One week ago the snow fell across much of the United States. Schools closed, businesses closed throughout the day and throughout the weekend, the government closed, airports closed and states of emergency were declared to restrict all but the most necessary of travel.
The snow kept falling for hours. Efforts to keep walkways cleared, were soon defeated. Efforts to keep roads cleared were defeated. Snowplows lost the battle and became stuck. Everyone was stuck.
Snow was the news story of the day. Stories of children sledding, families playing in the snow, how people coped with the snow, and the difficulties of getting around in the snow dominated the news. The sparkling blanket of snow covered the earth, politics and crime. People took to their yards, local hills, and even the roads to play.
Kids bundled till they could barely move were pulled on sleds, made snow angles and participated in snowball fights. Snow was sculpted and colored with sprays of food color. Sleds, cardboard, trays, cookie sheets, mattresses, and any other flat thing people could find were used to slide down hills. People took to the streets and were towed while sledding or snowboarding.
Yes, the snow was magical, inconvenient, and dangerous. People were stuck in airports for days as the result of 13,000 flights cancelled throughout the country. There were 55 storm related deaths. Car crashes is the number one reason people died in the snow. One sledder on an Ohio street was hit by a car running a red light. Some people died while trying to clear snow. A few died trying to keep warm, either from hypothermia or carbon monoxide poisoning.
It is a week since the snow started and things are back to normal. The government is open, the airlines are shuttling people to their destinations, children are back at school, adults are back at work, the country is open for business. Sore muscles are given a rest, but it is still only January. Winter isn’t over yet.