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Snow days to a different tune

By Holly Martin

As I write this, the snow blows outside the windows of my home. In fact, we've seen more snow in the last few days than we've seen in quite some time in Southwest Kansas.

Before the storm even hit, employees of the Journal did double-time to get pages ready for the press early so that we didn't miss a deadline. Even our publisher worked the inserter line at 2 a.m. because some of our employees couldn't make it to the office.

Now that's nothing compared to what farmers did to prepare for the storm or ranchers who braved blizzard conditions for the welfare of their animals.

But it all got me to thinking about how different things are today than they were in the past. I spent the snowy days working from home, dialed into the server over the Internet. Nothing changed--except I missed donut day on Friday. (They don't deliver donuts 30 miles from town in a blizzard. Nor do they deliver any time, for that matter.)

The world of remote offices working seamlessly through the marvel that is the Internet didn't exist just 20 years ago. But forget 20 years ago. How about 100 years ago?

Mother Nature ruled. There were no snow plows running 24/7. There was no 24/7 Weather Channel updating constantly about how quickly the storm was moving. There was only you and your family and your neighbors, and when it snowed 15 inches, your routine changed focused on one thing--surviving.

My point? We need to get some perspective. I heard way too many complaints about the weather man didn't get it right. People, please. They missed the snow accumulation count by a couple of inches? At least you knew to buy an extra gallon of milk on your way home to your toasty warm home. At least I could fill several five-gallon buckets with water so we could flush the indoor toilet in the event we lost electricity.

A 100 years ago, you'd have milk--if you didn't lose hold of the rope you tied between the barn and the house so you didn't lose your way in the blizzard. And I guess you didn't have to worry about flushing the toilet. There was another rope tied to the outhouse.

For me, I know better than to complain about moisture. Sure, it's going to make my trek to the airport a little hairy in the morning. But, that's OK. If this snow means moisture in areas that sorely need it, then I'll take it.

And while I check my flight status on my phone and log into the server at work while I wait for the plane, I'll be reminded--things could be much worse.

Holly Martin can be reached by phone at 1-800-452-7171 ext. 1806, or by email at hmartin@hpj.com.

Date: 3/4/2013



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