The Republic Masthead

Column: Miserable over lingering winter? Think again


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Weather.

You can love it or leave it. You can grin and bear it. You can hibernate and infuriate.

But one thing you can’t do is change it.

The Republic staff was in full-alert weather mode starting Tuesday night. As the first flakes of this recent storm were falling, we were getting our plan in place.

Photographers talked about the places they would head early Wednesday morning to be on the lookout for snow pictures — from fun to serious.

Reporters and editors split up responsibilities — determining who would call supervisors of city and county road crews, utility companies and school officials once we got into the office.

We had a plan, which wasn’t hard to do with all of the practice we’ve had this winter.

And fortunately for most of us, the timing of this snowstorm wasn’t bad.

Half of the snow — 3.8 inches — fell after we got home Tuesday night. The other half — another 3.9 inches — fell before we got up to leave for work Wednesday.

With most of the main roads plowed by the time we hit the road ourselves on the way to work that morning, it wasn’t bad ...

Unless you were among the dozen people involved in minor accidents ...

Or among the 96 Bartholomew County motorists who got stuck and needed assistance to get going again between Tuesday night and Wednesday morning.

It was again our good fortune that there were good Samaritans nearly everywhere you looked, from public-safety workers to plow drivers, and everyday people, too. They got out of their cars and trucks to help you get yours out of the driveway.

It’s at that point that a light went on in my brain.

For seemingly making us so miserable, this Winter That Won’t End was providing us with good feelings.

Snow-removal Orchids in Thursday’s Republic thanked one helper after another, by name if people knew them.

Bob Peabody ... Annie Roberts ... John Swaim ... the Briarwood Apartments staff ... Dale Tallent ... my neighbor Jim ... the young man with the snowblower at Eighth and Lafayette ... Starr Arwell ... the Plum Court neighbors ... Rob Amos ... Monica Morris ... Siena and Dom Glover ... Kyle and Samantha ... and the city.

And in Friday’s snow-removal orchids, there were many more.

Trent Larson ... Dave Shultz ... Gary Myers ... Mike Morris ... Paul Chappell ... Rick Harper ... Gabe ... Carolyn ... Nate Bean ... the neighbor on Holly Court ... our kind Newbern neighbor ... Michael Phelps ... Phil Westerfield ... Curt Huey ... Ernie and Devin in Edinburgh ... Steve Bryant ... the man on Taylor Road ... Brian Seward ... Sam Cotton and Andrew Tu ... Dalton Scrogham ... and Mike and Danielle Jiles.

That’s a lot of sincere appreciation being spread, almost as much as the amount of salt that’s been poured onto sidewalks and roads.

And once again, The Republic crews checked emails, took telephone messages, monitored text messages and tweets to capture weather impacts and publish school or business closings, office-opening delays or event cancellations.

Since Dec. 1, we have had 36 days when local closings or cancellations have been posted to our web site at therepublic.com, generating 295,786 page views, which is the number of times people viewed the closing list.

Each closing notice was also instantly sent to our

3,131 Twitter followers and 9,432 Facebook followers.

We fielded more than 50 such notices in the 24 hours starting Tuesday night and posted them all within minutes of receipt.

The season’s snow tally by Wednesday afternoon had reached 29.9 inches, twice the seasonal average for an entire winter, and people still were appreciative for The Republic’s help in getting the word out to their students, customers and fellow employees.

The closing or cancellation notices reached the right people in quick fashion.

For all of the supposed misery that this Winter That Won’t End was causing, it also has seemed to bring out the best in people.

And since the groundhog saw his shadow again last Sunday, signaling six more weeks of winter, it looks like the good feelings of helping one another through challenging situations are going to continue for a while.

Leave this winter weather?

What could we be thinking!

Heck, it’s bringing out the best of us.

As the familiar refrain from the seasonal song says ...

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow.

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