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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
It didn't go unnoticed.