Superior’s snowy spring

Almost no one has been exempt from hear­ing about, or shov­el­ing before, dur­ing and after each of the recent snow storms. Mounds of snow closed roads, busi­nesses and schools, con­tributed to car acci­dents and can­celed events. Admit­tedly, most months of April don’t seem to involve quite so much snow as this past one did, but we would usu­ally just be com­plain­ing about rain and mud and slush instead.

Many peo­ple carp about the weather, but it seems like each year, we for­get the pre­vi­ous year’s big storms or the prob­lems caused by not hav­ing enough snow­fall. Some in the older gen­er­a­tion talk about the storms of the old days – receiv­ing feet of snow in a sin­gle night, stop­ping a city in its tracks. Those of the younger gen­er­a­tion of Wis­con­sin can often just barely remem­ber the Hal­loween Bliz­zard of 1991.

Peo­ple have begun to won­der: why all this snow? And why snow after the spring weather is sup­posed to be here? But how about a big­ger ques­tion: Why do we grum­ble about some­thing we have no con­trol over? Face­book is plas­tered with poor atti­tudes about the weather; there are numer­ous silly pho­tos and car­toons cap­tioned with humor only north­ern folks would under­stand. (For exam­ple, did you see the one where the fish­er­men were using a hair dryer to melt a spot in the lake so they could put their boat in? Or the one where part of the cast of Star Wars heads out in a bliz­zard to get some gro­ceries?) Then there are the end­less sto­ries about get­ting stuck in snow drifts. All this com­plain­ing points to the real ques­tion we should be ask­ing our­selves: Why do I live here if I only have com­plaints about the weather? What right do I have to whine about get­ting stuck in a snow bank when I am the one who drove my vehi­cle into it? And the final ques­tion: Why do I com­plain about the weather so much?

Spring is about new begin­nings, new life, about new hope. Maybe this is the win­try spring in which we can actu­ally make some per­sonal changes and take advan­tage of some extra time for renewal. Per­haps we can view this time as a chance to get some of those indoor win­ter projects done that we’ve been putting off? Maybe next time when we get stuck in a snow drift at the end of April, we can learn to laugh and walk home. Some of us long to be immune to all this neg­a­tiv­ity and make snow angels, snow forts and mud pies in peace while we wait to see our gar­dens and grass emerge from the snow come June, or, hope­fully at the lat­est, July.

So although peo­ple like to blame this or that for our few feet of snow in the last month, let us get beyond that issue and find things about this spring that we can enjoy and be glad about. We have many things to be thank­ful for, so why do we spend our lives whin­ing about snow, in April, in Wis­con­sin? Don’t we live in the North after all? Aren’t we (or can’t we be) proud of our­selves for being a bunch of tough Northerners?

Dara Fil­more — The Stinger
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