I have to chuckle about winter this year. Our spring-like January yielded to Old Man Winter last week appearing just as my son was setting off for a cross-country road trip to Seattle, Washington. Driving across South Dakota, Montana, Idaho and Washington set off a series of conversations regarding snow tires, studded tires, tire chains and tire cables. Needless to say, my son and his friends drove off with none of the above causing this mother great angst.
The weather and road conditions were good and the boys/men made great time until they reached the great state of Washington. As things would go, they arrived in Seattle the day of the Big Storm! The hilly streets present challenges for cars and buses in snowstorms. My anxiety levels decreased once I knew they had arrived safely without sliding down any hills.
Today in Chicagoland we are under a Winter Snow Warning with a forecast of four to eight inches of snow. It is snowing as I type. The light fluffy snow is turning my neighborhood into a beautiful winter wonderland.
All of this reminds me of a story my maternal grandmother told me of her childhood. My grandmother was born in 1907 in a rural community outside of Chicago. She grew up on a truck farm and remembered the winters of her childhood. The family’s mode of transportation was horse and wagon. Their horses were very valuable and were treated with the utmost care. So, when the weather turned cold and snowy, the horses would remain in the warm barn and the family would brave the elements on foot.
Transportation has made great strides in the past one hundred years. We have gone from horse and wagon to specialized tires on cars. Drive carefully, please!