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January 29, 2009

Schools close in ice or snow. So what else is new?

So how tired are we of hearing this from people who move here from snow country? "Schools are closed? Because of some ice?"

I know. I moved here from Massachusetts. I said it myself. But after living here for 29 years, it does get tiresome coming from new arrivals. Here's how the Associated Press covered the latest exclamations from a new arrival:

 Sun Photo/Doug Kapustin   President Barack Obama, steeled by many snowy Chicago winters, expressed disbelief Wednesday when his daughters woke up to find that their classes had been canceled for the day.
    Schools in Washington and the surrounding suburbs either opened late or scrapped all their classes because of icy conditions.
    “Can I make a comment that is unrelated to the economy very quickly?” the new president told reporters at a gathering with business leaders. “And it has to do with Washington. My children's school was canceled today. Because of, what? Some ice?”
    The president said he wasn't the only one who was incredulous.
    “As my children pointed out, in Chicago, school is never canceled,” Obama said to laughter. “In fact, my 7-year-old pointed out that you'd go outside for recess. You wouldn't even stay indoors. So, I don't know. We're going to have to try to apply some flinty Chicago toughness.”
    Asked if he meant the people of the national's capital are wimps, Obama said: “I'm saying, when it comes to the weather, folks in Washington don't seem to be able to handle things.”
    Obama's daughters attend the private Sidwell Friends School.
    Malia, 10, is a fifth-grader at the middle school campus in the District of Columbia, while younger sister Sasha is in second grade at the elementary school in Bethesda, Md., just outside Washington.

It's just the way it is, kids. We close because we can. Snow and ice don't happen much here. It's safer. And it's fun to get an unexpected holiday and spend it sledding, or sleeping, or just catching up. Go with it. Enjoy. 

Posted by Frank Roylance at 7:00 AM | | Comments (5)
Categories: Events


Yeah, until the kids end up going to school until the 20th of June. Then everyone gripes about having to go to school so late. There's no easy answer.

No more dignity.

My driveway is a sheet of ice. (Yes hubby and I did clear away the snow/ice last night) The ice on top of the snow is really thick now, so stepping on it does not necessarily mean that you will crunch through to the snow. It is more likely that your feet/foot will slide and you will do the cheerleader split. I have never done the cheerleader split even when younger so I don't want to do it at age 49. What is a person to do? Slide on your rump. So I slid on my rump to the car, turned it on to heat up and get the defroster started. I then had to make my way back to the house. How to do it? Crawl on all fours. Hands and knees. Believe it or not it works. Did the same thing once I was ready to back out of the driveway. Slid with totebag down to the car. Gently got out of the driveway, of course EVERYTHING is frozen solid so getting out of the driveway is an adventure in and of itself. If I slide out of the driveway and hit the guardrail will anyone notice? Lovely. I hate ice.

I lived in Chicago for several years, and I am not convinced that native Chicagoans are necessarily any more "flinty" or "tough" about wintry weather than anyone else. In fact, I heard plenty of moaning and complaining about the cold weather from people whom you'd think would be used to it, growing up in the Midwest as they did. Things don't close there because of snow, however, so that much is true. But that's just because the Windy City is much better equipped to deal with that type of harsh weather than a city like Baltimore is.

FR: And it makes no economic sense for a place like Baltimore to invest in the sort of equipment and manpower it takes to neutralize a big snowstorm that strike so rarely. So we chill at home when it snows. Good for us.

Let's see now; Barack has someone else (a professional driver) to take his kids to school in an armored limousine, with a police escort. No wonder he's not worried!

Lol! I agree with him. I'm all for some toughness regarding weather around here but I'm not so sure our Prez is as flinty as he says- heard he cranks the temps in the Oval Office!

FR: Well, he's a skinny guy. Not much fat to keep him insulated.

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About Frank Roylance
This site is the Maryland Weather archive. The current Maryland Weather blog can be found here.
Frank Roylance is a reporter for The Baltimore Sun. He came to Baltimore from New Bedford, Mass. in 1980 to join the old Evening Sun. He moved to the morning Sun when the papers merged in 1992, and has spent most of his time since covering science, including astronomy and the weather. One of The Baltimore Sun's first online Web logs, the Weather Blog debuted in October 2004. In June 2006 Frank also began writing comments on local weather and stargazing for The Baltimore Sun's print Weather Page. Frank also answers readers’ weather queries for the newspaper and the blog. Frank Roylance retired in October 2011. Maryland Weather is now being updated by members of The Baltimore Sun staff

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