From the Assistant Editor

Six good things about bad storms

Posted:  Wednesday, February 15, 2017 - 9:15am

Years ago, on our websites at and, I said my future plans included starting a campaign against winter. I have held off, due to the odds against success, although in recent years I have noticed more people feeling similarly.

The storm that crept in Sunday and raged Monday may further the cause. The best campaigns you don’t have to sell; they sell themselves and are called movements.

I am starting to accept this one is a losing game, however. Winter’s marvels are part of what Maine has to offer and, as year-round residents, we accept them, for better or, like this week’s, for worse.

So in the spirit of accepting, nay, embracing what is, I offer six good things about bad storms. All storms are bad, with few redeeming qualities except possible drought relief, but some are exceptionally bad. The below list applies to them.

1. A bad storm encourages resourcefulness: A light shovel doubles as a walking stick. Wherever you’re walking, you will need a shovel when you get there, so keep it with you and use it to help stay upright.

2. Shorter falls: When surrounded by waist-high snow while walking, the snow helps prop you up. And if you do fall, you’re landing in feet of snow, from a position directly beside it, as opposed to falling all the way to the ground. This good thing does not apply if walking on a roof or other elevation, which no one should be doing in a storm.

3. Promotes commerce by inspiring first-time purchases of ski masks and snow blowers.

4. Elicits the good in people. They help and are otherwise nice to one another, a reminder of community. No punch line to this, the most earnest item on the list.

5. More live local television: Stations break into programming with updates and may extend their newscasts to continue the storm coverage. Monday, I watched as one meteorologist and his videographer traveled Route One from town to town, including down Wiscasset’s Main Street and onto the Donald E. Davey Bridge to Edgecomb. It was surreal, due to the storm scape downtown as well as the pace that looked close to the speed I would take that stretch of Route One on a normal day, although it certainly could have just looked like that on television. Maybe I go too slow in storms, but I always think if I hit a pole or left the road, I would rather do it slowly.

6. Fun for horror movie fans: An ocean of snow, particularly at night, is like being in “The Shining,” but you will have to imagine Jack Nicholson is chasing you. I have never met him or any other famous people in the snow.

If you, like me, are not a horror fan, I hope this film reference did not just creep you out, as it has me, and if it did, that you are not about to go outside as I am, into the dark, with a shovel as a walking stick.