Every cloud has a silver lining and every winter has at least one positive aspect if you choose to look at the glass half full rather than half empty.
This year, southeast Nebraska has received an estimated 30-something inches of snowfall. Snowblowers have been hauled out of storage, young people are making money shoveling for older citizens or those who don’t have the time to do it themselves, and most importantly, we all have had a save conversational topic to discuss with friends, family and strangers.
Something those Southern California residents don’t have.
Wherever you go in Nebraska, someone is usually talking about the weather – recent activity and historical experiences.
“Just two days ago, it was 40 degrees. Last night, it dropped to 15 below.”
The late Mort Porter of Nebraska City once told me about an early winter that happened, I think in 1944 or 45. It was a warm day for late fall when it started raining. Temperatures dropped suddenly and froze inside all the apple trees in the area that had soaked up the rain. Apparently, all but three orchards died due to that situation.
When I was a toddler of three-feet or so I’d go to the back yard and see snowdrifts taller than I was
And yet in 1965 that my friend Renee and I wore shorts to Woolworth’s on Jan. 7. We purchased two figurines and wrote the date on the bottom.
I remember 2009 when I bought my house in Plattsmouth. I was waiting for a large tax rebate under the Obama administration when the first of three snowstorms dumped a mixture of ice and snow on the area.
The mail deliverers couldn’t get to the mail boxes because there was ice mounds four-feet high around them. I wasn’t strong enough to chip and shovel the ice mounds, so I went without mail one day until other solutions were found.
Of course, who can forget January 1975 when the old Highway 2 from Nebraska City to Lincoln had snow drifts so high and wide, there were frequently places where only one-lane of traffic was open and you had to cross your fingers you wouldn’t meet another vehicle head on?
I remember because my parents drove me back to college and it was one of the first times weather conditions scared me.
Nebraskans are safe with, “Did you hear we’re getting 22 inches of snow on Saturday?”
That was predicted a few weeks ago, so I enjoyed stretching the forecast a bit. “I hear we’re getting 50 inches, or I hear we’re getting 100 inches.”
People looked at me and l laughed knowing I was kidding. We got about three inches that weekend.
In sunny locations, how far can you go with such conversations. “Boy, don’t you love the 80-degree weather we’re having today.”
“Boy, today is a nice day, too.”
“Last week was also nice and the forecast is for nice weather the next two weeks. Want to go surfing?”
I won’t say “never” but I’d bet 50 cents that conversation probably won’t happen often in Nebraska.
Where we presently sit, we experience tornadoes, flooding, excessive rainfall and excessive drought. Sometimes that happens within a month or less.
I’d bet another 50 cents that this conversation will occur Southeast Nebraska at any given moment:
“If you don’t like the weather in Nebraska, just wait 15 minutes and it will change.”