January brings weather challenges for everyone

With the holidays behind us, it is time to get down to the serious business of winter. I know that some people love winter. I am not one of them.

You can discount some of the other winter months. December is only technically half winter, plus you have the holidays to distract us. March is only half winter as well, plus both my daughters were born in March so there is always cake. Everything is better with cake. February always has some warm days toward the end, plus it is a short month, so it is a bit more bearable because of its length. January. It’s just full-on winter.

School children get snow days, which after two years of COVID restrictions really don’t have the charm they once did. Once in the late 70s, we had snow after snow leaving students to wonder if we were ever going back to school. No blizzard bags, no zoom classes, when we were out of school, we were out. We had 10 snow days a year and we used them.

There are no snow days in adulthood of course and that can make for some challenges. When I had kids in school, my wife and I got to play the daily guessing game of when, or if, school would be canceled. The stress paled, I am sure, to what parents felt like during the pandemic.

Newspapers publish no matter what. In the four decades I have worked in the industry we have never canceled an edition because of weather. Not once. Snow can play real havoc on the operation. Once in the early 1990s, we had just a quarter of the employees make it through the drifts to put a paper out. A few had four-wheel-drive trucks. Once we printed the papers, we loaded them into the trucks and delivered them to the homes of the carriers, who at that time were mainly school kids. I still remember the look of a Reno boy when we pulled into the driveway he had just shoveled and told him he now had to deliver the paper. Some papers might have been delivered the next day, but the bulk of them reached homes the day of publication. It was a fun day, but then again, I was in my early 30s. As I have gotten older, I have begun to dislike the cold months more and more. I now fully understand why many move to Florida when they retire or at the very least move there for the winter.

Of course, relocating to a sunny location for a few months no longer means that you have to lose touch with your community. The combination of our website and All Access e-edition means you can read your whole newspaper every day regardless of where you are. The website is updated in the middle of the night. The e-edition goes live at 5 a.m. The e-edition is an exact duplicate of your printed newspaper. You can read it on a phone or your computer. On a tablet, you can turn the pages by swiping with your hand. It is really a nice reading experience. There is an archive, so you can read an issue you might have missed. You can also download a page you might want to keep, or clip and email an article that you want to share.

You of course do not have to be on an exotic beach to use our digital newspaper. The next time the wind is blowing 40 miles an hour and the snow is coming down sideways you can use it even though your printed newspaper is in a yellow tube at the end of your driveway. It’s O.K. I will not judge you.

Art Smith is online manager of The Times, you can contact him at



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