Local schools will be closed Monday

Yes, I know. Snow is a big pain.

But my goodness. The spectacle of it all. An entire day of snow coming down, leaving behind a vision of near-total white. You look out your window and see it covering everything. The landscape, magically, is transformed from our dull winter browns and grays to something so lovely that it takes your breath away.

At the exact same moment it reminds us how very small we are and how lucky we are to be alive.

It was a good thing the snow came on a Sunday. No so many people on the road, not that much of a need to go anywhere. As for all those people who keep our community going during storms – hospital workers, public employees and utility technicians — I can only say: Thank you for being there.

For our part, we cleaned the driveway three times on Sunday and Monday. The first time was the hardest. There was, by my estimate, about eight inches of snow and it was exceedingly wet and heavy. So much so that the snow thrower clogged three or four times.

In our part of the world, clearing snow is one of the things that we do, and the source of a certain amount of pride. I am old enough to remember the big snow in 1967 and how it shut down Chicago for several days. We have all learned a lot since then, especially in our suburbs. Now, there are abundant snow plows, both on large trucks and smaller vehicles. (Thanks again.) Snow throwers make clearing the driveway a lot easier. Shovels are more ergonomic.

By about 2 p.m. on Sunday, we were restless and decided to walk around.

On Heather Hill Crescent, around the corner from our house, we encountered our first neighbor; he was shoveling and his driveway was clean down to the pavement. We complimented him on his work and he said he had already cleared the driveway five times that day. “It’s my workout,” he said.

The story was the same as we headed north. The streets were filled with men and women working, shoveling or pushing their snow removal machines. At one house, the guy cleaning his driveway had the music cranked up, and we heard a jazz trumpet tune. Everywhere it was white, and gorgeous.

Patty said she wanted to cross Flossmoor Road and see what the downtown area looked like. So we walked past the junior high school and headed east. The library appeared to be closed and so were the rest of the businesses except for Flossmoor Station. I told her that I’d left my wallet at home; otherwise, I’d buy us a couple of beers.

Heading home, we saw our first snowman, then a second and a third. We saw a group of kids building a snow fort. One boy – he was 7 or 8 – was standing next to a snowman that was exceptionally well done. Carrot for a nose, something around his neck that looked like a tie, eyes and buttons. The works.  I told him it was a great job and he smiled.

On Douglas, we came across a big group working with shovels on the driveway and street.

 “Is this where the party is?” she asked a man who appeared to be in charge.

“It is,” he said, laughing. “The invitations have gone out.” It looked like a party, and everyone seemed to be having a great time.

Another 10 minutes and we were home. Just in time for another wrestling match with the snow thrower as the wind began to blow. 

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