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Sarah Maxwell

Goodbye old man winter

I’m done. I’m done with this bitterly cold weather, and let me be honest, I love winter. I love the snow and the crisp air that comes with the season, but I did not sign up to live in the Arctic Circle.

Living in the Midwest my whole life, I’m used to the snow and cold. I’m use to the wind chills and the blowing snow, but it seems Mother Nature has decided to ratchet it all up a notch.

Like most native Midwesterners, I’ve driven in my fair share of questionable weather — dense fog, sleet, snow, rain — you name it, and I’ve probably had an experience in it. But never before have I driven in a blizzard. I’m not that insane. I like my life; it’s a great life.

The mister and I spent Jan. 26 in the Quad Cities. It’s nothing new for us to do. And we’ve travelled in lots of different weather to return home. I’m sure many of you saw the videos of the road conditions, heard about the blizzard conditions and the whiteouts. But let me tell you; it was terrifying out there. In the Quad Cities the wind wasn’t terrible; we could see the road, even if we couldn’t see the lines. But as we worked our way to the highway via the backroads, our visibility became scarce. Once on the highway, it was almost zero. At least we could see the vehicle in front of us. But the drive wasn’t worth our lives, and we turned around. We stayed the night there.

On our drive home early Jan. 27, it didn’t take us long to see we had made the right choice to stay off the roads Jan. 26. We saw a lot of cars in ditches, completely turned around. We saw a couple of semis stuck on the side of the road. We saw a handful of tow trucks and snowplows working to get the roads back into working order. And I was ever so thankful for their hard work.

During the past couple of weeks, it seems like winter has decided to slap us in the face, reminding us we still have a ways to go until we will feel the warmth of the sun. Maybe this is just me, but does anyone else feel like every January we are shocked by how terrible the weather is?

Unfortunately, our small ray of hope did not come through on Feb. 2. Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow, and now we will have six more weeks of winter. But honestly if you look at his track record, he’s seen his shadow more than 100 times and hasn’t seen his shadow less than 20.

So I would like to take this time and apologize to summer. I may complain about the intense heat and humidity ... a lot. As I sit here looking at a temperature below zero, I offer my deepest sympathies to summer and hope it begins to return soon. Please, summer, I miss the sun. I guess until then I’ll just throw on another hat and scarf and trudge on.

Stay strong and stay warm, readers. This cold can’t last forever.

Putnam County Record Copy Editor Sarah Maxwell can be reached at smaxwell@bcrnews.com.