I don’t know anything about Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell, but I vote for his recent analysis of Americans. Contrary to the avalanche of citizens who sport the latest in extreme weather outdoor garb, as Rendell said, we are “a nation of wusses.”
Especially when it comes to snow.
In case you missed it, Rendell was referring to the NFL’s decision to postpone the Dec. 26 football game between the Philadelphia Eagles and Minnesota Vikings due to the imminent (but not-yet-present) East Coast blizzard. Since then, New England news crews have barely contained their terror in the midst and aftermath of the great winter storm. Satellite shots of the giant, swirling cloud masses flash before us until even those of us in unaffected states sit agape and await our apocalyptic doom.
I’m grateful for Rendell’s clarion analysis in the midst of the panic and perturbation. I don’t have much patience for folks who can’t handle the snow.
First of all, my dad’s from South Bend. Like all good natives of The Region, Dad taught us to respect the weather. As such, I entered the world naked like all babies, except for the ice scraper attached to my right hand. Each winter, Dad chained up the tires of our old, wood-sided station wagons. You couldn’t open any of our car doors without windshield brushes, gloves, blankets, safety flares and various other stuck-in-the-snow essentials spilling out. And one of his favorite adventures was walking with a group of neighbors five miles to the grocery store and back in the blizzard of ‘78. (If you don’t know what I’m referring to, you’re not from these parts, and you’re probably part of the crowd who voted to postpone last months ball game.)
Dad’s lake-effect courage rubbed off on his offspring. One January while in college, I spent three weeks dog-sledding and camping outdoors in a little town called Ely, Minn. That winter, the actual air temperature hovered near -50 degrees, with wind chills near -70. Though I admit a couple of nights I thought I might die, local guides taught us not only to survive, but to thrive and enjoy the extremes.
My husband still doesn’t believe I actually did any of that.
But I digress.
Not everyone is equipped or seasoned to handle snowy weather. That alone does not make them a wuss.
What makes all the blizzard bellyaching so annoying is the number of complainers wearing expedition-level fleece outerwear, driving excursion-worthy vehicles and pulling on furry, sheepskin boots every day. Evidently just because you wear something to help you push the limits of the great outdoors doesn’t mean you actually can push the limits.
It just means you look good when you go to the mall.
Or to the football stadium.
As long as you can get there with a little snow on the ground.
Amy Sorrells is a Zionsville resident and writer working on her first book. E-mail Amy at firstname.lastname@example.org.