When will all this horrible winter weather end? - WOWK 13 Charleston, Huntington WV News, Weather, Sports

When will all this horrible winter weather end?

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Lynne D. Schwabe is the director of development for the National Youth Science Foundation. She can be reached at schwabestatejournal.@gmail.com.

Yesterday, we got 1/4 inch of freezing rain and then 6 inches of snow. This wouldn't be so bad if it were Christmas with a fire glowing in the hearth and tree lights twinkling. 

For a while, there was the thrill of thinking, "I can go outside, collect snow, melt it and not have to worry about Charleston water." That urge was short-lived. But now it's March, and I am so over snow. The scary thing is, the way this winter has behaved, this will be the year we get 12 inches of snow on April 4.

For this (I hope) last storm, even the Weather Channel developed a sense of humor. In the local forecast, the headline was, "Charleston, are you filled with anticipation about more snow?" The forecast was for less than 1 inch of snow, … and even I knew that was too good to be true. And indeed, people are slogging around downtown on unplowed streets, up to their ankles in snow and slush, slipping on ice. 

I admit that in writing this column, I am praying that it will be about 70 degrees outside when it's published. I don't think that it's because I'm a crone and need sunshine for my aged bones; I really just can't remember what warm air feels like.

Snow days used to be blissful. First of all, we didn't have to go to school. Never mind that a day later we were all going out of our minds with boredom. Then there is the homey picture of the family, gathered around the dining room table, doing one of those more than 1,000-piece puzzles while Mom is in the kitchen, making a delicious, comforting stew. Despite dire warnings of life-and-death weather with each of the storms this past winter, I never got to Kroger to get the ingredients to make stew, which is probably just as well, since the lines at my Kroger are now about 20 people deep, no matter what time you are there. 

I digress, but honestly, if I get to the top of one more line and a clerk says to me, "I'm closed," I may scream. That has nothing to do with winter and everything to do with bad store management; but somehow the snow makes everything worse. At stores in other states, no clerk is allowed to close a line if people are waiting in it. Or the stores bring a new checker in immediately and continue happily on. Not here; not at my Kroger.

And why, why, why when the weather people say, "If you don't have to go out, stay home," does every dope in a rear-wheel drive car and no snow tires think that his/her job is so important that he/she must get to the office? You're meeting with the President, perhaps? Unlikely. With computers, we all can work just as effectively at home; for God's sake, just stay there! 

The only really bad car accident I ever had happened in snow, so if there is even one flake drifting around, I am home for the duration. This is a source of great hilarity to my friends who, quite rightly, think I am a wuss. They are out, motoring around with impunity, never sliding or slipping or twirling around in their vehicles like bumper cars. If I have to venture out for any reason, I am the one who is sitting on the edge of the driver's seat, hunched over the steering wheel, sweating bullets and going 5 miles an hour. People behind me swear — loudly. Gestures are occasionally flung.

And what is it about bread and milk? Stores are denuded of bread and milk at the mere mention of maybe, just possibly, there might be an inch of snow a week from now. The produce is never touched. Do people go on a white bread and milk diet when it snows? What really is this about?

The media doesn't help. The mere chance of untoward weather and it flogs the impending calamity about every 10 minutes. "The Storm of the Century," "The Polar Vortex," "Storm Titian," "Stay tuned for the latest report on when the storm will hit and what you can expect." It sounds as if the end of the world is coming and that you should run as if your hair were on fire to safety. Except where is safe? If you stay home, you might lose power, not be able to cook or you might freeze to death. If you go out, you are likely to slide into one of the other persons clogging the roads with unnecessary travel, be stranded in your car with only sugar-free gum to sustain you and possibly freeze to death. If your common sense asserts itself, you might not overreact to the poor girl on TV whose assignment is to be out at 5 a.m. daily, reporting on how traffic is moving. The camera focuses on her winter-boot-clad feet as she tries to scrape up a tiny pile of snow from the dusting that's fallen. Really. During the major snows, when she could have sunk in up to her knees, where was she? At home reading a good book, I bet. She's no  dummy.

The whole thing is enough to make you weary, and that's before you shovel the driveway.

I'm with Carl Reiner, who is rumored to have said, "I find snow an unnecessary freezing of water."

OMG, I just realized that with the end of winter, assuming that this one ever ends, come the stinkbugs. 

The scourges just keep coming!

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