The joys and dangers of winter weather

If you read my column last week, then you will remember me saying how excited I was about the cold weather and how hopeful I was for some snow this winter.
I got my wish Monday night as the snow began to fall, and continue to fall throughout the night and into Tuesday morning to give us enough snow to shut down schools and other businesses on Tuesday.
Although there are several disadvantages to inclement weather, the main one that gets me every time is the fact that I still have to report for work, regardless of the weather.
For those of you who have inclement weather days, I somewhat envy you. For those like myself who still have to put your big boy or big girl clothes on and report to work, even when travel is dangerous, my hat goes off to you.
Before I go any further, let me commend Sheriff Jason Watson and Arkadelphia Police Chief Jason “Shorty” Jackson and other law enforcement personnel for all of their hard work during wintry weather.
Sheriff Watson and Chief Jackson are known for notifying the public periodically via social media about road conditions, closings and other pertinent information to help the public prepare for the aftermath of wintry weather.
On behalf of the community, I would like to thank the both of you, along with your staff and other first responders who are there to ensure our safety and welfare during seasons like these. I think I can speak for the community when I say that we really appreciate what you guys do for us.
During my column last week, I mentioned how I would sit up late at night on days when wintry weather was in the forecast to see if my school made the list of those that would be closed the following day.
In most cases, it would be the next morning before I found out if it was “up and at ‘em” or “back to bed.”
On those days when school was closed, I enjoyed what any teenager would enjoy. Inside activities such as watching movies, watching my favorite television shows, listening to music or playing video games were just some of the things that I would do on a snow day.
Occasionally I would go outside or over to my grandmother’s house.
Because I had no brothers or sisters living with me at the time, I had to create my own fun. Therefore, I would make snowballs and throw them at the house, storage building or anything else I felt like taking at aim at for that moment.
Perhaps my most treasured and fondest memory of a snow day was collecting enough snow in a large bowl and taking it over to my grandmother’s so that she could make her favorite grandson some snow ice cream.
My grandmother’s snow ice cream consisted of snow, sugar and vanilla extract mixed together. I admit, it wasn’t Blue Bell, but it did the job by making me happy.
Despite the fact that I spilled a bowl of it in my lap as a child once, I still looked forward to those winters when we had enough snow to make snow ice cream.
While winter weather can be fun for building snowmen, throwing snowballs, making snow angels or even attempting to make snow ice cream, it is also a time when motorists and others must be extremely cautious when traveling.
If you have to travel in this weather, please be careful.
Take your time when you are traveling, don’t trail too close to the vehicle in front of you, allow yourself plenty of time to travel and make sure you have told someone where you are going and the route you are planning to take.