Random Thoughts: Waiting for the sky to fall


By Travis Mounts, managing editor

It’s lunch time on Tuesday, and our corner of the world is bracing for snow. A lot of snow. Potentially a half-foot of it.
In my world, a Wednesday snow is pretty much the worst time for a big snow. I am supposed to be out delivering papers. As things stand as I write this, conditions do not look the least bit encouraging for that. If papers do not get to the post office on time, they do not get into readers’ mailboxes on time.
The weather has to be good enough for the papers to get here in the morning, and then good enough for us to get them to two different post offices for mailing. From there, many of these papers then go into the Wichita post office on Wednesday night and then out to the rest of our local process on Thursday morning.
And the weather is still supposed to be bad Thursday morning.
The weather is not late enough in the week to avoid headaches.
And it’s not early enough in the week to really write a story about it…at least not for print.
We go to press on Tuesday night, which means most of our stories are written before we go to bed on Monday night.
Right now, there is no story to tell. We could prepare a story about how it is supposed to snow. But by the time people receive their papers, that will be old news.
Or it could be inaccurate news if the storm fizzles out for some reason. We have seen that frequently the past few winters.
So what to do about it?
Well, as an enterprising journalist with a lot of years of experience, I can complain about it.
I can complain about this quandary in a column. Yep, write about it in a column that up until late Tuesday morning, I had no specific plan for.
While I expect my Wednesday will be (or as you read this, how I “expected” my Wednesday to be) a wet snowy mess, I was able to go to sleep on Tuesday night knowing that I came up with some words to put beside my name and photo on the Opinions page.
An impending deadline can do a lot to help shake loose the shackles of writer’s block.
By the time you get this week’s paper, I hope the roads are clear and that you managed to stay safe and stay warm, and that you avoided ditches and other cars if you had to be out.