Laura Lorson is the producer, editor and local All Things Considered host for Kansas Public Radio.
Some advice for you folks in the mid-Atlantic on snowstorms: You can trust me; I live in the Midwest. We get phenomenal amounts of snow pretty regularly ... though I could see where you might not know that, because we have to get, like, apocalyptic amounts of ice before anyone on The Weather Channel bothers to point it out. So anyway, here are my rules for a safe, healthy, happy snow experience.
1. Chopping up your furniture for fuel goes a lot more smoothly if you keep your axes nice and sharp.
2. Do not pay more than $50 for a loaf of black-market Wonder Bread.
3. There's more food in your house than you think. Search the junk drawers — there are often stale Gummi bears and Lemonhead candies.
4. Check on your shut-in neighbors, especially the ones who don't think you are sufficiently serious about lawn care in the summertime. Be extra-nice and superconcerned while you are there. They will feel guilty. The evil glee in your heart will keep you warm.
5. If Pa goes out to find more wheat, tell him to go to Almanzo Wilder's. He's holding back some in the walls to use for seed next spring.
6. Four-wheel drive will get you only so far. Next year, consider investing in a mule. Their accelerator pedals never stick! In fact, their accelerator pedals are a stick!
7. Keep a sense of perspective. Running out of Chai Latte K-Cups is not worth a call to 911.
8. To clear your driveway of heavy snow and ice, get married.
9. Stay off the roads if you can ... but if you absolutely, positively have to get to Capitol Hill, strap yourself to Mitch McConnell and tell him that Harry Reid's scheduled a vote on abolishing the filibuster.
10. Enjoy it. Stay home; stay safe; make soup; read a book. Make snow angels. Learn what we already know here in the Midwest — you can think of snow as an annoyance, or accept it for what it is — a gift of time. Time with your family, time with your thoughts, time to be thankful for shelter and warmth and hot chocolate. Take the gift; enjoy it; use it well.