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What a winter of my discontent
As I write this — a full day before we prepare to deliver this week’s edition — the Spirit van sits in front of my house surrounded on all four sides by a wall of snow, in some places as tall as 3 feet. On the day of last week’s snowstorm, I could be found outside digging out the SUV, but I took the bad bet that warmer temperatures would come to my rescue and melt the snow around the van over the weekend. I returned from Morgantown Sunday to find more new snow. There’s a reason I’m not a betting man.
That’s the kind of winter it’s been here in Jefferson County and throughout most of the East Coast this season — temperatures far lower than we’ve become acclimated to these past few years and so many days of snow I’ve lost count; tonight I told the kids they can expect to still be in school in July at this rate (cue howls of protest).
Admittedly, getting the newspaper out on time each week has been a challenge this winter. On more than one week we’ve had to deliver on a Thursday; other weeks, papers didn’t made it to their retail locations until late Wednesday evening. Last week, we hurried to get all the deliveries made before the blizzard hit.
The tricky weather hasn’t just affected our deliveries. We’ve also seen stories we’d expected to cover drop off our budgets as a result of cancelled meetings and postposed athletic events. Meanwhile, on Facebook, climate change denialists just got more and more annoying as they took pictures of themselves standing out in the middle of snowstorms with “Stop Global Warming” signs.
One bright spot: earlier this month, the Spirit of Jefferson teamed up with a number of downtown merchants for the second Sip & Shop event, which saw an even better turnout than the first one with the participation of several more downtown businesses, including the Spirit, where we gave out Royalicious cookies and cocoa and offered visitors a subscription two-fer — a free e-subscription with the purchase of home delivery of the print edition.
The turnout for the evening was much, much better than you might have expected, given the arrival of yet another snowstorm. But what I found myself thinking, and what I heard from a few others whom I stopped to talk to, was that the evening — with its horse-drawn carriage rides, bundled-up patrons scampering from store to store and lightly falling snow — carried with it a distinct feel of Christmas. And didn’t that just make yet another miserable snow day just a little less unwelcome?
Indeed, it’s been some winter. But it’s almost through. In the meantime, if you’re either a reader or a vendor and you’re encountering any delivery issues in the midst of this very wintry winter, feel free to drop me a line or give a call. I can be reached at email@example.com or by phone at 304-725-2046, ext. 22. I’ll try to have the van dug out by Wednesday morning.
— Robert Snyder