With the holidays behind us, it’s time to get down to business for winter. I know some people love winter. I am not one of them.
You can discount some of the other winter months. December is technically only half of winter, and you have the holidays to distract us. March is also only half of winter, and my two daughters were born in March, so there is always cake. Everything is better with cake. February always has hot days towards the end, plus it’s a short month so it’s a bit more bearable due to its length. January. It’s just in the middle of winter.
Schoolchildren are having snowy days, which after two years of COVID restrictions really don’t have the charm they once had. Once in the late 1970s, we had snow on snow, leaving the students wondering if we would ever go back to school. No blizzard bags, no zoom lessons, when we weren’t at school we were outside. We had 10 days of snow a year and we used them.
Of course, there aren’t any snow days as an adult and that can pose a few challenges. When I had kids in school, my wife and I had to play the daily guessing game to find out when, or if, school would be canceled. The stress was paling, I’m sure, at what parents felt during the pandemic.
The newspapers publish no matter what. In the four decades that I have worked in the industry, we have never canceled an edition because of the weather. Not once. Snow can wreak havoc on the operation. Once, in the early 1990s, only a quarter of employees managed to leave galleries to publish a newspaper. A few had four-wheel drive trucks. Once the papers were printed, we loaded them onto the trucks and delivered them to the homes of the porters, who at the time were mostly schoolchildren. I still remember the look of a boy from Reno when we pulled into the driveway he had just shoveled and told him he now needed to deliver the newspaper. Some articles may have been delivered the next day, but most of them reached homes on the day of publication. It was a fun day, but again I was in my early 30s. As I got older, I started to hate the cold months more and more. I now fully understand why many move to Florida when they retire or at least move there for the winter.
Of course, moving to a sunny location for a few months no longer means you have to lose touch with your community. The combination of our website and the All Access electronic edition means you can read your entire newspaper every day, wherever you are. The site is updated in the middle of the night. The electronic edition goes online at 5 a.m. The electronic edition is a carbon copy of your printed newspaper. You can read it on a phone or on your computer. On a tablet, you can turn the pages by sliding your hand. It really is a great reading experience. There is an archive, so you can read an issue you might have missed. You can also download a page that you want to keep, or extract and email an article that you want to share.
You of course don’t have to be on an exotic beach to use our digital journal. The next time the wind is blowing 40 miles an hour and the snow is falling off the side, you can use it even if your printed newspaper is in a yellow tube at the end of your driveway. It’s okay I won’t judge you.
Art Smith is The Times’ online manager, you can contact him at