Having spent a year in Chicago and early winter in North Dakota, I had come to believe my friends in the great north had been telling me some big fish tales about snow. After all, in my brief time in the northland, other than the thundersnow blizzard in 2011, I had only seen a 3-inch accumulation up here. Well, after Friday’s downpour and the accompanying snowfall Tuesday, I can say with certainty ... I have now seen some real snow.
In fact, I can tell my dear readers that Tuesday’s snowfall produced the most snow that I have seen on the ground in my life. I’ll pause a moment and let you say that I ain’t seen nothing. That may be true. But in the era of changing weather, this is some serious flake action for the new guy in town.
I think what shocks me the most is how resilient people are in this stuff in Bureau County. I mean, you guys still go to work, and the schools didn’t even close until 1 p.m. in the afternoon Tuesday.
I’ll put this in perspective from the viewpoint of a southern fella’.
In the south, if this much snow fell on the ground, the only significant economic activity that would have occurred is the mass purchasing of bread and milk. Honestly, by about 11 a.m. Tuesday morning, there would not have been a loaf of off-brand bread or a carton of half-and-half left at any store within a reasonable distance. There would have been massive traffic jams due to accidents along Interstate 65, Interstate 24 ... I hail from Tennessee. Nashville, a place that can be called a city within reason, would have closed its doors.
Not here. Bureau County folks went on into work. There were still restaurants open. And at 7 p.m., Sullivan’s still had a shelf full of bread, and refrigerators were stocked with milk. You guys know about real winter weather up here. You handle it with expertise.
I was even confident enough to carry on with my regular day, though, I did have to investigate the grocery stores and streets just to see if all was still good. If Princeton were located somewhere in Tennessee, there would have been four wrecks at Peru and Main streets by 9 a.m. Instead, I mostly saw people driving cautiously or having a good time on a four-wheeler.
The most impressive thing is all those folks that come out to plow the snow in their trucks. Because of their efforts, my family even took a sight-seeing trip late Tuesday afternoon. All I can say is … pretty cool.
Derek Johnson of Dover can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.