February 5, 2011 – Snowy Pulpit

You know what? Since everyone else imaginable has been weighing in on the subject of how crazy, insane stooopid we are down in here Dallas because of our reaction (or lack of) to the ice-then-snow as well as our apparent ability to curse the climate due to one NFL owner – I am compelled to add my own tiny rant. (If you would like to skip ahead to the actual “rant” and bypass the biographical background tirade, click here.)

Who am I to do so?

I am a native Texan, long-time resident of the North Texas region who has experienced full winters of snow a few times in my life including The Great Blizzard of 1978 (Zionsville, IN) and North American Blizzard of 1996 (Elizabeth, NJ ). I am not trying to equivocate the last week of winter weather to those massive storms, merely providing context from my view of things. We’ve had a few snow storms, ice events over the couple decades that I have lived in North Texas and, honestly, it just depends on my place in life, my own perspective as to how I react and deal with them.

As a kid moving from South Texas to Zionsville, IN literally in the middle of The Great Blizzard, I was fascinated and totally mesmerized by the six to ten foot snow drifts everywhere. I had no idea (nor should I have at that age) the economic or personal impact such a blizzard can have and thought it was funny that our moving van got stuck in it.

In college, we had a few snow storms that canceled classes for a day or two but that was only an added bonus to actually have a valid excuse for skipping class and partying at 10 o’clock in the morning until sundown.

In 1995, while living in Elizabeth, NJ and working in Manhattan, I was determined not to let the snow event that preceded the NA Blizzard of 1996 prevent my fiance and I from getting home to Texas for our wedding. Late December ’95 had all NY airports shut down because of snow, so we hopped on a train, made it to DC and flew out on the last flight that would get us to the altar on time.

Once we moved home for good, I remember a few snow/ice days where the kids missed a day of school here and there, or I wouldn’t be able to back out of the driveway and have to work from home occasionally. It was usually all gone within about 48 hours and the fluctuating Texas weather would have us back up to 60 degrees in no time.

That has not been the case with this particular storm. This storm leans more on the side of one of those anomalies in our standard weather – five, possibly now six days of ice, then snow, then melting, then more snow? Four missed days of school? Businesses having to shut down because workers cannot make it much less customers? All of that with the SuperBowl in town tomorrow?!

Come’on, People – lighten up on the DFW-bashing would ya?!

For those crazy Texas kids (and in some case, parents) who are so excited to have all of this time off to build ginormous snowmen, go tubing on the ice behind a speeding truck (very dumb, do not attempt), or play hockey in the frozen cul-de-sac – Enjoy! And don’t let all the haters bring you down because they have to go to work or clear those streets.

For those of us who did not get time off to play winter wonderland and feel like griping and moaning about all of those who did – Bitch Away! It is difficult showing up when no one else can, or knowing the kids are home having fun without you and having to make a treacherous drive without the necessary driving tactics to handle a two-ton vehicle sliding on a sheet of ice because they don’t teach that in Texas drivers ed because it hardly ever snows here!

For Northern area transplants, outside media and/or general complainants about how the DFW area was not equipped to handle this kind of weather. You know what? You are right – we don’t have a fleet of 300 snow plows or sanders paid for by area taxpayers gathering dust in an open field somewhere just waiting for a chance to be used once every 20 years. We don’t stockpile sand mixed with calcium and magnesium acetates in giant silos on the off-chance we’ll be inundated with ice for a week straight when temperatures only drop below freezing a few weeks out of the entire year. And if we did, can you imagine the amount of crappy press and indignation we’d receive for the wasted resources when we have overflowing homeless shelters, an education system on life support and millions of kids without health-care?

For those folks who think it’s “end of days” – let them. When the days continue, they’ll calm down.

For those who are tired of the ice and snow after only five days and have been whining about it the whole time – so what? Who are they hurting, really? All you have to do is not read their Facebook status and move on.

For those who blame Jerry Jones – Get Over It. He might be the most powerful owner in the NFL who is either revered or despised without middle ground but Mother Nature is not going to punish millions of people because Mr. Jones pissed her off when he fired Tom Landry. (Full disclosure: I am a silver and blue-blooded Cowboys’ fan who indeed did not like the way Mr. Landry was let go, wishes Jimmy Johnson was still here and believes we will only return to greatness once Mr. Jones fires the current GM. However, to blame him for the massive ice and snow event happening during the first time DFW gets to host a SuperBowl is like blaming the rise and fall of 80s pop music on Milli Vanilli – sure they sucked, but there were many, many other contributing factors that drove us to the dark grunge days of the 90s.)

All-in-all, my very verbose point to all of us in this multi-sided and very messy polygon is this – Chillax, World.

It be what it be.

Let it go, stop the hate and enjoy the last football game of the season.

Wait a minute –

Maybe all of this ice during the most important game played all year is the Universe’s funny metaphor for what’s going to happen if the CBA doesn’t get done soon?

Now that is something to think about…

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