settlers of the area ever made it. And for those who did survive that first winter, what in the heck ever made them want to stay?

Last year in Charlotte, the one time the white stuff actually fell and the accumulation reached all of an inch, the kids got out of schools, several businesses shut down and the very next day, all of that crap had melted. Um-huh, now that's my kind of winter and my kind of town (smile).

From Lori's Beachwood
Picture Collection

Yeah, it's pretty . . . in pictures . . . and from a safe distance. But I must admit, I do kind of miss the scraping slide of the snowplows and the soft rumble of the salt trucks I used to hear late at night and in the still darkened, wee hours of the morning.


Malcolm: said...

Ah come on Lori, you know you miss the tundra-like conditions of Beachwood, lol.

Over the last few years, the Flint area doesn't get its first snowfall of note until after the first of the year. There have even been times when there is no snow for Christmas! However, when the snow finally comes... oh boy does it come!

Emanuel Carpenter said...

You know, I've lived in other climates where winters weren't as harsh but there were tradeoffs. In Portland, Oregon the winters were very mild but there were hardly any black people in the city. In Oklahoma, there were no harsh winters but there were tornado warnings every other week and you gotta really love country and western music to stay because it's the only music you'll hear (military days).

I've been a cheerleader for leaving Cleveland but it seems like I'm the only one with pompoms. I asked my 11-year old if he'd like to leave for a warmer climate but he told me he likes sledding, snowball fights, and building snowmen too much to leave. I asked the wife, and she reminded me that both of our families live here (which to me was an argument for leaving not staying) and we get free babysitting.

I've been blessed for the last year to be able to work from home so the dreaded winter driving hasn't been as much of a factor as it used to be. I still hate extreme cold, driving on black ice, and scraping the ice off of the car. But at least crime decreases and germs die during this time of year (though you have to wonder why so many people catch colds and the flu in winter).

pjazzypar said...

Oh how I remember those days in Flint, Michigan (about 200 miles northwest of Cleveland) when the snow use to be waist deep sometimes. I also recall one year around New Years Day when freezing rain caused the biggest icicles you've ever seen. It was beautiful, but all the ice on the road made driving quite treacherous. It's been years since I had to deal with ice and snow and I don't miss it at all.

Lori said...

Do I miss the tundra-like conditions? That would be a "NO!" As in a "Hell, to the . . . (LOL)

Actually, I've lived in a couple of other snowy places-namely Idaho and North Dakota. Idaho (which really is a beautiful state) I loved, but like your son, I was a kid. By the time we moved to North Dakota, I was older and had to walk a distance to the bus stop everyday. Also, our school was quite a bit of distance from the AF base and when there were blizzards, those of us who lived on base had to stay in town.

Anyway, I think it's different when you have relatives in an area or you've grown up there. Some things are just a normal part of your world or you learn to put up with them. But when you're missing your folks and you don't want to be someplace in the first place, all of that snow and ice is just extra aggravation (smile).

Waist-deep, huh? I'll have to see if I can't find that picture of my brother and his friend standing next to the snow drift we had to dig out in order to leave our house in North Dakota.

I'm with you. I don't miss NONE of that (smile) Bump all of that snow and cold and ice. I'll take 60-75 degree temps in the winter any time.

Sharon J. said...

Cleveland is very beautiful in the winter with all the snow. The moisture from the snow makes it seem less cold. Right now there is no snow here, but the weather is a little uncomfortable for me because it is a dry cold that we are experiencing. Thanks also for the kind words you wrote in your previous e-mail.