Old Man Spring

When my daughter and I left on our trip to New York in April, the weather here was very nice with clear skies and temperatures in the mid-70s. As our plane flew over the Sierra, we could see snow-covered mountaintops around the Lake Tahoe area. The skies soon clouded over and as we reached our cruising altitude of more than 30,000 feet, all we could see were fluffy white fields of cloud tops. The air above was clear, and the sun shone through our windows much like it did when we were over California. Every once in a while the clouds would momentarily open up only to reveal more white on the ground. Although we were in the heart of spring at the time, much of the country was experiencing winter-like weather.


The flight was running late and we had only a short time to make our connecting flight at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. We descended out of the clouds and could see the snow-covered rooftops of the city below. Although the pilot announced that the temperature was 34 degrees (2 degrees above freezing) snow was still falling.

By the time we landed, we only had only 15 minutes to get to our next plane. We pulled up to the terminal and everyone quickly grabbed their bags from the overhead compartments, but we couldn’t get out. It was so cold out that the skyway gantry had frozen and was stuck. So we waited. Five minutes ticked away, then 10. By the time we were finally off of the plane. We only had a few minutes to get to our next flight.

We hustled through the airport and managed to get to the plane. There was no waiting in line for us, as we showed our tickets and walked straight aboard. While we were still huffing and puffing from our mad dash, our new pilot announced that there would be a delay because not only did our plane have to be de-iced, but also several planes ahead of us did, as well. Snow accumulated on the windows as the plane waited in line on the tarmac for about an hour or so before getting hosed down.

The rest of our flight was uneventful, and we landed at LaGuardia Airport about 2 hours after our scheduled arrival time. The weather in New York City was much like what we left in California, pleasant and comfortable. But the same couldn’t be said for some other parts of the country at that time.

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