Our November print edition is going to the printer this week. We’ll have information on the upcoming legislative session, Long COVID resources, and winter weather among our offerings.
Winter weather is something we here in Disability Land must take seriously. I grew up on a farm, and we were always watching the weather. We had crops, livestock to take care of, and a big old house that always got cold. It wasn’t unusual for our mother to get snowed in at her work in a nearby town and for us to lose power and phone service for days at a time.
We’d listen to the TV and radio – sometimes a battery-operated radio – for school closings. For younger folks used to text messages as their school alerts, I’d compare our waits to waiting for a team name to be called for the NCAA tournament. It was like that.
Schools were called out alphabetically for cancelation or two-hour delay. If your school was skipped, it was time to bundle up and trek to the bus or to school.
Our school was always one of the last to cancel. Our parents said the superintendent, who lived next to the school, apparently drove around the school parking lot and decided the rural roads were just fine.
We would prepare for winter – extra food, a camping stove on a porch, and lots of blankets. Vehicles had emergency supplies. We had jigsaw puzzles tucked away for snow days.
Rural life usually means 4-H. This former 4-Her judged 4-H for many years. One of my favorite counties was Anoka County, where demonstrations were judged at a county park. Demonstrations were talks where young people showed us something they had learned. For a couple of years, I not only judged demonstrations but also judged livestock demonstrations. It was fun to tell the parents that I live in St. Paul and have two cats when my livestock expertise was questioned.
One of the Anoka County 4-Hers comes to mind when the winter safety stories are prepared. His talk was about preparing a winter safety kit for a motor vehicle. He had a big bin and was showing us how to properly pack supplies.
Winter safety kits sometimes end up in vehicles year-round, so I asked why it isn’t a good idea to pack chocolate candy or any candy that melts due to heat. His response was, “Because my mom will eat it.”
The whole room burst into laughter. His mother just shook her head.
Virtual learning has largely eliminated snow days. But all of us need to make winter safety plans, whether or not those involve chocolate. I hope our guide and resources are helpful to you.