It’s easy to hibernate in February, to stream a movie, to tune out politics and headlines, and to dismiss all inclination to make any decision of consequence.

On a snowy Sunday, your mind can bounce freely between weighty topics like how many of your too-similar online passwords are hacker fodder, what you actually can afford on your summer vacation bucket list, the new scientific discoveries that penguin speech patterns are similar to humans and that early failure makes you more likely to succeed in life, and the sobering realization that eating cookies is easier than exercising when bad weather has you homebound.

Does it matter what’s happening with global trade, that Wisconsin’s rural counties continue to lose population, and that our teens and young adults aren’t civically engaged, when there are cocoa and thick socks and library books to fill the day?

Until the plows come through and you have no excuse but to go out in search of a gallon of milk, you can randomly muse over what’s actually buried in that spot that once was the town dump, why no one’s interested in taking responsibility for filling potholes on a state highway, and the potential results and implications of the next local spending referendum.

Is our small, rural community moving forward or backward? Mid-way into a mid-winter snowstorm in a Midwestern small town, the answer is no-ward. Nothing’s moving outside and nothing of note will happen for the rest of the day. Tomorrow is likely a total loss, too. We might be fully functional again by Tuesday.

Local elections? They’re not until April. Summer festivals? Four or five months away. Presidential election? Easy to sink into denial on that one with another board game, another load of laundry, the last cookie from the jar and a long look to see which prepackaged freezer meal might make the best dinner.

We spend so many of our days taking in and disseminating information, making hard decisions, saving the world and saving our communities. On a snow day, I give myself permission to amateurishly strum my guitar, eat cookies and not process a single though of importance.

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