I’ve written it before – I hate winter. The first snow of the year can definitely be pretty, but the pretty usually doesn’t last that long. Soon after it becomes dirty, muddy and slushy. Or it can freeze to be dangerous, slippery ice. I’ll never forget when I was about 7 or 8 years old and the family was going to visit my aunt on her farm. My mother slipped on ice and fell. I thought she was dead, but thankfully her long, thick fur coat helped break the fall a little. She was OK, but it’s stamped in my mind.
My son slipped on ice and fell straight on his face when he was about 6. I can’t believe that the school didn’t call me sooner. It happened in the morning when he walked to school and I went to work. When I arrived to get him in the early afternoon he was sitting in the nurse’s office still teary eyed. It looked like he had been hit by a car! His front upper teeth were loose and I took him to two dentists. There was nothing they could do and he has some discoloration of his front teeth and I feel it’s from the fall. I think he also broke his nose but I didn’t know it at the time. That’s another picture I have stamped in my mind.
My friend was going home to his condo one morning and he hears a faint “Help!” He looks around and doesn’t see anything, but he hears the calls. It was a little old lady laying in the snow who had slipped on ice and fallen. I’m sure we all have those kinds of stories.
We have a Scottsdale AZ townhome. Our friends who live in AZ complain about the super hot summers and act like they would like our snow. But to me, the difference is that you can avoid the heat by staying in the a/c or going in a pool. You can shop at night when the sun is down. But in Chicago on a snowy day you’re faced with driving in snow and ice. Not too long ago I witnessed a head-on collision because one car going west ran into the car next to it going the same way that slid into oncoming traffic. The car that caused the accident did pull over and I even stayed to speak to the police to let them know what happened. I was shaking all the way home because it could have been me.
I was at school when we had the snowfall of 1967. We had to walk home from school as the buses couldn’t get through. It was weird seeing people going down the busy streets with sleds to the grocery store, that was running out of food. Those are my snow stories, below are some Chicago suburb snow facts.
1. The average snowfall in Chicago is about 35 inches annually.
2. Most heavy snowfalls occur at 15 degrees F. or warmer, although it’s never too cold for snow.
3. Snow is responsible for the deaths of hundreds of people each year because of traffic accidents, overexposure and too much exertion.
4. If you think only northern states have snowfall you’re wrong. Almost every place in the United States has had snow. Even southern Florida has seen snow flurries.
For detailed weather information be sure to check out my Chicago Weather page.