I’m not sure if people in the Northeast got the message recently or not, but it’s cold.
And, at times, it’s been downright frigid.
You know what, though? It’s the winter. Part of being in the Northeast during the winter is dealing with the cold. That includes snow, sleet, freezing rain, bad roads and … yes, cold weather.
Another piece of breaking news — bitter cold doesn’t mean the world stops moving.
The one thing that drives me nuts is this whole thing about wind chill. I get how it works and such, but just because the wind chill is supposedly -25 doesn’t mean that’s the actual temperature. That means, if the wind isn’t howling, it’s not that cold.
When I was a kid, we played outside when it was cold. We walked to school. We did things. It was part of life and growing up.
And, no, I didn’t walk uphill to school — both ways, despite a shirt I have that shows otherwise. But I know what it was like to go outside when it was cold out. We bundled up, went outside and played. Maybe we went sledding. Maybe something else. But we went outside.
Recently, we had a wave of cold weather. Really cold. It didn’t get out of single-digits for several days and, at times, the wind chill made it extremely cold out.
Some schools even closed.
That never would have happened when I was younger (though, to be fair, it probably would have made many of us celebrate). Not unless something happened at the school. Many schools stayed open, too. And it seemed — if you watched social media — there was a battle line drawn between parents who thought schools should have been closed and the others who thought differently.
It was quite entertaining, to be honest.
It also got me thinking. What does this necessarily say about the direction society is going. In a day and age when many more people get participation ribbons than ever before, are we softening things? It’s one thing to close school with snow … but cold? What’s next?
Let us remember that once the kids are at school, they are going to be taken care of and, hopefully, be warm. There’s also lunch and, in many places, breakfast. As for them getting to school, buses work other days, so why not when it’s cold? If kids walk, bundle up. Or, hopefully parents or others can give kids rides.
That being said, I respect a parent’s decision when it comes to keeping their child home. Though I don’t fully agree with keeping a student away from school because of obvious ramifications, I fully respect a parent making a decision they think is best for their child when it comes to elements such as weather.
Beyond the obvious, this can also set a bad precedent for the kids as they grow. What will they think when they go off to college or join the work force when it’s that cold out and they can’t skip work or classes? Part of school is being taught real-life things.
In the end, though, it’s cold weather. We’ve had it before, we’ll have it again. I do what I’ve always done — warm up my car a bit longer, dress a bit warmer and head off to work or wherever I am going.
And look forward to warmer weather, of course.
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