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Written by Jimmie Epling   

 Ice and Snow in the Forecast?

First Stop the Grocery Store...

Next Stop the Library! 

By Jimmie Epling

Last Friday, the local weather prediction called for freezing rain, maybe some snow, and all around icy conditions.  So what do you do?  

First, you find out what will be closing due to the inclement weather. 

If you have children, you tune into a local TV or radio station or go to the school’s Facebook page for the latest closing information.  Some of you will be patient and wait for that automated call announcing the school’s closing.   Almost always the initial announcement is a two hour delay in opening the following day.  Overnight the forecast changes and the update calls for the schools to be closed the entire day.  Now what will you do with the children?

Depending on where you work, the drill is very similar to that of those with children in school, especially for government employees.  There is the initial announcement that government offices will open on a two hour delay.  During the overnight hours, the announcement will be revised with all government offices being closed the next day, with the exception of emergency personnel.

If you do not have children in school or do not work for a school or government, then you check the local TV and radio stations or the website or Facebook page of the Emergency Management Department, Sheriff’s Department, local police, or the Department of Transportation for updates on local road conditions.

Second, once you know where the upcoming storm will hit and who will be impacted, you swing into action you make sure you have those staples of life before travelling becomes treacherous and all traffic is banned from the roads, bread and milk, They are necessary to carry you and your family through this emergency until the roads are passable again.  With your cupboard and refrigerator stocked with provisions, you believe you are ready for anything. 

Now let me ask you…are you really prepared to ride out a storm and its aftermath?  Have you given thought to how you will handle cabin fever when it strikes?  Remember the last winter storm that paralyzed Darlington County?  You were cooped up at home for two or three days, unable to get out due to the icy road conditions.  Your cable or Direct TV went out (which now that you think about it was a blessing after discovering daytime talk shows, ancient astronauts, the Kardashians, and reruns).  Remember how you looked to fill all those idle hours at home?  Do you remember what your children were like?  If some of your memories are unpleasant, then let me make a suggestion.  After making your stop at the grocery store, drop by one of the Darlington County Library’s locations, Darlington, Hartsville, Lamar, and Society Hill to stock up on books, DVDs, audiobooks, and more to prevent you contracting cabin fever during the coming days when you are virtually a prisoner in your own home due to the winter weather.

The Library has hundreds of thousands of books you can choose from to help stave off cabin fever by passing the time reading a good story.  On a cold, wintery day there is nothing like curling up with a good book, with a warm beverage or glass of wine, in a comfortable chair.  When you drop by on your way home, you might try the very popular “Girl on the Train” by Paula Hawkins or  “All the Light We Cannot See” by Anthony Doerr.  If you want romance, pick up “See Mee”  by Nicholas Sparks, “The Man You’ll Marry” by Debbie Macomber, or any of thousands of others.  If action is what you crave on a cold wintery day, then “The Guilty” by David Baldacci and “Command Authority” by Tom Clancy and Mark Greaney are for you.

Load up on books for your children as they can suffer from cabin fever too!  Keep them occupied when it Is too cold to go out and you have decided they have played enough video games for the day.  Your children might enjoy Drew Daywalt’s stories of colors coming alive in “The Day the Crayons Came Home”  and “The Day the Crayons Quit,” Maybe a tale of hard working machines getting ready for bed by Sherri Duskey in “Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site,” or Kevin Henkes’ book about toys cooling their heels on a windowsill, “Waiting,” will help them stretch their imagination.

The Library also has a large collection of game and craft books with ideas suitable for adults and children to do on a snowy, frosty day.  A gardening book or outdoor woodworking project guide might be the perfect remedy for a  bout of cabin fever.  You might try Amanda Kingloff’s “ProjectKid” for 100 ingenious crafts for family fun or “2-Hour Crafting Treasures” by Laura Scott for ideas to keep your children busy and happy.

Don’t forget the Library has thousands of movies on DVD that will help prevent cabin fever when the cable or Direct TV go out due to the ice and snow.  You will find drama, romance, action, horror, and science fiction for yourself and lots of wholesome and entertaining movies for children of every age.  A snowy day is just the time to binge watch a season of one of your favorite television series!  The Library has hundreds of TV series on DVD available for you to check out for a personal TV marathon.

While the Library’s four locations may be closed due to the foul weather, our “Digital Branch” is always open 24/7 for you to visit at  As long as you have an Internet connection, you can visit the “Digital Branch.”  Through your computer, tablet, e-reader, or smartphone you can access a special collection of thousands of electronic books, audiobooks, and magazines for adult and children.  And it is all free!  

Winter is here and with it will come some very nasty weather.  Ice and snow will cause hazardous road conditions, bringing nearly everything to a standstill for a while.  When you prepare for the coming storm, after stocking up on beard and milk, stock up on books, DVDs, audiobooks, and more from the Darlington County Library to prevent the onset of stress, boredom, and cabin fever!

January 25, 2016 


Last Updated ( Sunday, 03 July 2016 )

Word of the Week

Snowbird (noun) A person who vacations in or moves to a warmer climate during cold weather.  A northerner who moves to a warmer southern state in the winter.  The Library is the perfect place for a snowbird to find something good to read while wintering in South Carolina!


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