It’s another snow day. Prepare for a curmudgeonly rant.
Schools are closed. Once again, for a storm in the forecast, not for any conditions present at the beginning of the day. When I was a kid we counted years between snow days. Now we count the days or weeks.
You’ve doubtless heard about folks who claim to have walked uphill 5 miles both ways to get to school. Obviously, that’s hyperbole. But my brother and I shared a pair of boots. I carried him to school in the morning. He wore the boots and carried me home in the afternoon. He was bigger so we figured he would be stronger in the afternoon. “Oh, you had it easy!” my neighbor says. “You had a pair of boots! We had one boot between us, so we had to carry each other to school while hopping on one foot!”
It was actually easier to get to school in a snowstorm. Being Finlanders, we always had a pair of skis around and they were less size-dependent than boots.
We didn’t cancel school because of the cold, and wind chill was not an issue – it was the CRT of its time, an esoteric school of thought known only to meteorologists, not the public.
I remember days so cold that, when we talked on the way to school, the words froze in mid-air and we had to carry them into the building and thaw them out in order to have a conversation. If someone was particularly wordy, we’d sometimes have to toss some out when they became too heavy to carry. Conversation would be harder to follow due to the missing words.
If the roads were too icy, we’d skate to school. Skates were easier to afford than boots, as we had a Skate Exchange, where you could trade outgrown skates in for new ones.
So the next time you hear someone complain about they rough they have it, remember it is nothing like it was in 1948.