This winter is already looking a bit too familiar, too much like the winter from hell that  brought the area to a halt for much of last year.

The major snowstorm rushing up the East Coast will dump up to 20 inches on some areas of the northeast.  Fortunately, the brunt of this one will miss us but we have enough snow on the ground this morning to remind us that we are just a degree or two away from repeats of last year’s disaster.

“I’m not sure I can take another storm like last year,” a friend said over coffee in Floyd Friday. “One more like last year and we may be looking for another place to live.”

Snow, cold weather and such are part of life in the country but extremes like last year — coupled with the threats from this this year — also highlight the shortcomings of living in rural areas.  Snow-blocked roads keep those who need help from hospitals. Deep, slick snow strain the health of the elderly and — as I’ve learned recently — those with temporary limitations that can limit movement and prevent even simple acts like shoveling snow or clearing snow-packed gutters.

Rural life can be challenging in the best of times. When Mother Nature takes a dump on the region it becomes a daily hell.

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