For many years I yearned to stay home on a snow day.
I hadn't been at the Daily Mail very long when I realized people in the news business buckle down and work harder when the weather turns wicked.
Snow and bitter cold can mean wrecks, school closings, power outages and bursting pipes to report.
I started as a reporter on Jan. 3, 1977, in the midst of a record-breaking winter.
Jay Rockefeller was about to be inaugurated as governor, and a Daily Mail photographer snapped some photos as he rehearsed his speech on the steps of the state Capitol.
At 6 feet 7 inches in height, Rockefeller always made for good visuals. This bitterly cold day was no exception.
Like everyone else outside that day, he was bundled up, and on his towering head was a fuzzy-lined cap with the flaps pulled down over his ears.
I created some visuals myself that winter, but luckily I wasn't being tracked by photographers like the new governor.
One frigid day I was sent to cover something that required walking a nasty distance from the newspaper building. I wore a fashionable teal green coat over a dress and ridiculous high-heeled boots.
The coat was thin, and I should have been wearing slacks. The boots hurt my feet and did nothing to keep them warm. If only I'd had the sense of Jay Rockefeller.
A year later, another winter made the record books.
Everyone awakened that January morning in 1978 to a deep snow. I was asleep in my Kanawha City apartment when the phone rang. Another reporter wanted to know if I was going to work.
"Of course," I said. "Have you looked outside?" she asked.
I went to the window and took a quick glance from the second floor.
"I'm going," I said confidently.
I dressed and headed out. My boots were more practical by then, but I promptly plunged them into snow that covered them completely. I wasn't going to be driving my low-slung, half-buried Mercury Capri.
I was high-stepping my way down MacCorkle Avenue when a kind snowplow driver stopped to offer me a ride. He dropped me off at the South Side Bridge, a short hop from the newspaper building across the Kanawha River.
Family members who stayed home that day talked about my trek for years.