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?