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Readers' Rite

“An Ode to My Dad”

It is Christmas morning and I am waiting, along with my mom, brother and dogs. Our breath is held as we wait for my dad to walk through the door. As he finally does, we can breathe — but my dad cannot. This is not the first, or the last, time that my dad will spend the days leading up to Christmas and the days following away from his family. This is not the first, or the last, time that my dad cannot simply enjoy the holiday season with his family because he is forced to spend the time worrying about if he will be called into work so that other families are fortunate enough to spend their holiday seasons together.

The Christmas blizzard of 2022 impacted my dad in an especially profound way. As someone who drives a plow truck, my dad is not typically completing search-and-rescue missions. But as we all know, this storm was different. I do not think that I will ever forget the look on my dad’s face as he told us stories of what he went through while spending two full days at work, only to head back in shortly after he returned home. Searching for people lost in the snow, helping pregnant women get to hospitals, helping the elderly people find a warm place to stay and moving abandoned cars with plows to simply get down the street are just a few of the tragic and heroic accounts that my dad shared.

Blizzards and my father have taught me a great deal about how to be truly appreciative of what I have and how to love unconditionally. Cherish the time spent with your families, and thank the men and women who selflessly clear our streets of snow and guide us all to safety.

  • Christianna Konczal

The blizzard this past holiday season was horrible: we all know that. I was lucky enough to get out of the city 12 hours before it all hit. My Christmas plans with my family were not derailed much, and I was so appreciative of that. Unfortunately, when I was at my in-laws house during the days following the biggest snowfall when many people in Buffalo were still without power and trapped in their homes, my significant other and I’s downstairs neighbor called.

“Can you hear that?” he asked, and when listening for it, I did, and my heart sunk. Water was flooding his apartment as he stood there calling me, and it was coming from the ceiling. He couldn’t get into our apartment because it was still locked, so he couldn’t assess the damage to our home, but based on the state of his place it wasn’t looking good; after all, he could see into our apartment from the top of his.

The next day our landlord’s friend was able to get in and assured us that there was minimal damage because it was pipes in our floor that burst, and the damage was not from the roof collapsing. Many tears were shed in relief because for the past day I’d been thinking about how pretty much everything I owned was probably destroyed. My whole life is in that apartment, and the thought of losing it was incomprehensible. All things considered, the freezer full of food that we had to throw away and the carpets that needed replacing once we got back were minimal inconveniences. I am forever thankful that it wasn’t worse, and I send my heart out to those who did lose everything, especially loved ones.

  • Marissa Burr

Buffalo is wilding, respectfully. The Southern Tier gets similar amounts of snow as here. Just imagine whatever hits here, probably hits my house too, just more chill. The Blizzard of ‘22 was more average snow and just very cold out in my area.

Honestly, the amount of snow we got at home was disappointing. When I left home for break I forgot to bring my winter clothes. And I was fine! I saw the pictures from up here, and Buffalo is wild. I love it up here, regular winter is nice, but Buffalo Blizzards are different from Bolivar Blizzards.

Bolivar Blizzards, if you say we have them, are simply just snow squalls times 10 and -100 degrees and WIND. The wind is not that horrible where I am, which is literally a bowl filled with trees. I am in the middle surrounded by hills and trees, which prevent major wind events.

In Buffalo, it is like y’all are fighting Lake Erie. And it claps back every time.

In Bolivar, we fail to get both Dairy Queen and snow blizzards.

  • Liz Shingler

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