Friday, December 01, 2006

Taking my life into my own hands, or "Wait a second. This is the midwest. Doesn't this happen every year?"

You'd think this was Washington DC, the way everybody was talking this morning. Traffic fatalities! School closings! Ahhhhhhh! OK, it was a major snowstorm, and maybe I was out early in the morning, and maybe I only live five miles from where I work. I don't think I'd want to have hauled myself in for a major commute, that's for sure. But they're going on the radio saying "The National Weather services advises that if you leave the safety of your home, you are putting your life at risk." Oy.

I could swear I grew up in the midwest and that we were used to stuff like this. I can see not going into work for a 25 mile commute. But "putting yourself at risk."

I remember living in Washington DC. They'd get an inch of snow and the whole region would be closed down. People would make rushes for bread and soup and milk at the grocery stores. I'd be sitting in my apartment laughing my behind off. "Well, just put on a jacket and walk to the store...."

At least it was a perfect day for sledding with the kids. Did Humboldt park, and made Stella prove to me she could bail out of a sled so that if she did come close to the trees she wouldn't crack her head open. Man, have I turned into my own mother or what? She used to get really graphic on me: "Watch yourself on the ice," she'd say, "You'll fall and crack your head wide open." Sammy and I had a lovely time going down ourselves. We stuck together, and it reminded me of when Stella was that age, clinging on to me for dear life the first time I took her down a hill, and shortly after telling me, rather nonchalantly, "Oh, I don't need you anymore. I can go down myself." Major bittersweet moment of pride there.

And that's all I thought about as I followed this salt truck to work in the wee hours of the morning. Not, "what a bitch of a storm this is," but "I can't wait till after work to take the kids sledding." You can sit and complain about winter, or you can take advantage of the fact that shoveling is as good a workout as one can hope for, and that the cheap thrill of sledding with your kids is something you just can't do in the summer. I'll take the latter. If it means I have to follow a salt truck to work in the morning and listen to the doomsayers telling me I'm taking my life into my own hands, well then, I guess it's worth the adventure.

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