Well, here I am again – up late watching the weather and wondering to what extent Monday will function as a typical Monday. I am no longer alone in expressing exasperation of patience as it relates to winter. If wind and cold don’t incite irritation, the closure of major thoroughfares do. Folks in these parts may have learned to deal quite well with the type of weather that would send folks in other states into hibernation, but they do not have tons of patience for Mother Nature monkeying with their ability to get from point A to point B.
When the State of North Dakota closes Interstates 29 and 94 in the state I always have mixed feelings. On one hand I am relieved because I know that there will be less folks in harm’s way and less first responders who will also be in harm’s way. On the other hand I worry about the folks who are stranded somewhere because they cannot get home or are convinced they can make it home via some of the country side roads. I worry about those folks who went out with no recognition that they might potentially be stranded in some small town with only a gas station and convenience store and are ill-equipped to deal with it. I particularly worry about the bravado that occurs with some folks who think they can handle anything Mother Nature throws at them – the folks who travel against all sensibility and put themselves and others at risk of injury or death.
I have harped until I am blue in the face about the importance of a winter preparedness kit in vehicles, appropriate winter clothing, and tips for safe travel. Every year, in some form or fashion, folks sustain injury or die because they disregard the danger this type of weather creates. I think I sometimes worry about folks’ well-being more than they do and that is not the way it should be. Folks need to appreciate that when it comes to weather like this you are pretty much on your own. You cannot assume that help will be able to get to you in time if you have not taken steps to stay protected in your vehicle. There are hundreds of stories out there from folks who have spent many hours stranded in their vehicles trying to stay alive until help could arrive.
Of the things that age me and put additional wrinkles on my face, worrying about this should not be one of them – at least not here in the Midwest. Folks in this neck of the woods should know better and fully appreciate the risk of severe winter weather. Be careful out there folks and pray for an early spring.
Day one thousand three hundred and one of the new forty – obla di obla da