Yes, we live in the Internet age, but sometimes a snowy trek across a frozen field is still necessary to get the Gazette out on time....

You may recall a few years ago I shared with you my plight as a result of a snowstorm that required a trek across the frozen landscape of Underwood Township to my in-laws in an effort to ensure the news got out despite the weather.
That attempt ended in failure, but I am glad to report the effort paid off a bit better this past Thursday when an April storm forced this reporter to stay home from work once again.
Having prepared for the likelihood of another major snow event, I had put together as much work as I could in order to accomplish it at home if the weather prevented me from getting to the office.
After doing as much as I could on my laptop at home (an eight-month-old who has learned to stand up next to things actually was more of a hindrance than anything, although I sure enjoy seeing that smile), I loaded up my work, put on a few warm layers – yes I did wear a coat – and made the trek again to my closest accessible Internet source – I certainly appreciate my in-laws on days like this (and every day for that matter).
After trudging through piles of heavy, wet snow that had piled on the Krause driveway, I made it to the county road. While it had not yet been plowed, a few individuals with much bigger and more winter appropriate vehicles had cut a path I could use.
So, the trip did not take as long as I had imagined.
What made the trip harder to bear was the fact that this was an April snowstorm.
Why, you might be asking, would that make a difference?
The sun in April is far more direct than it would be in February, for example, which is why even though the snow in excess of one foot was all around melting was still happening.
Anyway, as I walked my eyes started to water up, and I could not help but blink continuously.
The sun was so bright as it reflected off the snow that it was causing me to have to squint.
There were times as I walked when I took my glasses off, closed my eyes for a moment and then proceeded.
It was the first time I can ever recall wishing I had a pair of sunglasses in a snowstorm.
I’m just hoping it is the last.

I have heard a lot of people complaining about April snow, and in response I have reminded them about times in the not-so- distant past when there was still snow on the ground in June.
While it may not have actually been snowing from the sky, I do remember more than one time in my life when June had snow.
I can’t prove it, but I am sure others of you remember it, too.
Help me out, because there are plenty of others who think I was out in the cold too long this past Thursday and the temps shut off part of my brain.
Share with me your memories of the latest you recall there being snow on the ground.

Over the next several weeks, students in Minnesota schools are going to be taking the annual Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments (MCAs).
While I am not a huge proponent of standardized testing, I know the information gleaned from these tests can be valuable for school districts as they plan for the future and strive to give our kids the best education.
So, I want to encourage you parents to talk with your kids about these tests and to let them know what you expect.
Try to help limit their anxiety by letting them know you just want them to do their best and to take the tests seriously.
Make sure you know the dates when they are going to be testing, and then ensure they get a good rest that previous night.
Give them a good breakfast, a pat on the back and some encouraging words as they leave for the day.
Those little things can truly make a big difference