Snow in Central Ohio- Complaints Endure

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If you grow up in Ohio or live in the state for any length of time, you develop a healthy admiration and respect for snow.

Ohio is place that receives, and has always received, a healthy share of the white stuff that Mother Nature bestows in the winter months. On the one hand the snow of winter in Ohio makes even the sorriest corner of the state a pretty place indeed. And in the night, when the air and the land becomes bitter cold, the snow sparkles with a glitter that cameras often cannot see and digital magic has yet easily to capture.

Ohio on a snowy night can be a very special place indeed.

But snow is an annoyance as well. Nearing the magic age of sixteen, most of us discovered – sometimes by bitter experience – that driving in the snow was unlike the other forms of driving most of us had learned.

We also learned that removing snow is an art as well as a science. Sometimes, when the air is quite cold and clear after a snow storm, a simple broom can remove several inches of snow from a walk or driveway. But when the air warms a bit, the snow becomes heavy and wet and shovel and a strong back are required to remove it.

Winter can dangerous in Ohio and the snow has not always been friendly. In an age when technology can provide heat and comfort and protection, we tend to forget how formidable the winter can be.

During the winter of 1804, Joel Buttles and his family arrived in the place that would soon come to be called Worthington, Ohio. Many years later his diary recalled that time.

“We ended our journey on the fourth of December, 1804, Three days before we reached our destination, the snow fell about two or three inches deep. The storm began with rain and finished with snow, the ground not frozen at all, but that snow was the foundation for all others that fell during the winter. It gradually accumulated until it was ten or twelve inches deep.”

“About the first of January, there was more rain, which soon turned to snow, and being cold afterwards, a crust formed which would generally bear young cattle,” Buttles writes. “We had a cabin of one room for our numerous family and effects, and this cabin was in the woods, about twenty rods north of the public square or main street. It was a sorry time with us.”

The entry continues: “Our cattle and horses had to be fed, though not much. We had to go to General Worthington’s mill on the Kinnakinnick, above Chillicothe, for flour about forty miles away, but as the roads were good-good snow paths-sleds, which could soon be made were put in requisition.”

Despite these difficulties, the Buttles family survived and prospered in the new country. Winters were hard in those days and they can still be hard today. A weather record from 1836 summed up the winter of that year in central Ohio with exasperated wit:

“First it rained, and then it blew, And then it friz, and then it snew, And then there was a shower of rain, And then it friz and snew again.”

And there is always the old saying about weather in Ohio. If you don’t like it – just wait a bit – it will be sure to change.

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