Darn ... the snowman didn’t cometh

Jan. 19, 2013 @ 05:15 AM

For weeks I had been warned that some people panic a bit when the “S” word is said around here. You know what I’m talking about — SNOW.

After experiencing horrible winter conditions the past two decades, I’m pretty adapt at driving around in a couple of feet of snow. Then again, we had plenty of city, county and state highway departments that worked through the middle of the night clearing the roadways of the white stuff. A couple of inches of snow won’t stop me, I thought. Plus, I still have my snow tires on my vehicle. Gotta have ‘em when you live up north. In October, the snow tires go on. In May, they’re taken off. It’s just a ritual.

If I couldn’t drive to work, I’d find other means to get there. I’d either strap on my cross country skis or snowshoes to make my way to work. I can only remember a couple of days when the newspaper office shut down during my northern tenure. Once was when it snowed 36 hours straight and we accumulated more than 36 inches of Mother Nature’s white dressing. The other was during a blizzard ... when the wind and snow combined produced white outs. It’s when the latter happened, I truly wondered how the early pioneers survived the harsh winters in the plains.

In our office Thursday, Circulation Director Anthony Rollins spread the good word that nasty weather was coming our way. “Pull up the weather.com and see for yourself,” he said.

Severe winter weather forecasted with 3 to 6 inches of snow. I laughed at him. Then I told him if it snowed more than 6 inches here, I’d buy him a snowboogie sled and teach him how to use it on the hill next to the office. He laughed.

Better yet, I told him I’d dig out my snowshoes and show him how I used to race in them and traipse through the woods.  

On Wednesday night, my hair dresser told me how people panic. She said, you’ll see people rushing to the grocery store to buy bread, milk and eggs. 

You’re kidding me, as I rolled my eyes. She also noted their phones would be ringing the next day with clients canceling their appointments because of the threat of snow.

Not one to believe in all this nonsense, I just had to confirm if what I was hearing true. I ventured to a grocery store to see for myself.

The parking lot of one grocery store was about half-filled. Nothing unusual, I thought. The store was busy, but nothing unusual — until I approached the bread isle and everything changed. A woman was filling her whole grocery cart with the bread. Not just one loaf ... but several dozens loaves. Behind her, I’m assuming was her husband, with another cart full of eggs and something called “livermush.” Haven’t tasted the latter, but will have to try that delicacy another day. 

In between all the people getting bread, were store clerks filling up he racks with more bread. They’d place about six loaves on the shelf, only to have it stripped from the shelves minutes later. The poor guy in the milk cooler ... he was busy as a little beaver trying to keep his shelves fully stocked.

Did I buy a few things, just in case the snow did hit? You’re darn tootin’ I did. I certainly wasn’t going to get caught with no food in the house ... plus I had to pick up a few dog treats for Cassidy (my faithful companion).

Back at the newspaper, we were preparing for an early deadline to get our newspaper to our printer a couple hours earlier than normal. We were calling our district managers and truck driver to inform them of the early deadline. At noon, flakes were starting to fall at our print plant facility and we didn’t want to put anyone’s life in danger should the rain turn to black ice. Speaking from experience, black ice is nasty. I’ve covered many too accidents and fatalities in my lifetime that involved black ice. It’s not fun. 

So calling school off on Friday was the right thing to do. Safety is first when involving the transportation of school children.

If I had to choose between two inches of snow or black ice, I’d much rather drive on snow. Black ice can be very deadly.

Although this winter storm has come and gone, I’m so disappointed I didn’t get to buy Anthony a snowboogie board. 

I still may get my chance. We have 8 more weeks of winter.