Winter is coming.
This is not the winter of “Game of Thrones” with dragons and other mythical creatures. This is the winter that comes every year, and it brings with it a beast of another kind, that affects school days.
Winter is coming – to northwest Ohio. And I dread it every year.
I am a snow baby. I was raised in upstate New York and went to college in a city that is usually tops nationally in snowfall every year. The town garage started working on the plows in the fall. Our cars had snow tires that we put on around Thanksgiving and did not take off until Easter. I can’t remember a time I couldn’t get where I wanted to go in the snow.
I moved south of the Mason-Dixon line for my first job. All went well until I did a story on the city’s preparations for winter. There were none. There were two snow plows for a city of 50,000. When the following winter nearly 10 inches of snow fell during a snowstorm, it paralyzed the city for days. The mayor called for people to come to Main Street and form a shovel brigade. He lost his job in the next election.
When I came north 10 years later, I figured that my days of winter worry were over. I lived in Findlay, worked in Fremont, drove Ohio 12 and only missed one day of work because of the weather. An ice storm will make even the bravest drivers think twice.
Once my children came along, I lived my life according to school delays and closings. To me, either situation meant the roads were a little dicey and I had best stay home. Eventually, however, I realized Findlay rarely delays or closes due to weather compared to the county schools. We’ve all questioned those decisions. Now that I have a teenage driver, I question them even more.
Concern for others
The plow drivers are great guys. Some of them even make sure to not plow in the end of my driveway, and I appreciate it. I think, however, both the city and the school district can be more transparent when talking snow removal. What are the main routes and in what priority do roads get plowed? What streets does the district take into account when delaying or closing? If I were still a reporter, I would ask those questions.
So, for now, I have lost my will to drive in the snow. It’s not so much my ability to drive in it, but my concerns regarding the other drivers. No one wants to slow down on a snow-covered road anymore. If I don’t have to go out, I don’t. If the roads are bad but school is on, I make my husband drive my daughters.
Am I a winter wimp? Maybe. But the older I get, the more I realize that some things are just not worth the trouble.
Winter is indeed coming. But I am staying inside.