Sunday, February 6, 2011

Memorable Weather -- 2011

     The weather has been making quite a bit of national news over the last week. A huge storm, one of the largest that many meteorologists have seen in their career, stretching across the entire mid section of the United states, causing snow and sleet, and freezing rain even in Dallas where our Super Bowl will play in two days. Stretching all the way up to the plains states, to Green Bay and Milwaukee, home to the Green Bay Packers, and then moving slowly out toward Pittsburgh, home of the opposing team, the Steelers. First people who were trying to get to Dallas could not get out of Milwaukee and other midwestern airports. Then finally after about 26 inches of snow over 2 days here, after much work getting shoveled out of our driveways, and getting moving on side streets and freeways, taking a whole day to get our airport open, fans were able to start to fly out. Then Dallas got a second storm of 6 inches or so which paralyzes that area again, and again the midwestern and eastern visitors and fans can't get into Dallas. Meanwhile large chunks of ice fall off the top of the new domed stadium in Irving, TX where the game is to be played, and injures some people on the ground. What is going on with the weather?
     Of course, we have Green Bay Packers media frenzy going on here. One piece of coverage related to two men (should I say crazy men?) who met at the NFC Championship Bears/Packers game in Chicago and probably under the cover of a somewhat inebriated conversation made plans to drive an old Cadillac Eldorado convertible down to Dallas. Now this convertible is old and now has no top, not even a canvas one to pop up. So the owner has somehow fastened a surf board lengthwise onto the top of the car. These two guys somehow made up some head gear that was a mix between stocking caps, a mohawk down the middle shaped something like a yellow footbal helmut. The story showed them leaving for Dallas for a roadtrip to Dallas. Well, this open convertible was not going to make it anywhere near Dallas. No way, not with this storm of the decade or maybe even half century working its way across the country's midsection. These two guys and their ideas, no doubt born when reason was not high in the conversation, would not succeed easily. We have not heard anything more about them. No doubt they had to hole up in a motel somewhere and it would have to be a hotel or motel that had some sort of covered parking. Otherwise that convertible would just fill up with snow. I saw in today's newspaper that these two crazies made it to Dallas, and were photographed taking part in a fan event. They don't even have tickets to the Super Bowl. Like a lot of Packers fans they just want to play a part in the celebration down there. They made is down there in spite of all the snow storms on the way.
     The media called this storm one of 4 of the largest and with the highest wind speed of all storms. My mother heard the reporters citing the years in which these three other bad storms occurred. She heard 1936. So then she began to ask herself what she was doing in 1936 and what did she recall about a big storm. She recalled very astutely that she had just graduated from high school the June before. And she had found a job with National Lock in Rockford, IL. She had only been hired a week or so before. So she had to get into work. So her father, my Grandpa Harry got their old Model T car dug out of the bran, and they got on Route 20, a then 2 way road between Freeport and Rockford, IL. They lucked out and got behind a snow plow and just followed it into Rockford. Mom was working the second shift so Grandpa just took her right to the factory. She had made it to work. Now she says she realizes that then her father had to drive all the way back to Pecatonica, without the benefit of the snowplow. She doesn't recall worrying about that then, but she thought of that now. Well, obviously he made it. It is just quite interesting that my mother can recall this with complete accuracy even now. She is now 93 years old, widowed and living by herself in her little 3 bedroom ranch house even though she is blind from macular degeneration. But she is dong fine by herself. She still bakes cookies for church bake sales, and does her own cooking and cleaning. We have been calling her dialy through the storm days and so have neighbors to make sure she is OK. She is no doubt lonely and shut in from the storm but she is surviving. Just another view of this storm from the inside and from the eyes of a very old woman.
     Well, it's Super Bowl Sunday. It's snowing outside again here, but this time it is just a gentle light snow. We are only supposed to get about an inch. This afternoon we have been watching the lead up show. The Super Bowl is huge. It is a big celebrity event. Though the game is the center of the conversation, it's like all the bruhaha happening outside the stadium seems to have taken over. I guess I never noticed this when I didn't care about either of the teams that were playing. But now its our Packers. We should be only talking about them and the game, right? Expectations totally change.  GO PACKERS!!! I'll be back on this blog about the game if we win. If we don't, you'll not hear another word about it here.

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