There is a grade school located just down the block from our apartment building, and it has a big front yard where the kids regularly play during recess. So yesterday, the day after Chicago’s first real snowfall this winter (about five or six inches), I got to take some “aerial” photos of children playing in the snow.
When I posted this pic on Facebook, one of my friends back in the D.C. area informed that the schools in her Maryland suburbs did not allow kids out to play in the snow. That surprised me a bit, but it occurred to me that I don’t have any strong memories of doing so myself when I was little, lo these many years ago.
We probably did, but New York City’s maritime climate doesn’t exactly make it a winter wonderland most years. As I recall it, when it snowed, it either was piddly little stuff that barely covered the ground, or ginormous nor’easters that dumped feet of snow and shut everything down for days.
Just as well, I guess. The place where I did most of my growing up had many wonderful kids, some of whom are still very close friends. But there was a tough crowd that included a few hard characters who were, not to put too fine a point on it, a little bit psycho. And a lot bigger than I was. And in a few cases, quite a bit older on account of the fact that they’d been left back in school a few times.
I suspect that some people think I’m riffing when I say some of my junior high school classmates were old enough to drive. I am not.
Now I spent a good part of my childhood being short, chubby, slow and clumsy, until I grew to my permanent height of 5’10″ and became just slow and clumsy. It was hellish enough being forced to play dodgeball against guys with a bad attitude, about a foot in height and 100 pounds on you.
So a snowball fight could be seen by the wrong people as an opportunity to seriously injure someone using a weapon that disintegrated without a trace on impact and left no fingerprints.
Enough about my character-building childhood. Here are some more winter scenes from Chicago, including the first signs of ice forming in Belmont Harbor. I’ll wrap it up with the Cooler on the Lake Shore Chicago vs. D.C. Weather Smackdown.
In the Smackdown… according to Weather Underground… on snowy Thursday, Chicago O’Hare reported a high of 34, a low of 19 and .05 of an inch of precipitation. Washington Reagan National had a high of 57, a low of 44, and .24 of an inch of rain. Yeah, snow is a lot prettier than rain, but 23 degrees warmer is what it is. Point for D.C.
On Friday, Chicago O’Hare reported a high of 22, a low of 16 and a trace of precip. Washington Reagan National had a high of 51, a low of 29 and .05 of an inch of precip. Same as above in principal. That flipped the overall lead back to D.C. by 82-81.