December 22, 2022
There is a wicked cold front arriving in our area this morning and we needed to prepare the outside succulent beds for the cold. Forecasters have been warning all week to be prepared for bitter cold and the possibility of snow. While it has been cold this week, the beds had not yet needed to be covered. Melissa reminded me Tuesday night to be sure and cover the beds on Wednesday. I forgot and instead took Zena on her first visit to a local dog park. When I got home, I worked on other projects until Melissa reminded me that we needed to cover the plants. I searched through the house and garage but could not find the mesh cloth we have used to cover the beds for the last two years. I gave up and promised I would get up early this morning and get something over the beds. Melissa woke me this morning saying she had covered the beds with blankets, but it was about to start to rain. She suggested I use the drop cloths in the garage rather than cut more of our vinal sheathing. As I crawled out of bed, I reminded myself this could have been done when it was warmer.
When I looked online, I found the definition of reminded is to make someone think about something again. I also found an article from today’s Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that reminded readers of the incessant snow that piled up in January 1979. The month began with 13.9 inches (35.3 cm) of heavy snow at Mitchell International Airport on New Year’s Eve, and another inch (2.5 cm) by the morning of New Year’s Day. Drifts as high as 14 feet (4.25 m) piled up and temperatures dropped and stayed below 0F (-17.7C) for several days, with lows down to -15F (-26C). On Jan. 13-14 a second winter storm dropped 14.6 inches (4.4 m), and again, the bitter cold returned. By 8 am on January 5, the temperature had dropped to -15F (-26C), and The Milwaukee Journal reported a wind chill of -53F (-47C) that afternoon as another 4.9 inches (12.5 cm) of heavy snow fell. From the night of January 23 through the following evening, another 9.5 inches (24 cm) of snow fell, for a monthly accumulation of snow at a record 33.7 inches (85.6 cm).
At the top of the front page of the January 25, 1979, Sentinel, Milwaukee Mayor William Janz issued a joking/not-joking proclamation: ” … Be it resolved, that the County of Milwaukee, the City of Milwaukee, all of its suburbs, and any other communities in southeastern Wisconsin that want to affix signatures hereon, do, with snow shovels in hand, officially and unconditionally SURRENDER to the winter of ’79 … ” With snow forecast for Christmas, the article in today’s Sentinel seems to suggest its readers need to be reminded of the negative affects of large amounts of snow.
THOUGHTS: Melissa and I watched White Christmas last night. This movie features Bing Crosby singing the namesake song as he wistfully dreams of snow at Christmas, and I am reminded of past Christmases when I felt the same. Now the temperatures have dropped and the light mist that had begun as I covered the succulent beds has turned to snow. While the sun glinting off snow covered branches and pristine fields is beautiful, like Milwaukee I am reminded there are other effects as well. Snow and cold are especially hard on those without proper shelter or adequate heat. Act for all. Change is coming and it starts with you.