Looking out

The worst of the winter weather -- we hope -- is behind us. But there still may be a few days of subfreezing temperatures left. For some of our family, friends and neighbors, extreme cold weather can be a real threat.

Olwen Riehn of Cape Girardeau can thank Bess Staple for finding her after she fell outside her home in freezing weather. If help hadn't come along, she might not be recovering from a broken hip.

It was fortunate for the elderly woman than her plight was spotted by someone who cared enough to stop and help. This incident is a vivid reminder that we all need to watch out for others year around, but especially when thermometers dip way down.

If you know someone who lives alone and might not have family to check in on a daily basis, it could brighten that person's day to hear from someone who cares. It could also be a lifesaver.

More and more of us want to maintain our independence as we age. Living alone and taking care of ourselves as long as possible is a safer -- and richer -- experience if we look out for each other.

As spring arrives the weather will get better. But the need for friendship and caring will remain.