Good News Monday #47: Traffic Stops, Snow Days, and Girl Power

It’s almost Christmas. And I’m almost ready. Each morning I sing “O Come O Come, Emanauel” before and after my advent devotional.

I almost have all my sewing and knitting done. I even managed to get a hat knitted for St. Jude.

Two vaccines is our cavalry, and people are getting vaccinated. This weekend essential workers and people over 75 were added to the queue. Please don’t let your guard down now. Take cover and stay safe.

While we wait, here’s some good news I found this week.

Do you wanna build a snow man?

Last April when my grandkids went into remote learning, we thought it was just for a little while. Still, parents posited that this was the beginning of the end of snow days. It turned out that remote learning would not be short-lived. Almost every child I know has had some level of remote or hybrid learning this year. But, for Jefferson County West Virginia, snow days live on.

For generations, families have greeted the first snow day of the year with joy. It is a time of renewed wonder at all the beautiful things that each season holds. A reminder of how fleeting a childhood can be. An opportunity to make some memories with your family that you hold onto for life.

It has been a year of seemingly endless loss and the stress of trying to make up for that loss. For just a moment, we can all let go of the worry of making up for the many things we missed by making sure this is one thing our kids won’t lose this year.

So please, enjoy a day of sledding and hot chocolate and cozy fires. Take pictures of your kids in snow hats they will outgrow by next year and read books that you have wanted to lose yourself in, but haven’t had the time. We will return to the serious and urgent business of growing up on Thursday, but for tomorrow—go build a snowman.”

Bondy Shay Gibson, PhEd, Superintendent

A day off for staff and students, teachers and principals. Well, I guess parents didn’t take a break. But, then again, we never do take a break from parenting. Even when the children are all grown up and gone.

But officer….

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Photo by Pixabay on

I guess West Virginia is really in the holiday spirit. A restaurant owner in South Charleston approached the police department with an idea: Give out gift certificates instead of traffic tickets. Officers handed out $500 worth of gift certificates to speeders and red-light-runners. In the words of one violator:

“How wonderful is that??” (A Chic-fil-a gift card instead of a traffic ticket.)

Santa is a feminist

Well, anyway, he picked female reindeer to pull his sleigh. That’s according to Judy Cole, a science writer.

If you believe the pictures, Santa’s Reindeer have antlers. At Christmastime, only the females still have antlers. Besides, female reindeer have about a 45% greater fat-to-body-mass ratio than their male counterparts. This extra tissue serves as insulation that keeps them warm. You know it’s cold outside.

person looking at the window
Photo by cottonbro on

“Now Dash away, Dash away, Dash away all.”

— Twas the Night Before Christmas

Oh, but what about on those foggy nights? Rudolf is male. Take another look, no antlers on that guy. If you ever wondered about the origin of our red-nosed buddy, click here: Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.

If that’s not enough to give you some hope, CNN has its 2020 Heroes show this week. Here’s a link to their inspiring moments page. Warning: When Loved-One and I saw this last night, he turned to me and said, “Are they going to make us cry all night?” Click here to read more.

This weeks stories made me feel joy and hope.

So remember, don’t despair. Good things and fun things are happening every day.

Those good things could be where you least expect them. You might even get lunch instead of a traffic ticket.

In the meantime, practice the four Ws:

  • Wear a mask;
  • Watch your distance,
  • Wash your hands, and
  • Work together.

What’s on your good news radar this week? I’d love to hear. More is always better.

Remember as you plan your holiday shopping, get-togethers, and other festivities, there’s a tool to help you figure out whether travel is worth it.

The COVID-19 Event Risk Assessment Planning Tool is a collaborative project led by Prof. Joshua Weitz and Prof. Clio Andris at the Georgia Institute of Technology, along with researchers at the Applied Bioinformatics Laboratory and Stanford University, and powered by RStudio. Description of the method and analyses available at Nature Human Behaviour.