We’re not out of the woods yet

We’ve dealt with a lot this winter, from ice to snow to sub-zero temperatures, only to have it all melt away within a few days and then learn it is coming back for another round.

I’m not looking forward to the winter weather we are expecting over the next couple of days, and I’m sure no one else is either.

It’s not been an easy time for many of us over the last few months, and, despite the fact it is now March, we still have at least a few weeks of possible winter weather to worry about.

It’s normally around this time I start looking for daffodil buds to start popping up in the yard and the grass to turn that bright green color, but all I see now is brown, piles of snow and ice and the promise of more on its way.

I’m sure we’ll all be breathing that sigh of relief once those blue skies and chirping birds finally do return, but until then all we can do is grin and bear it.

With that in mind, we also must remember to take care of that extra business as a result of the snow and other winter weather we can expect for a little while longer.

Take care of your driveways, sidewalks and porches as soon as possible. I haven’t done the best job of this myself this year, and we’ve had to deal with compacted snow and ice at the bottom of the driveway as a result.

For those with driveways, especially longer, steeper driveways, make sure it is as clear as possible and that vehicles will have no trouble driving in or out.

At the same time, clear any sidewalks in front of your house if you live in a more residential neighborhood. Make sure your postal worker or newspaper carrier has easy access to your mailbox or porch.

Hopefully you’ve taken the opportunity to stock up on salt and have a good shovel for this next round of snow.

The last major storm, I spoke to several who were unable to find some materials. Some of the salt suppliers had shipped loads to the south, where they normally don’t experience such harsh winters and don’t always know how to deal with it.

That left those of us in the northern part of the country a little short. Many communities had even started to run out of their supply to treat local roads.

With that in mind, try to cut some slack to the city and highway workers who are out on those rounds, sometimes around the clock, trying to provide a safe route for the rest of us.

They are doing their best, but sometimes conditions simply make it impossible for them to get to every point in the area.

Just try to be patient and don’t rush to judgment. Nobody deserves the kind of insults I’ve seen and heard used against these folks. There is no such thing as instant gratification. With some things, it just takes a little time and patience.

Schools might not be in session for a couple days, which will mean making extra arrangements for some of us.

A few probably won’t even be able to make it into work on time.

The weather will affect us all differently, but it’s just part of a regular winter for the Ohio Valley.

Potholes are going to be a way of life around here for a while.

All this cold, snow and ice, along with the regular cycle of thawing and freezing, do damage to our roads. Some roads are worse than others.

There are only so many people to work, and so much time, money and supplies to make the work of repairing these potholes possible.

Again, sometimes we just need some patience, and in this case, a little more careful driving couldn’t hurt either.

Roads could get bad during this weather. There have been several accidents this year as it is, and I would hate to see more happen.

We need to remember to be careful while on the roads, watch where we’re going and don’t think that just because you have a certain type of vehicle or great tires that you will necessarily have no problems on snow-covered roads.

Give yourselves a little extra time to reach your destination. Watch those around you. You never know the difference it can make.

I’m sure there are going to be people complaining about the weather – there always is. But, if we take the time to make sure we are prepared and take care of things the way we are supposed to, it shouldn’t be too bad.

At least we get to deal with it all together, right?

(Howell, a resident of Colliers, is managing editor of The Weirton Daily Times, and can be contacted at chowell@weirtondailytimes.com or followed on Twitter @CHowellWDT)