At noon on Wednesday, McMinnville was one of the coldest cities in the entire United States. At a very nippy 10 degrees, we were 4 degrees colder than Buffalo, N.Y., and 21 degrees colder than Anchorage, Alaska, according to AccuWeather.
The snow and frigid air had one detrimental effect. It kept local residents tucked away in their homes where it was nice and warm. It seemed few people mustered the courage to venture outdoors.
The snow and frigid air also had one glowingly positive effect. It kept local residents tucked away in their homes. This meant there weren't as many folks flooding the streets and cramming into stores.
As a result, I had two days where it felt like I had the town largely to myself. And like a child suddenly getting all the attention because a brother or sister was away at summer camp, I loved it.
Tuesday and Wednesday were great days, even with the numbing cold. It's amazing how much more enjoyable it is to drive to work in the morning without having to share the road with other motorists who seem poised to constantly cut in front of my car.
This is an unscientific guess, but I'd say the snow reduced traffic by about 90 percent, which increased my enjoyment of the road by about 700 percent.
When it comes to shopping, Walmart is the store folks love to hate, but for me it's the store I just love. I say this because I can't imagine the misery I would endure if I didn't have the convenience of shopping at any time of the day or night.
What makes a trip to Walmart even better? You got it -- no other customers. When I ventured to Walmart on Tuesday night, it was like a vacation cruise. The parking lot was so empty, I thought I'd made a wrong turn and gone to Roses. I almost grabbed the very first parking spot.
Once inside, it was like my own personal shopping dream. I didn't have to navigate through other shoppers completely blocking the aisle oblivious to me trying to squeeze by. Walmart employees looked legitimately happy to see me because I wasn't just another customer. I was the only customer.
I didn't have to try and judge which line would be faster and then spend the next 10 minutes mentally kicking myself for picking the slowest possible line in North America. There were no customers waiting at any of the registers.
All of this is not to suggest I don't like people, but the roads are so much more enjoyable when there's less traffic. And while I enjoy bumping into friends and neighbors at the store, shopping is so much more relaxing when you're not stampeded by other customers.
While most folks were resting comfortably at home on Tuesday and Wednesday, I was enjoying the comforts of a much less congested McMinnville. For everyone so eager for rapid growth, there are some benefits to staying small.
Standard editor James Clark can be reached at 473-2191.