Note to readers: Barry Schraders DeKalb
County Life column will appear every other Tuesday.
Here it is Christmas Eve and my birthday three days from
now, leaving me to wonder how these past 12 months have slipped
Our dinner table companion the other night, Jane Helmchen,
posed an intriguing question out of the blue when I mentioned
my upcoming milestone. She asked, I wonder how many inches
of snow have fallen [here] in your lifetime?
Being the mother of an intrepid journalist named Scott
Helmchen, I guess she shares the knack for asking questions that
catch one off-guard. I have never excelled in math, so I had
to go home and use my pocket calculator.
But first I had to connect online to the NIU Department
of Geography weather station to learn that our average annual
snowfall over the past few decades has been 35 inches. Then multiply
that by my number of years on this tired old globe
and I came up with 2,555 inches of snow that had piled up on
DeKalb County in that time.
Please dont do the math to calculate my age from
all this, but Im sure someone will. Then I started contemplating
how snow plays a role in our lives season after season, unless
we are clever enough to flee to a warmer clime.
Looking back over this year, I completed maybe two out
of five projects I started. Make that two out of six, as I never
cleaned out the basement (my private museum not yet available
to TVs American Pickers) at my wife Kays
Accentuating the positive, I can look with pride on the
team effort of 15 people, skillfully shepherded by editor Kate
Schott, to produce a stellar history of DeKalb County covering
the past 50 years, which was just released this month. The title
Acres of Change was suggested by the late E. E. Al
Golden, whom I hold in high esteem as one of DeKalb Countys