There is something about a snow storm that brings out the best--and the worst--in people.

I love that in many neighborhoods, there's some kind of unspoken arrangement that when the first guy gets out to tackle the snow, the rest of the neighbors follow and it becomes a regular block party. Folks just seem to go from house to house working together to shovel out one driveway after another. The kids on the block gather to build snow forts and play together in ways they don't seem to do in pleasant weather anymore. Along the roads, you'll see strangers helping strangers who are stuck or stranded. It really is heartwarming, and it reinforces your faith in humanity.

On the flip side are the whiners. These are the people who complain that the street department hasn't plowed their road in the first half-hour of snowfall. In Hannibal, we have more than 200 miles of streets, many of them are hilly. Naturally, crews have to get the main arteries open first, and then they hit the hills. Smaller side streets and neighborhoods just have to wait their turn. There's only so much manpower and equipment to go around--unless you're willing to pay higher taxes to cover those costs year-round when we only have significant snows a couple times a year. Some of the worst bellyaching I saw came from a handful of homeowners who live along a private drive. That's on your dime, folks.

I hope people who work on road crews stay off the information superhighway. Social media has a field day cracking on these hardworking crews. They complain that their car that's parked on a street has been plowed in. They moan that bladed snow blocks their driveway. That snow has to go somewhere! It's just part and parcel of living in the midwest.

City, county and state crews are out there taking care of us when we're cozy in our homes. It's a dangerous job, requiring grueling hours--but it should NOT be a thankless job. Please join me in showing appreciation to all those people working in all kinds of weather clearing the way for the rest of us.

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