So, it didn't happen again.
Not even a flake.
Although it wasn't the storm that crushed the East Coast this week, the National Weather Service predicted initially 4-7 inches for these parts and then reduced the projection to 3-6 inches by mid-afternoon on Monday.
The grocery stores were crazed, too, most of the day Monday with people stocking up on goods in case the winter event caused isolation for days. Toilet paper, of course, and milk and bread, too, but my family has always tossed into the buggy as much comfort food as we could find, as well. Supplies for pasta meals, a box of hot cocoa with marshmallows, chips and cheese and salsa, a frozen pizza or three, and whatever else tickled the ol' tastebuds while strolling up and down the stacked and frenzied aisles.
And Tuesday morning, at least here in East Wheeling, nothing, and the absence of the white stuff Tuesday morning ignited flurries of a different kind in the form of criticisms on Facebook composed by those living in this region. They were relentless, even expressing happiness that six sheets of toilet paper were just enough for one person's morning routine.
Brutal, yes, but honest anyways.
But why these folks feel so compelled to attempt to shame those of us who partake in the ritual is beyond my understanding. So what if I insisted on the stock-up just in case the weather predictors got one right? Why care if, because of the winter weather advisory issued by the National Weather Service, some folks made the decision to run out and buy the foods they enjoy the most?
Allow me to explain why I'm one of those people.
- March 13, 1993 – If you are a frequent listener to the radio show, you are aware this is a date I reference from time to time, especially when a bigger-than-normal snowfall is included in the forecast. On this day 24 years ago, I was a doubter. I heard the predictions, scoffed at them, and then found myself slowly navigating my way along Ohio 7 to the Kroger in Martins Ferry so I could supply my wife and two children with what we were going to need for a few days because, well, I was wrong, and the meteorologists were correct. A total of 28 inches crippled the city of Wheeling for a couple of weeks.
- April 19, 1987 – I was in college and a member of West Liberty's baseball team this spring and despite hearing that the hilltop campus could receive as much as 12 inches of snow by Easter Morning, I refused to believe because, well, it was baseball season. I refused to travel to my parents' house the day before to ensure I would be with my family, and I ended up staying by myself in my dorm room and was forced to walk to a local store because driving was not an option.
Those two storms alone taught me a valuable lesson that left me determined not to be placed in those sad situations ever again, and SO WHAT if the weather folks are wrong more often than they are correct. What? I'm not going to eat the HoHos, Doritos, and the rest of it anyway?
Of course, I will, and you would, too.
Some of my best memories as a father were the days and evenings when the meteorologists got it right just as they did, day after day, during February 2009. One dump after another closed local schools, colleges, and universities, and only because I lived walking distance from the Watchdog studios was I able to take to the airwaves each weekday.
Otherwise, it was fun. The shoveling, day after day, grew old, sure, but there certainly is something about the calm a big snow brings even to an urban environment.
And, yeah, I guess it also makes the Jiffy Pop taste better, too.