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When a record snowstorm hits the area, what do we all have in common? Views on gay marriage—no. Race—no. Feelings about fruitcake—no.

We’re all shut-ins, that’s what.

And it’s what Clean Water Action appears to have recognized—-very intelligently, I might add. Around midday, a rep from that organization knocked on our door soliciting a contribution. The answer was no, but the CWA woman didn’t leave without earning our admiration and curiosity.

Surely this must be a tactic: Once the snow hems in all the cars and cancels every conceivable appointment that anyone could have, CWA hits the streets!

Uh, not really, says Roger Smith, the organization’s national energy and climate program specialist. “I wish we were that clever,” says Smith when presented with my theory that CWA pounces whenever there’s some accumulation. “It’s something we do pretty much every day.”

Door-to-door schmoozing, says Smith, is the very foundation of the group’s membership, fundraising, and volunteer-promotion efforts. “It’s the best means we have of talking to everyday people,” he says.