A blizzard/hurricane/natural disaster somewhere in the nation means that the critical news teams will be out giving us the latest breaking weather reports before the event even happens. The thirty-plus inches of snow that recently fell in the northeast is certainly news and nothing to sneeze at, but I nearly choked on my coffee when I changed channels to check the weather report. In a live broadcast from the northeast, the newscaster was reporting “It’s really coming down now!” to a background of a few big fluffy snowflakes and an accumulation of about two inches. Two inches of snow is what Minnesotans brush off their picnic tables each spring before tossing a few burgers on the grill. Later, another newscaster was describing the wind picking up while *gasping* for breath. There was more drama to that pre-storm report than a reprisal of Les Miserables on Broadway. He should walk across a northern Minnesota parking lot at 30 below zero and he would really have to *gasp* for breath. Having spent nearly 20 years in Florida, I am also interested in weather reports on hurricanes and often see the same video of a reporter wearing a wet hooded raincoat being buffeted around and palm trees bent over double by the winds. I think this is supposed to make the reporter look brave and fearless. The palm trees always add another touch of drama to the scene, but always make me smile, because palm trees are SUPPOSED to bend over in the wind, as Mother Nature made them to be very flexible under adverse conditions. Here is my own newsflash: They bend and sway in light ocean breezes, too. The producers of these news and weather shows must think that drama draws viewers and can sell more commercial time for that, but I for one would be happier with more facts and less “entertainment”. Here up in our neck of the woods, we don’t see the reporters because it is way too cold and snowy for them. With a foot of snow, we dig ourselves and our neighbors out. With three feet of snow, we would do the same thing, but I must admit it would take us a little longer. We trade stories and make Facebook postings about how many inches we have in our driveways. We put another log on the fire. We add another layer to our already heavy coats and boots and end up looking more like Michelin Men than real people. Amazingly enough, we northerners have more in common with the tropical palm trees than one might think. We bend and sway and are totally flexible under the most adverse of conditions and afterwards, are able to stand proud and upright each and every time. I think those folks in the northeast will do exactly the same thing…once they dig out.