Opinion: The weather sucks, but it could always be worse

Jake Crissman

Jake Crissman

Jake Crissman is a sophomore English major and columnist for the Daily Kent Stater.Contact Jake Crissman at [email protected].

Well, Old Man Winter has been flexing a lot of muscle lately — probably trying to impress all the honeys at the gym. Regardless, he has been showing his true colors with extremely bitter weather this past couple of weeks. Freezing temperatures and unbearable snowfall are something of a staple in northeast Ohio. But I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t become accustomed to the mild winters of late. So now all this white stuff is a bit of a shock to my system.

It’s not so bad if there’s just a light snowfall, or if it’s just really cold. (Unless it’s really, really cold, like the type of cold that just makes your bones shiver as you’re walking to class and your teeth start to clatter — forget that stuff.) It sucks, though, when you’re going to class and you have to keep your head down because there is absolutely zero visibility because the wind is stinging your exposed face and gusts some fresh, heavy-duty flakes in your face.

Sidewalks and walkways on my route seem to never be plowed. I’m always slipping and sliding around, trying to get some good footing as if I were climbing a mountain. It doesn’t help, though, that I don’t own a pair of boots; if I did, then, this would be a different story. I’d be dominating that white beast.

But I think I’m getting a little off topic, just a little bit.

No matter how bad this weather may be, I know that I always have a nice and cozy warm room to go to. But there are some who aren’t as lucky as me. When I walk around in this winter wonderland weather, I think about all of the homeless people that have to live in these conditions.

I remember driving around downtown Cleveland this past Christmas Eve to look at all the Christmas lights on display. It was really, really cold that night. I looked out the window to my left, and there I saw on the sidewalk three people in heavy coats, hats, hoods and blankets who seemed to be setting up camp for the night. One was kneeling on a blanket on the ground near a large sewer grate that was secreting smoke; the other two were still standing and unloading items from their shopping cart.

My heart sank, and I felt so terrible for those people. I wanted to help them; I wanted to save them from their concrete beds. But the light turned green and we were off again, twisting and turning through the maze of steel and glass.

But I’ve never forgotten them; that’s one of those images that doesn’t leave lightly. Now when the weather is terrible, I wonder if they are still braving these conditions, or if they’re even alive. I become immensely thankful for all that I have and feel extremely blessed to be who I am. There’s no reason, for me at least, to ask for more than I need or to get seriously upset over dumb trivial things like weather, school or people, because I know that at the end of the day, there’s a roof over my head, and not clouds.