Really snow, you’re not done dumping?


(Note: This was written when it was minus 20 degrees and I was basically sitting on top of the wood-burning stove oven, while winter kept spreading its white jubilee, well too far into spring time)

Dear Mother Nature,

A few bags of trash wait patiently in my mudroom to be taken to their bin outside...I stare at them from the kitchen and look out the window at the three-foot mound of snow that continues to fill the path from house to trash. So like any lady would, I ask my male roommate to take it out. Although we/he shovels regularly, the snow keeps dumping to spite us, Mr. Trash man and the can. This winter season in particular, we never quite know how much snow the forecast actually predicts. You fall asleep soundly thinking the morning routine will be just that. Unlike rain, which pitter patters through the night, snow is gentle, secretive-- like a soft, yet cold and wet, white blanket. You wake up, look outside, debate a shovel, but hope that the snow was kind to you that particular Monday morning. But, if worse comes to worst and you’re already going to be late to work, you decide to just play hooky and shred for a few hours at Red Lodge Mountain or cross-country ski up Silver Run.

The snow situation is similar to Christmas morning…well sort of (especially when Christmas was months ago and you’re ready for the fancies of spring to emerge). As a child, you woke up anxious to see the mounds of presents buried under the tree. But as an adult, with a nine-to-five job, you now look to see if a mound of snow has piled up on your car and you have to do all the work… and then go to work. Santa, next Christmas, I would like a snow blower and a plow, please and thank you.

However annoying this cold may be, it is the talk of the town these days, with phrases like “Polar Vortex” entering conversations. First “Global Warming,” now “Polar Vortex,” should we be concerned? Think about it and continue to read... Yet, if there wasn’t this much snow, what would Joe Shmoe and I talk about when we run into each other in the produce aisle at the grocery store. “How ‘bout that snow out there ay? Don’t cha know we’re going to get another two inches today,” Shmoe would say in his Midwestern accent. “Yea, it’s pretty thick out there,” I reply with a smile, but am actually thinking, “Thanks Shmoe for the weather update, you may as well be the “brilliant” Groundhog Day announcer reading the groundhogs’ predictions from a scroll, wearing a bow tie and top hat. I think it’s pretty obvious we have at least six more weeks, aka, three more months of winter with the way things are looking,” “But keep warm,” I say with a grin.

Negative 15 degrees is forecasted for the following week. Tired of this madness I search flights to the tropics, which are very expensive at this time because we all have the same idea-- get out now. Despite my transparent skin, an overly sweaty reaction to humidity and an increasing forgetfulness of how to dress for warm weather, I find a winter escape from the bitter cold-- anywhere where the temps are at least above 45 degrees… I heard Alaska was actually having a mild winter. Relief and a feeling of “Ahh,” I fall asleep hearing the icicles slowly start to fall from my roof’s edge. It wakes me up and I realize this trip is something to look forward to, in spite of the continuous forecast of depressing cold. Falling back into my dream state, I have to add that I truly admire those who think this weather is “great” and even “phenomenal.” But for some of us, who just want to feel warm and free (free meaning not wearing eight layers), a trip to the tropics is doctor’s orders. So this gal is saying, “Adios,” “Hasta Luego,”and I hope to see you in Mexico.


Lizzie B.

P.S. Winter in Red Lodge-- thank you for making me ever more hearty and appreciative of life’s simplicities like being able to feel my toes, nose and everything in between. You have helped me grow, pushed me to do things I never thought I would do. You are great…at times.