As a child of the Midwest, I’m used to heavy rain and snow. In Iowa, where I was born and raised, eight foot tall snow drifts were not uncommon and every man, woman and child was expected to help shovel that heavy snow from the driveways and sidewalks of our neighborhoods.
School was never called off because of heavy rain. Falling snow only called off school or work in the most extreme cases — perhaps only once every two years for the first 24 years I lived in Iowa. The weather builds character and facing Mother Nature head-on is a Midwestern rite of passage that everyone must face.
To give in to the cold, wind or fog is to admit defeat at the hands of the elements. If Midwesterners were paused by the weather, no fields would be tilled, no crops would be harvested. The food the nation eats would not be harvested and processed. Schools and stores would close in Iowa only when the snow got so deep that the snow plows couldn’t keep the roads clear. The farmers, on the other hand, never had the luxury of closing due to the fickle weather.
Now let’s talk about Easterners and their relationship with the weather. It was a big surprise when my husband and I moved to Washington, D.C. and discovered that just the threat of rain would close the schools because no one in D.C. knew how to drive in inclement weather! They don’t know enough to slow down, drive slowly, be cautious. D.C.-ers confess to this and don’t find this behavior shameful or strange at all! D.C.-ers drive at all times as if it’s sunny and 60 degrees even when ice sheets pave the road.