“Riding the Storm Out”

Many of us “of a certain age” remember REO Speedwagon’s 1973 hit song. The upper Midwest is currently caught in a cycle of weather temper tantrums most of this month. Last night the Twin Cities metro area officially picked up 6.4” of sloppy snow. This was after a steady rain that turned to sleet in the early afternoon. Our snowfall set a record for the date, and the 1.02” of water content just missed tying the 1.04” record. Today’s snowfall of 0.9” fell short of today’s record of 1.2”. I posted a few pictures of the storm in my photo gallery. Other than a spate of traffic accidents today, there did not seem to be much ill effect from the storm. No one needed generators or chain saws.

I can tell the lateness of the snow falls are getting to people, but I have heard that the robins are hitchhiking to some place warm, and that the Minnesota DNR is considering eradicating groundhog weather forecasters. The human ones are getting uneasy in public places, though one has kept a sense of humor with his #BlameJerrid Twitter hashtag. Facebook is littered with posts, some humorous, some darkly humorous, and some with high levels of profanity and frustration. Judging by the number of restaurant offers I am getting, I believe people are hunkering down waiting for a day or two without snow. We may not break 60°F again until May 1, which is a little over two weeks from now. Our normal high temperature is in the low 60’s, but we will stay 10-20°F below that for the next week. “April showers bring May flowers” but only if the showers are not of the frozen variety.

Our coping mechanisms are getting quite a workout this month because of our unusual weather. Compared to the horror in Boston on Monday or the tragedy in West, TX on Wednesday, our weather has been an annoyance. Dealing with loss of a loved one is somewhat like dealing with unpredictable weather. About the time the weather seems to calm somewhat, a sudden storm whips through causing damage and havoc. The cycle of raising hopes followed by an unpleasant set back is commonplace. We persevere through hope and we strengthen our resolve with love. Someday the storms will subside and chaos will diminish.

This week’s events bear witness to the fact that life has a degree of risk. For some, parachuting is an acceptable risk while others enjoy juggling sharp objects. Some people work in dangerous professions and take whatever precautions they can to reduce risk. Others prefer not to travel by plane. We cannot eliminate risk because we cannot control randomness. The more we try to control randomness, the more it seems that randomness finds a new way to keep us off balance. By the same token, we cannot predict or stop loss. We have to keep on living and to keep moving forward.

With the sadness and uncertainty of this week, please take time to give your loved ones a meaningful hug to two. Let them know you care, so they have the strength to endure, and so they remain hopeful that things will get better. If you see a busload of robins heading south, please tell them to turn around. The weather will get better sometime, and if it doesn’t, we can #BlameJerrid.

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Riding the Storm out
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An unseasonal spring snow storm and the tragedies of the Boston Marathon bombing and the West, TX fertilizer plant explosion show us that life is filled with uncertainty and risk. Keep positive and keep moving forward.
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