Sweet Home Chicago Pummeled

Play this from iconic weatherman (and one of my personal idols), Tom Skilling while you gasp at these photos of Chicago, my home town.

This is insane even by Montana standards!

I remember the blizzard of 1979– we jumped off our second story roof into the snow!

Tom’s greenboard at WGN studios and me fulfilling a fantasy, pointing to Montana.

3 Comments

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3 Responses to Sweet Home Chicago Pummeled

  1. Fiona

    well, he told you you were pointing to Montana…it could have been Northern Ireland.

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  3. Katie Andraski

    Oh Laura, This was one very scary storm. Even as it approached I was nervous and edgy like the horses get when the weather changes, worried about how we’d tend our neighbor’s horses after the storm really hit.
    I was at school when it started, stalling in a warm office and computer before going outside. I’ve been more frightened driving Glidden Road than Tuesday. The blowing snow ran along the ground like a mild fog. I took my time, about forty-five. But a few minutes after I arrived home, at 3:00 p.m., like they predicted, the winds and snow hit. I mean they billowed like a hurricane’s rains. Oh my. It was like the worse part of a thunderstorm, only it went on for hours and hours, with snow instead of rain. We had lightning and thunder out here too. But our hundred year old house stood rock solid. I was grateful for Com Ed’s cutting back all those trees because our power stayed on. We had to walk out in it –to tend those neighbor’s horses a half mile down the road and to keep checking our horses and throwing them hay and walking four dogs one by one.

    The next day we hiked over drifts deeper than my thighs to get to our neighbor’s horses. As you know, they are a vulnerable creatures and need water and hay. They are our neighbor’s hearts. We did not know when the plow would come by. I was about shot when I got home.

    But when I was cleaning my barn that had its own snow drifts inside because it’s one of those barns with chinks of light between the siding, I heard my husband’s Kubota drowned out by a bigger machine and saw our neighbor’s pay loader cleaning our yard. It was a neighborly kindness that touched me. He’d gone up our road and up the hill past another neighbors, who has heart problems, to clear us all out. When I thanked him he said sometimes you got to do that. It’s not good to feel trapped. He said that he couldn’t get to the home farm with his pick up and plow, that morning, so he had to get the pay loader. Then had several hundred cattle to feed. It’s why we decided to walk instead of calling him.

    This living in the country is teaching me about what it means to love your neighbor. I don’t get it right (yes I complained about how the neighbors didn’t set us up very well to tend their horses in a major storm, how she walks out of church her back to my greeting her) but at least I’m getting it. That loving your neighbor means doing the work of it. Even Jesus said the son who complained and did the work was better than the son who didn’t complain and shirked it. And that kindness to one neighbor might bring kindness back from another.

    Northern Illinois University was blessedly closed today as well, something unheard of, but what a welcome relief, to have a long weekend to gather myself again for the work of teaching.

    Thanks for hearing our stories.

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