Last updated: February 04. 2014 2:41PM - 875 Views
By Travis McMullen Contributing Columnist

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Sedalia has had bad luck with winter weather in the month of Feburary lately.

We all know the drill: we get to enjoy a reasonably mild cold season and in exchange we have to suffer through one or two big storms in the last full month of winter.

The calm before the storm is more interesting than the storm itself — a serious winter forecast seems to demand that we stock up on bread, eggs and milk. French toast must be some sort of magical totem that fights back the snow and the ice. I guess throwing a few slices of hot, fresh, eggy toast would be an effective way to clear your sidewalk. Maybe Mr. Frost can be bribed with sweet morning bread.

On Tuesday the Missouri Department of Transportation issued a “no travel advisory.” The University of Missouri, typically very stingy with their severe weather cancellations, even called off classes on Tuesday. You know the forecast is serious when the people at Mizzou throw their hands in the air and submit to a snow day.

So we sit in our homes, with the normal sounds of the day occasionally being broken up by the steady scrape of the red city snow trucks, trying to clear the remnants of the last freeze from the streets before the storm rolls in and gives them a lot of work to do.

Just about everything is canceled — the Facebook feed fills with local shutdowns. But there are a few bold businesses that insist they will stay open as long as they can. Sometimes an impending snowstorm brings out the inner daredevil in some of us and MoDOT can issue all the advisories that they want — it’s no use.

Some people just have to go out in advance of their impending white fate and see if they can beat the weather to a couple of last minute stops. Some people are suddenly struck with inspiration telling them they really need… something. They want to go out and get one last thing for the sport of it. These businesses stay open to cater to those who like to function on the edge of disaster.

But that’s just one of the ways that people react to overwhelming hopelessness. In this modern world, where we have the technology or at least ingenuity to solve most problems without much delay it just doesn’t make sense that the weather can shut us down so quickly and efficiently. There are precautions we can take but there is very little that we can do in the face of major snowfall, high winds and low temperatures.

The snow will have us completely for a few good hours, despite the best efforts of our fine city snow removal teams and the individual efforts of the people meticulously clearing their individual paths.

And despite the fact that Missouri is no stranger to winter weather there will be some people that seemingly lose their ability to function normally. Some of those daredevils who run errands on the edge of a blizzard will lose their game and be forced to abandon their vehicle in a snowbank or a ditch. Last week’s ice-over let us know that there are some who won’t let any conditions deter them from their planned activities. There are people who don’t care what the roads are covered in.

They’ll try to do things in the snow that they know they probably shouldn’t do. There’s a time for shoveling the walk and there’s a time for sitting back and letting winter have its way. Don’t over-exert yourself.

And others will sit in their homes and be driven mad because of the driven snow. The Internet has made it so that cabin fever isn’t as widespread as it used to be, because at least you can interact with people who live in places that aren’t covered in snow. But that doesn’t mean that there aren’t some who really, really don’t like the notion that they probably shouldn’t go anywhere. They want to move about town even more when they can’t.

Above all else, be careful out there. Don’t freak out. The snow is not eternal, and life will eventually start back up as normal.

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