Snow is often the backdrop for terror or for light-hearted comedy in the movies. But, in real life, it can be a constant grueling battle with the elements.
Digging out and piling it on. Among five Central New York cities, my former home of Syracuse is now the setting for the dubious honor of winning the Golden Snowball Award.
My former neighbors are having a tough winter. Their claim to fame, as of Feb. 18th, is 100 inches of snow.
I recall a record year when we had nearly twice that at 192.1 inches in 1992-93. That’s when I had a round-trip commute to work of 110 miles a day. It’s the year when Syracuse was the “Snow King in the Blizzard of 1993.” It beat out 1966’s record snowfall for one storm with 42.9 inches – just six-tenths of an inch more than 1966.
All the city did for that distinction was just sit quietly and get dumped on over one weekend in March. When all was unsaid and done, we were buried under 3-feet of snow – on top of what we already had.
The Syracuse Post-Standard boasted in its 1993 editorial page: “You have to pity the denizens of boring Southern California, or arid Arizona, or dusty Nevada, where the forecast is always the same: sunny, dry and mild. They’ll never experience the thrill of being caught in the grip of a rock-‘em, sock-‘em, knock and block’em snow storm like we had – unless they come here, to Central New York.”
I mean – you can’t buy an attitude like that.
Here are the bragging rights that no one talks about:
1) the longest number of uninterrupted days of no sunshine
2) the bitterest battle for the last bottle of antifreeze
3) the tallest snow mound – piled high in our driveway.
This does get deeper. Hang on.
4) The world’s longest and loudest recorded wail held by my husband, Dave, when he realized that he’d have to remove the white stuff.
5) Dave also tied the record for holding his breath and turning blue during the same dramatic meltdown scene.
Fortunately, Dave got a last-minute reprieve when a couple of independent snowplow boys cruised into our neighborhood. They plowed us out after they coaxed $20 out of Dave’s wallet.
Then, six of our neighbors ran up crying and waving money at them. Before the snowplow boys left our block, they were very rich and planning to flee to Florida.
Other areas measure their success by their year-round attractions. We measured ours with something that doesn’t stick around – thank heavens!
Here’s wishing my former neighbors have an early spring and that Mother Nature takes it easy on them for the rest of this winter.
So, what are we in Florida bragging about? The Sunshine State leads the world in shark attacks in 2013. Fortunately, no one was fatally injured.
Florida’s lightning strikes, however, are a greater hazard. It is the lightning capital of the U.S. Four people died in Florida in 2013 as a result of lightning strikes.
What are the strange bragging rights where you live?
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A movie to avoid if you’re snowed in – “The Shining” (1980) with Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall and Danny Lloyd. Directed by Stanley Kubrick, the movie is based on Stephen King’s horror novel. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Cb3ik6zP2I
A movie to cheer you no matter how much snow piles up – “Planes, Trains and Automobiles” (1987) with Steve Martin and John Candy. Directed by John Hughes. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZKtFIgmoqoI
Best Snow Movies List – http://www.buzzsugar.com/Best-Snow-Movies-13219938
Main Photo – Snow – Syracuse – provided by Danielle and Keith Wallace
Photo – Snow piled in a Syracuse driveway – Mark Bialczak – http://markbialczak.com/2014/02/09/more-signs-of-syracuses-significant-snow/
Photo – Snowman hitchhiking to Florida – a reader (see comments below) says that a family friend, John Santiago, made the snowman in Andover, N.H. on Beach Hill Road. (It was provided by Diane H. McDowell Gray.)
Photo: Snow – cardinals in tree – provided by Roland Allen
“Blizzard of ’93: Why Was it the Storm of the Century? Accuweather http://www.accuweather.com/en/weather-news/blizzard-of-93-the-storm-of-th/62671