Wusses and Weenies

Our daughter lives in Tacoma, WA. The last two days she has texted and phoned me several times about the school and business closings because of snow. “Mom! It snowed half an inch and they closed my agency and local schools. This is ridiculous!”

I patiently tell her that West Coast has very little snow removal equipment, no one has snow tires, and few people there know how to drive in slippery conditions. It was the same way when we lived in southern Indiana, and everything stopped when it snowed. Daughter is a tough North Dakota girl and these arguments do little to change her attitude that she is living with a bunch of weenies.

A friend of ours is a retired college librarian, and she tells of a time when she taught Middle School English at a rural South Central North Dakota school when they had “mud days” when the rural roads were too muddy to run school buses and they called everything off. It was perfectly understandable to her. She grew up in Bison, SD. She also lived for a while in Nashville, TN, where everyone just drove as fast as they could when there was cold, icy weather so as to get home more quickly . She said that didn’t work so well, and she marveled at their foolishness. I am just glad I don’t have to go anywhere for the next month except to Bismarck to pick up my tough girl at the airport for Christmas.

Are you a weather wuss? What is the worst weather you ever experienced? Who are the biggest wusses you know?

31 thoughts on “Wusses and Weenies”

  1. I am turning into a weather wuss. If you want me to be outside, I can handle cold if there is no wind, rain if it’s light, and snow if it’s light. Tuesday we got just a couple of inches of snow, which was great cuz the little guy (visiting) got to go sledding on Wednesday. But there was a bitterly cold wind both days and I hardly stepped out of the house.


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  2. I used to go out no matter what the weather was doing. I lived in Montgomery and worked in Faribault during the mid- to late- 1980s and I drove my old Honda Civic in all of it. Sometimes I was forced to work a double which was actually good because it prevented me from driving on a rural highway at midnight in a snowstorm. I even tried really hard to get to work in Faribault from Northfield during the Halloween blizzard of 1991. The only thing that stopped me was the sheriff deputy at a road block on Highway 3. No one could get out of Northfield (or any other town) because they closed all the roads. Otherwise I would have tried. I was younger then and I could do that, or at least I believed I could. The older I get, the happier I am at home with my books, my fireplace, and Pippin.

    Liked by 5 people

  3. When I was in Grade 6, we had a terrible winter and they couldn’t keep the rural roads open, so the country kids had lots of days when they were bused home early or not picked up at all. Finally the State determined that if the country kids couldn’t be in school, school was cancelled. Boy, was that a great ruling from a kid’s perspective! My mom made waffles on snow days, a great memory.

    Out here there is a lot of derision from older folks whenever the Governor closes schools statewide due to weather issues. The attitude seems to be that no matter how cold or awful the weather, school must go on.

    Liked by 4 people

  4. Perhaps the perverse pride we northerners take in being tough and impervious to snow events and the cold are just a kind of hubris. Our most recent snowfall resulted in several hundred vehicle crashes. That suggests we are not as capable as we pretend and what is the cumulative cost of those crashes? What if we were to stop pretending that we can just go on as normal and paused for a day to let the snow removal people clear the roads? Most of us are not so important that we couldn’t ease up when circumstances suggest it.

    We are in a transition period in our walking-for-exercise routine, where we move to indoor venues. It’s not the cold—you can dress for the cold—it’s the perilous footing. So many friends have taken serious falls in the winter that we weigh that potential against the benefits. To call that wussiness would be unfounded bravado.

    Liked by 4 people

  5. I’m not a weather wuss in general. Bring it on, I say. I love that Mother Nature regularly reminds us who’s really in charge of the planet.

    That said, I’m no idiot either. It’s very easy to die in a Minnesota winter either from exposure or a deadly car crash. We have the luxury of not having to drive somewhere on a schedule, so if the weather is inclement, we stay home. But I LOVE getting snowed in and hunkering down for a day or two.

    I’ve also been caught in a few doozies of a storm in the summertime in the Boundary Waters and once in north central Montana on a canoe trip down the Missouri River. Not fun. At least now I have the luxury of pulling a permit at the last minute for a BWCA trip after I check the long-range forecast. I always feel sorry for those who have to plan far in advance because they only get two weeks or so of vacation and take their trips during the worst weather of the summer. Poor schmucks. 😉

    Chris in Owatonna

    *BSP* A new bookselling event for me tomorrow in Faribault. The Holiday Spirits Bazaar at 10000 Drops Distillery, 28 4th St. NE, Faribault. The show goes from 11-4. About 25 various vendors of mostly arts and crafts plus me and (I think) another MN author.

    There’s also a local brewery/winery–Corks & Pints–occupying the other half of the building. At the very least, come on in and sample some local hootch. 🙂 I’ll probably sample a glass of wine at the end of the show. 🙂 *End BSP*

    Liked by 4 people

  6. Thanks to my late-developing asthma and the weird inflammation I get in my ears–both triggered by cold air–I have become a weather wuss. I slipped few years ago and hurt my knee, so I’m not a fan of ice either. The worst weather I ever experienced was, no surprise, the Halloween Blizzard, when I was trapped for 4 hours on 494 trying to get home from afternoon class at St. Kate’s. I would have gotten on the shoulder, taken the next exit, and turned around to spend the night on campus (in one of the lounges if there wasn’t space in the dorms), but the shoulder was so deep with snow the car wouldn’t have made it through. Fun times…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Of course, now that I’ve quit driving, taking public transportation in the winter has its own set of challenges. Our policy is to dress as though the bus you want to catch won’t come and you have to wait for the next–30 minutes on weekdays and 1 hour on weekends, which is more than enough time to develop frostbite. My roommate had to go out for cat food on that last heavy snow day, and 2 buses in a row failed to show up. She really needed those extra layers!

      Liked by 2 people

  7. Rise and Shine, Baboons,

    I drove through a tornado at the junction of Hiway 62 and 35 in June, 1983. I was driving my unreliable VW bug and had my son with me. Listening to WCCO I heard the weather guy say, “there is a rotating cloud, quickly becoming a tornado at the intersection of 62 and 35in the Bloomington/Richfield area. I looked up and there it was. Shortly after that the heavens opened raining water and hail upon the car. We got to our destination and got inside quickly. I think that tornado hit St. Anthony really hard a few minutes later.

    That was way too scary for me, especially with a toddler in my car. Uff Da. What was I thinking?

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    1. I remember going in the ditch with my parents off of Hiway 75 at the end of a farmer’s driveway. I walked up the driveway and knocked on the farmhouse door. The guy came out to the scene with his tractor and pulled our car out. WAAAAAY before cell phones and just calling for help.

      Liked by 5 people

        1. I’ve pulled a few people out of the snow. But we’re so far off the road, if they found me, they weren’t usually supposed to be in the snow there anyway and they were just joyriding.
          Front wheel drive cars have been a real blessing. I don’t have to “sit heavy” in the back seat for traction anymore. 🙂
          Or add bags of feed to the trunk for weight. Although the molasses calf feed always smelled real sweet for the first week.

          Liked by 3 people

  8. Morning-
    Like the rest of you, I’m less adventuresome with the weather than I used to be.
    Back in my dairy farming days, I was out there every day no matter what; there wasn’t a choice. The cows almost always got out for at least an hour as they had to go out for some of their food. And it was easier to clean the barn without them in there. Maybe once or twice if there was a real blizzard or cold rain I would not let them out. But milk production would suffer too then.

    Every day I ran the barn cleaner, the thing that pulled the manure out of the gutters, and dumped it in the spreader outside, and then I took the manure to the fields and spread it. Every day. The gutters weren’t deep enough to hold two days worth in the winter.
    If it was bitter cold, I might not wait long between cleaning the gutters and emptying the spreader; I didn’t want it to freeze to the sides. But moderate winter temperatures, I’d let the cows out, clean the barn, do all my other chores, haul out manure, then put the cows back in. That gave them time to eat as much as they wanted.
    But if the weather was bad, the girls were ready to get back inside too. ASAP. They’re not dumb.

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  9. I loved the barn in winter, the more wintery outside the better. Our cattle would often stall at the door until we pushed them out. It was the wind they hated. They often turned around and came back in, except for good old Elsie the contrarian who stayed out for awhile and one of her sons who stayed out a long time.
    Growing up on the North Shore no weather wuss was I. Truth is North Shore did not get many bad storms but when it did the highway closed by drifts, once right in front of us for 5 days or so. They had to bring in special equipment. But we could get extended very cold temps.
    Once drove from Lincoln Nebraska to Minnesota border on freeways in deep snow when it seemed safer to follow the big rigs than to try to pull off. Snow stopped by Minnesota. Same from Delles to Eau Claire.
    Used to log in very cold temps or heavy snow. But not strong winds. Winds could make it dangerous. We used the horse so we did not get stuck. But we pulled only very light loads on heavy snow days. Cold days were good for heavy loads.
    Really cold days meant I had to carry much more wood up to the house.
    As Boots got older he got reluctant to go logging in the heavy snow.

    Liked by 4 people

  10. I don’t think of myself of a weather wuss, though I’m limp as a wet dishrag – but not nearly as useful – when temperatures go much over 90º F. Nevertheless, I can recall as a child being so cold that I cried from pain, don’t think I’ve ever done that from heat.

    We drove home, once, from a week-end of cross-country skiing up north, in blinding blizzards. Anyone in their right mind would have stayed put. Youthful bravado and sense of invulnerability – possibly having to report to work on Monday morning was a factor, as well – but we all piled in the cars and ventured out. A trip that would have normally taken three hours became a ten-hour ordeal. Miraculously, we made it home safely. In our defense I’ll say this, we were not alone. The freeway the whole way home was bumper to bumper traffic inching it’s way toward the Twin Cities. Perhaps that’s what saved us, the tail-lights of the car in front of us was the only indication we had that we were still on the road.

    Nowadays, I stay put at the slightest provocation. Too scared of falling.

    Liked by 3 people

  11. Working at a hospital meant driving in all kinds of lousy weather. I lucked out with the Halloween blizzard – it was my weekend off and I just stayed inside marveling at how you couldn’t tell the streets from the yards – it was all one big blanket of snow. There was a big snowstorm in January of 1981 (I think) where I was at work and ended up working a double shift (night to day), sleeping for a few hours in a hospital bed, and working another 8 hours. Oncoming staff couldn’t make it in and we couldn’t leave until relieved. It was also the weekend of my best friend’s wedding in Duluth. Obviously I didn’t make it – and hardly anyone else did either. Roads were treacherous and neither trains nor buses were running.

    Like many others, the older I get, the more of a weather wuss I become. I love walking in the winter but not if the roads are icy, I’ve already had one fractured hip and don’t ever want to go through that again. And it is so nice to not have to drive in bad weather – one of the nicest perks of retirement!

    Liked by 3 people

      1. During that stormy weekend, a few nurses cross country skied into work and I’m sure some of the nurses came to work on snowmobiles. I don’t remember how I got home after my marathon shifts – probably very slowly.

        Liked by 3 people

  12. OT – I have just learned that Bob Douglas has passed away. Anyone familiar with the early Prairie Home Companion Shows and/or frequented the West Bank coffeehouses will be familiar with him, his mandolin, and spoons . He was such a sweet man and a fine musician. May he rest easy.

    Liked by 1 person

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