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Editor's Note: Is a sunny day still a nice day when there's a drought?

Published: Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2013 10:14 a.m. CDT

Last week, as a newscaster on an area radio station was giving the chilly weather forecast, he finished with, “But it’s going to be sunny all week, so I’m sure we’ll all be glad about that.”

Just now, I overheard a colleague talking about the weather the same way: “It’s cold today, but at least it is nice and sunny out.”

That’s the way it works: sunshine equals nice weather.

Unless your area is in the grip of a long, strong drought that shows no signs of slacking. Right now, sunny weather is not something for us all to be pleased about. We need clouds. What’s more, we need snow.

(On a personal note, it pained me to write that. I love sunshine; I hate snow. I’m not a big fan of winter at all. I’d rather see the drought end with rain, personally, but it’s 6 degrees outside as I write this, so snow it has to be.)

It’s easy to forget about a drought in winter, when the days are not scorching and you’re not watching the lawns wither and the corn shrivel in the fields. It’s easy to think, “We haven’t really had any snow. Huh. That’s weird. At least I don’t have to shovel.”

But the earth is still parched. We have not even received the snowfall we would normally get, much less the additional inches we would need to even begin making up for the lack of last year’s rainfall.

My husband, if you ask him, will take either credit or blame for the lack of snow, though not the rain. We moved into a new house just before the enormous blizzard in February 2011. He went out with a snowblower that had served us perfectly well at our old house, in a more urban neighborhood.

But the new house is across from an open field, with only a single row of houses to block the wind. The snow had drifted so far up the garage door, the snowblower didn’t even make a dent.

Eventually, a neighbor had pity on him and brought over a much bigger machine to help.

Incidentally, that’s how we met our neighbors.

So my husband went out and splurged on a new snowblower, a bigger and more powerful machine, since obviously we needed one and would use it.

We haven’t had significant snowfall since.

• • • • •

A note to Kathie Decker:

“A mother is a person who, seeing there are only four pieces of pie for five people, promptly announces she never did care for pie.”
– Tenneva Jordan

I am fortunate to have been raised by an incredible woman I am proud to call both Mom and friend. Today is Jan. 23. Happy birthday, Mom.

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