Friday, February 25, 2011

The Chicago Blizzard of 2011--Groundhog Day Edition

Snow Day! I don't now who's more excited about no school today, me or my kids...

Okay, I thought YESTERDAY was Groundhog Day. Yes, today is another snow day, and frankly, I'm still happy about it. I don't have to go to work this week because my Wednesday trip cancelled (Woot!) and I loved that we all slept in and don't have much to do because there's not much we can do, except maybe ruminate on the Great Blizzard of 2011.
T and Wrig.jpg
Tanya is close, but IMHO using bushes to reach the garage roof is cheating.

The third biggest blizzard? Big whoop. I still can't stand on the snow and lean on my garage roof, so, yawn. (Can I be the first to say I told you so?"We'll See")

Favorite Blizzard Prep: The guy leaving Costco Tuesday morning pushing a cart with nothing in it except two large jugs of whiskey.

My husband, daughter and son Kyle decided to go for "a walk" on Tuesday night during the storm. You know, for the memories. My other son Ethan and I (the smart ones) felt we already had plenty of memories and didn't need to add any like this one. The three of them were gone a long time and I started to worry--but later found out they'd helped push two cars out of the alley. I just hope the folks they pushed out didn't go on to take Lake Shore Drive.

When I let my dog out yesterday morning, she wouldn't just "go" in the back yard. In a most selfless act of sacrifice, she leapt headlong into a four foot snow drift and promptly disappeared. Forcing me to leap headlong---Okay. No I didn't. But I did get close enough to said snowdrift to find her head poking up on the other side as she did her duty in the dog run. Good dog.

Good Karma. We were able to lend a couple of gallons of gas to the guy two doors down who always takes his snowblower up and down the whole street and does everybody's sidewalk.

In our alley, everyone had dug out in front of their garage, but with two feet of snow down the center of the alley...
garage.jpg

As Kyle put it when he watched people digging out their cars on our impassable side street, "What's your destination?"  In an unprecedented act of community, everyone pitched in with shovels and snowblowers and cleared the alley all the way to the street.  There were about twenty people out there at one point. (An aside to the City of Chicago: My next door neighbor saw a truck with a plow on the front and offered to pay him to clear the alley. He said he'd love to, but Chicago considers the alley City Property and he'd just received a court date and a $250 fine for plowing someone else's alley. I'm a card-carrying union member, too, and I'm guessing this has something to do with the Streets and San union, but doesn't this strike you as a little ridiculous?)

I think my favorite memory will be the sense of community Blizzard 2011 created. I talked to neighbors I'd never met before. My daughter played outside with a large group all day, the parents taking turns chaperoning, either at the parking lot on the corner (good sledding!) in backyards or in houses. At one point I had four young girls in my kitchen eating and drinking hot chocolate. And eating. And eating.

The day reminded me of all the times we now romanticize about when I was growing up. When you went out to play and there were tons of kids around and parents didn't worry because they knew someone was looking out.
jeep.jpg
"What's your destination?"
So, thanks fellow City Moms and City Dads and Neighbors and Friends. For looking out for each other.


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