ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Port: Let's hear it for the heroes who kept working through the blizzard

"Being snowed in gave me time to think ... about all the people who kept working through the blizzard. ... I'm talking about the snowplow drivers. The utility workers. Law enforcement and ambulance drivers and firefighters. ... Many of them likely were called out into the storm by the necessities of our energy needs. They sacrificed their comfort to keep us comfortable."

snow_car.jpg
Snowdrifts cover a car in an alley near downtown Bismarck on April 13, 2022. A historic blizzard dropped a foot of snow in North Dakota's capital city.
Jeremy Turley / Forum News Service

MINOT, N.D. — If you live in western North Dakota, like I do, you were probably snowed in this week.

It's an uncomfortable feeling. I'm a bit of a homebody by nature, and because of that you wouldn't think being trapped in my house with my family and bountiful provisions would be a problem. But what makes me itchy is the idea that I couldn't go anywhere even if I wanted to.

I kept my driveway clear during the blizzard — obeying that stupid male impulse to try to blow the snow away even as it fills in again right behind me — but the piles in the street were up to my waist.

The only way we were getting out was by dogsled.

People complain about the weather in our state, but at least it's interesting.

ADVERTISEMENT

Being snowed in gave me time to think, and while I was sitting in my living room playing video games with my son, or enjoying the warmth of the fireplace with my wife, I was thinking about all the people who kept working through the blizzard.

MORE FROM ROB PORT
"When you're 5 years old, you believe in Santa because you think he's real. When you're 10 years old, you believe because you want to," Cramer said on this episode of Plain Talk.

Whose jobs became even more important as the weather shut down work for the rest of us.

I'm talking about the snowplow drivers. The utility workers. Law enforcement and ambulance drivers and firefighters.

At one point, as the winds drove snow against my living room window while I sat and read a book (I checked out "The Price of Salt" by Patricia Highsmith from the local library and it's excellent), the lights began to flicker and I couldn't help but think of the utility workers who were out there ready to get to work to keep the lights on and the furnaces blowing if the storm took the power out.

Many of them likely were called out into the storm by the necessities of our energy needs. They sacrificed their comfort to keep us comfortable.

We live in such negative times. We complain about the government. We get irate about our taxes. The internet is full of videos showing people berating fast food and retail workers. The fashionable thing to do, if you perceive some slight or injustice in a local business, isn't a conversation with the people at the business but a retreat to social media for some vindictive posting and review-writing.

There is an ungrateful attitude that permeates our culture right now, and I wish we could all work a little harder to rise above it.

Let me set an example: I am grateful for the emergency workers who were on call through the blizzard should I or my family have needed them.

ADVERTISEMENT

I'm grateful for the bone-weary plow drivers who will, eventually, with red-eyed determination, get around to clearing my street after already working many long hours to open the roads.

I'm grateful to the government workers, and the private sector workers, who did their jobs so that you and I could eat cookies in our sweatpants and watch the storm rage outside our windows.

Thank you.

It didn't go unnoticed.

Related Topics: NORTH DAKOTAWEATHER
Opinion by Rob Port
Rob Port is a news reporter, columnist, and podcast host for the Forum News Service. He has an extensive background in investigations and public records. He has covered political events in North Dakota and the upper Midwest for two decades. Reach him at rport@forumcomm.com. Click here to subscribe to his Plain Talk podcast.
What To Read Next
Columnist Roxane Salonen shares memories of a "beautiful fellow mother, mentor, and comrade in Christ" who recently passed away.
I’ve written many stories over my journalism career about farm injuries and the importance of having first-aid kits in farm shops and tractors, and I plan to start practicing what I’m preaching.
Ferragut writes, "Years of research data proves that the adults in the student's home are more important to student success than teacher quality or class curriculum."
The reason many so-called Christians need to believe in the myth of a Christian founding is that they need it to justify a collection of deviant beliefs now found acceptable under the umbrella of Christian Nationalism.