We don`t have all the answers

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The first day of spring is just around the corner, and in case you had any doubts a change of seasons is upon us, you may have spotted the robins make their short runs before abruptly stopping and pecking at some unsuspecting grub or, even better, a worm.

Of course, you didn’t see them last Friday, or for that matter when Tuesday’s nor’easter blew into town. We’re not complaining about the storm. Stella, thankfully, didn’t live up to all her hype…at least not in Rhode Island. But had it delivered 18 inches of snow and wind gusts to 50 mph, it appears we were prepared. Sanding crews reported as early as 3 a.m. to pre-treat the roads and full crews, ready to keep roads open, were on duty by 6, two hours in advance of the heavy snow. National Grid called in outside contractors whose scores of trucks were parked at the site of the former Atwood Grille on Post Road, ready and on standby. Government offices, schools and businesses closed. The governor advised people to stay off the roads, and they listened. We were ready.

Stella was forgiving. Temperatures climbed. Heavy snow turned to rain, making for a slushy mess but thankfully sparing us from icy conditions and mountains of snow.

City crews made quick work of the storm’s feeble punch, clearing an initial path on the city’s 2,000 roads and then looping back to widen roadways. By Tuesday evening it was cleaned up.

Few would have imagined it possible from the forecasts only 24 hours earlier. The situation looked dire then. Mainstream and social media buzzed with the prospect of a bruising storm. Many expected the worst. Workplace talk Monday revolved around the storm with almost minute-to-minute reports on what was being said. It all seemed surreal as the sun shone brightly followed by a full evening moon.

Such instant information has become pabulum to worrywarts. Naturally, there’s no knowing its accuracy until the weather radar showed all those blobs on top of Rhode Island and we’re actually living it.

That won’t change. The days of living through a storm and not being told almost to the minute when it will start snowing or when the storm will clear out are gone. We have come to rely on those reports, plan our lives around them, treat them like gospel.

But as happened Tuesday, we were pleasantly reminded of our fallibility. We don’t have all the answers. Perhaps the robins know something we don’t.

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