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Thoughts from the Lower 40: Weather or Not
In Jan. 31 Issue
Russell County News
By Wade Daffron, Columnist

So, after yet another fitful night, I arose early Wednesday morning, and slouched toward the window.

Fully expecting to see an ice-covered paradise, or snow-dusted scenery, I took a deep breath as I "tore open the shutter" as they say in that Christmas poem.


I cursed under my morning breath and headed to the shower.

Since late last week, all I’ve heard about is the weather.

"Oh, it’s going to get bad!"

"We’re going to be covered in ice!"

"There’s a big snow coming!"

I try so hard not to buy into the hysteria.

When people hear "snow" they panic.

It’s like when you see a deer, and it gets frightened.

The deer’s tale flies up in the air, and it takes off running-jumping over anything that gets in its way.

Same thing with people and snow.

They get frightened, their tales fly up in the air, and they take off running to the store-jumping over each other to get bread and milk.

I try to be more logical by studying weather radar on the Internet, and tuning into radio stations to the west of us (weather moves west-to-east…I learned that in school).

For example, whatever kind of weather Bowling Green has will probably reach us within a couple of hours or so.

You can "track" weather from Bowling Green, to Glasgow, to Columbia, well, you get the point.

Oddly enough, though, I have noticed as most storm systems approach Russell County, they either veer to the north, or south of us.

I firmly believe this is because of Lake Cumberland.

Our lake is a very large body of water, and I can’t help but think that as storms approach, there’s some kind of "condensation," "evaporation," or some other kind of word that ends in "ion" which diverts weather systems around Russell County.

But hey, I’m not a meteorologist, and can barely spell it.

Anyway, on Monday, the "weather worrying" began in full force.

What were we facing?




All of the above? (Cue "duh, duh DUH!" music.)

People (as predicted) swarmed to the stores for bread and milk.

Lines also formed at gas stations.

(OK, I didn’t get that one. If we were about to get ice and snow, why/how would anyone be driving in it?!)

There was also the threat of power going out due to ice on lines, and stuff like that. (And yes, I did get a couple of candles and a flashlight ready just in case…for the kids’ sake, you know. Me? I could have used my Boy Scout skills to start a fire with a couple of sticks of wood, if needed.)

Tuesday comes, and we get some ice-nothing real bad, though.

TONS of rain, and rain is a fairly normal "weather event."

Oh, but wait, people were saying, we were REALLY going to get it on Wednesday.

When I laid down to go to sleep Tuesday night, I thought of what Armageddon awaited in the morning.

I imagined that as I slept, a layer of ice would cover the land-followed by several feet of thick, cold snow, topped off by a smattering of sleet, with a cherry on top.

No work, no school, no social interaction until Spring!

Instead, I woke up and…nothing.

I traversed the non-slick roads, through non-hazardous driving conditions to reach work, where I launched into a nearly hour-long diatribe about weather forecasts.

I finally settled at my desk to do some work, when someone came in, brushed what appeared to be snow off their shoulders, and said, "It’s getting pretty bad out there."

Looking around for Rod Serling or Allen Funt, I thought about how five minutes earlier, I was sarcastically pointing outside at "all that snow ‘they’ said we were supposed to get."

I walked to the front window, where I saw a white blanket a snow form before my eyes.

It covered people, places, and things, and each falling snowflake twinkled as it fell.

For a moment, I thought I was watching one of those Bob Ross painting shows come to life-but was spared having him put one of those big, ugly trees in the foreground.

Before long, we (and most of the county) were on our way home early from work in the sudden "blizzard."

My first problem came when I attempted to place my vehicle in four wheel drive.

Thinking back to the good ol’ days, I got out of my ride in the driving snow, and went to "lock in" the front hubs.

Couldn’t find them.

And it was cold-even more so than it should be because I had defiantly left the house without a coat or gloves as some from of "protest" against the "non-weather."

At first I thought snow had "caked up" around the hubs, but as I dug away, I "realized" maybe the hubs were under the hubcaps.

It took forever to find something to pry the hubcaps off, and when I did, I STILL couldn’t find the hubs.

Then, I searched for the owner’s manual which had a section on how to put the vehicle into four wheel drive.

When I saw the phrase "simply turn the switch on the dash panel" I "realized" why I couldn’t find the hubs.

Then I noticed the phrase "switch to four wheel drive without having to leave the comfort and safety of your vehicle."

Oh…OK, I guess you just turn this switch, then.

After finally getting out on the main road, I approached a hill which looked as if it had yet to be driven on.

HA! I said to myself, I can do this!

I reached for the steering column to place the vehicle in "low" gear…and noticed I was not moving at all.

Traffic began lining up behind me as I continued pressing my foot on the accelerator.

I still wasn’t moving.

"Man!" I said to no one in particular. "It is really slick!"

Horns were honking, and a brave, few, fellow travelers pulled around me and mounted the hill with seemingly no problems.

I was about to put my vehicle in "park," get out, and wave everyone else around when I noticed I had not gone to "low" gear…I had gone to "neutral."

Oh…OK, I guess you have to be in gear to move, then.

A little ways down the road, I either hit a mail box, a frightened deer, or had a big chunk of ice fall off the front bumper.

When I tried to stop to see what had happened, I slid sideways, and my right front tire sorta cleaned out about twenty feet of ditch line.

Luckily, it was the ditch in front of my house, and it needed to be a little deeper anyway.

But that little misadventure caused me to miss the entrance to the driveway and run over a trash can I had sat out yesterday.

When I finally got parked, I took a few deep breaths, checked my clothes for stains, and I flipped on the radio to see what the weather status was.

The first words I heard was an announcer saying, "Well, it looks like this weather situation has unfolded just like we said it would."

Oh…OK, I guess they were right, then.

(DISCLAIMER-I must say this-Russell County is blessed to have the absolute best severe weather coverage on the face of this earth. All a person needs to do is tune into their favorite radio station and they will receive fast, accurate information before, during and after any threat of severe weather. Everyone involved in providing local, severe weather coverage deserves the highest praise. You wanna sit there talking into a microphone with an F5 tornado bearing down on you? These people risk their lives to save ours. THANK YOU! )

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The Times Journal is a weekly newspaper issued on Thursdays. It was first published on October 13, 1949, by Andrew J. and Terry Norfleet.
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