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Warm hearts in the winter cold

I work with a mix of colleagues who love winter, loathe it, or don’t give it much thought. I suppose I’m somewhere in the middle, because while I’d generally like it to be a little warmer and less … slippery … I’m not exactly a heat-of-summer person, either.

But I do believe winter brings with it opportunities for people to be helpful in ways they can’t in the summer. (How’s that for looking for the positives?)

I live on a hill that makes it easier for me to park and walk up to my house when it is snowy or icy. Having done that more this month than I think I did all of last winter, I can say it is both a convenient option to have and a good leg workout. But during last week’s snow, I was still stuck, even in my parking spot.

That’s when a salt truck driver saw me trying to clear snow from around my tires with an ice scraper and stopped. When I protested, “No, no, I’ve got it, I’m fine,” he just grabbed his shovel out of the cab and started moving snow considerably faster than I had been.

Then he saw my car was a Subaru and joked “Hey, shouldn’t you be the one pulling me out with your Subaru?” Well, sure, except that I have the small, low-to-the-ground zippy model that does not do well when there is too much snow being pushed in front of it.

Nice as could be, quick about it, jumped back in his truck and was on his way to keep making the roads safer for everyone else.

Then there are the people who stop on my very short walk to my car. Inevitably one, usually two or three people will stop to make sure I’m OK, don’t need a ride, etc. It never fails. I’m only ever visible to other drivers for a few minutes, yet I never feel as though I’m alone out there.

This has been the kind of weather that made my dog take three steps out the door, look around like “nope,” and do his business ON THE PORCH, before immediately trotting back inside.

I don’t like it either. Though it did give me the opportunity to get in a few trail miles without breaking a sweat. But I do like that it provides those little reminders that most of the people around us are looking out for one another. And I like knowing that in a couple of months, we’ll be headed into spring. It is necessary to go through winter to get there.

It is comforting to know we’re all in it together, anyway.

***

We’re also all in it together when it comes to working to expand and diversify the state’s economy. For most of us that is going to mean every day things such as reminding our elected officials we would prefer if they did not embarrass us by introducing intentionally backward, borderline hateful, and generally distasteful legislation that will make not only outsiders but most West Virginians turn away in disgust.

For those who have the option — people considering moving here AND people considering whether they want to stay here — that kind of nonsense puts a big checkmark in the No column for the Mountain State. Why live somewhere you know the lawmakers are actively working to hold the state and its people back?

Let them know you won’t tolerate it anymore, folks.

Christina Myer is executive editor of The Parkersburg News and Sentinel. She can be reached via e-mail at cmyer@newsandsentinel.com

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