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What to do when the polar vortex comes for you

By David Fong

6 months 5 days 5 hours ago |1107 Views | | | Email | Print

Nothing in this world brings me more joy than spending time with my children.


And thanks to the recent holiday break and mounting snow days, I’ve been blessed to spend more time than ever with my two wonderful children. Thanks to the recent polar vortex — which, in addition to being a great name for a weather phenomenon, also would be a great name for A) a band, B) a roller coaster and C) a new Dairy Queen treat — I’ve spent many a snow afternoon and evening watching with wonderment and awe as my two kids have town apart our house.


But I’m beginning to feel greedy. It’s as if I’m hogging all the joy and happiness my kids have to offer. Why should I get to have all of their amazing spirit all to myself? I can’t help but feel as though I am somehow depriving the wonderful teachers within the Troy City School District of their amazing wit and cherubic smiles.


Please, teachers, take them back for a few hours a day so you, too, can experience what I’ve been going through (I mean … have been fortunate to go through) for the past three weeks.


Now I’m not going to be one of those people who sits here and says, “Back in my day, I had to walk 5 miles through the snow, barefoot, to get to school every day — and it was uphill both ways.” I am, however, going to sit here and say, “Back in my day, my mom dropped us off at school in a wood-paneled station wagon,” which, come to think of it, may actually have been worse.


Fortunately, we no longer live in those rugged days. Thanks in large part to forward thinking by school administrators (and, I can’t help but think, the litigious nature of our society), school administrators are able to throw snow days around like pennies. And I’m not against that. I’m all for keeping kids safe in the inclement weather.


If only someone were just as concerned about keeping the adults safe.


One thing I’ve learned from the recent polar vortex (seriously, why isn’t there a band named “Polar Vortex?”) is that we, as adults, are woefully ill-equipped to deal with the slightest bit of precipitation.


I truly don’t understand how people — many of whom have lived around here their entire lives and should be at least somewhat used to dealing with a little snow, ice and cold weather — are seemingly so stunned every time “winter” rolls around in Ohio.


Pretty much the only entity that benefits from bad weather around here are the grocery stores. That’s because the minute there’s a hint of snow, folks go into a full-blown panic mode — because apparently there’s a very good chance that 2-3 inches of snow, people might be able to get out their houses to go to the grocery store for at least a month. So once the first forecast comes in, people scramble to the store to buy all the bread, eggs and milk their cars will carry.


I can only assume people are buying bread, eggs and milk they can because people spend all day making french toast in snowstorms — what other explanation can their possibly be?


In any event, I’m not necessarily opposed to people loading up and staying off the roads in bad weather — mostly because, despite living in Ohio their entire lives, almost nobody around here knows how to drive in the snow, my wife included (Just kidding, honey!) (Not really.)


As near as I can tell, there are two theories in Ohio when it comes to driving in the snow and/or ice. The first theory is, “I’m going to get off the roads and back home as quickly as I can by driving just as fast as I possibly can!” The second theory is, “I’m going to slow down. Way down. I’m going to slow down so much it would be faster for me to just get out and walk to my final destination.”


Neither theory, it bears mentioning, it a particularly good one.


Fortunately for us, however, it appears warmer weather is right on the horizon. Soon enough, the ice will melt and children will return to school.


And I’ll finally have some free time to make six dozen pieces of french toast.


Troy’s very own David Fong appears on Thursdays in the Troy Daily News.

Reach at or 937/440-5228.

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