We owe our happy holidays to those who stay on the job

Friday, December 22, 2017

Those of us who live north of the Mason-Dixon Line enjoy making fun of southerners who are out of their element when winter arrives up north.

“Well, winter has arrived,” one construction worker proclaimed to the amusement of his native-born companions, one fall morning when the temperature dipped below 50 degrees at a Nebraska job site.

Our warm-climate friends got their revenge Thursday when we were all helpless in the face of the ice storm that crippled transportation in Southwest Nebraska and Northwest Kansas.

We hope you’re holding a physical copy of this column as you read, but if you’re reading online because delivery was delayed, Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from everyone at the McCook Gazette.

Happy holidays especially to those who give up time with family and friends to make sure the rest of us are safe and have vital services over what for most of us is a long weekend.

If you check out the Police Activity Log on page 2 today, you’ll see what we’re talking about.

We counted 17 traffic accidents, seven ambulance calls and two motorist assists as well as the usual routine calls.

For a town under 8,000 population, that’s a busy day.

When we did make it home safely, we found electricity delivering power for our electronic devices and furnaces, natural gas for heat and, for the most part, broadcast and internet streaming entertainment to pass the time.

Clean, safe water appeared when we opened the faucet, and wastewater disappeared down the drain for proper disposal without us giving it a second thought, and crews were out at all hours to return streets and roads to as safe a condition as possible.

If a loved one had a medical problem, they could be assured of swift, appropriate care, despite icy conditions, as the ambulance calls listed above attest.

Those who are unable to live independently were assured of professional care at area rest homes, and hospitals and emergency rooms were fully staffed, thanks to dedicated medical and support staff.

Time was running short for shoppers, but packages continued to arrive, thanks to postal workers and private delivery services, swamped under the holiday load.

And, those packages don’t appear here magically; over-the-road truckers are on duty, even when slowed by the most hazardous conditions — like those they experienced Thursday. The same goes for those who work at one of McCook’s oldest transportation service, the railroad, which continues moving freight and passengers regardless of the holidays on the calendar.

Gazette delivery drivers and neighborhood carriers should be on the job, as usual, this afternoon, carefully navigating highways, streets and sidewalks to provide this, the final pre-Christmas edition to our readers in time to enjoy it during a break in the holiday festivities.

Thanks to everyone who helps make a happy holiday possible, and all the best for the coming new year.

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: