December 21, 2007

Winter

Today is (was) the first day of winter. It started snowing when I was down in Denver and I cut short my errands to head up the mountain, choosing the frontage road, instead of the freeway. Too many semi's jack-knife going up before the snowplows are out and spreading sand and whatever chemicals.

So I opted for finishing my errands in Evergreen, closer to home. Dawson called me wondering where I was, and was going to tell me not to go up the freeway. By the time he was heading down, the traffic was crawling and sometimes at a standstill. He's stayed overnight in Denver tonight, and will meet Monte tomorrow morning to follow thru with the ski plans he has with friends.

All this only to say I was thinking of last year at this time...We got hit with 3 feet of snow! Monte was out of town. All of Colorado was shut down. If you really think about that...I listened to the radio...semi's were calling in to local talk radio to say they were at the borders of Colorado full of Christmas mail and packages, and food, and not able to move.

People lost power, some for days, us for a day. With the cookstove, and Dawson home, we could keep warm, cook, and melt snow for necessities...(like even flushing toilets...are you thinking and imagining?). Usually (except the Christmas eve of 1982) we get the large snow dumps in the Spring and those melt right away. This did not melt! And then we got several other large dumps a week apart for a few more times.

Monte did not get to come home till Christmas day, though his plane was scheduled to arrive a few days before. Dawson shoveling, and our neighbor's little skid-loader tractor got us out. Denver had it worse than us since not enough snowplow power to clear side streets. We drove to Trav's in Ft Collins after getting Monte at the airport, and couldn't believe all the mounds of snow. Colorado spent lots of money paying dump-trucks to haul snow away from the Denver area.

Since this was the beginning of winter, it did not melt for months, with lots of strange repercussions ... With snow on so many streets for a long time, the pot-holes and cracks was unbelievable. For me ... I felt claustrophobic. The side walls of our driveway and road out were so high that we could walk no where, and neither could the wildlife.

I just looked out over our meadow this morning and was chuckling over a track made by fox or coyote that from up above was a large heart shape. And there's usually elk and deer tracks. Last winter there were no tracks!

And then the final fun bit from last year...When I finally got out just before Christmas, I went just to the grocery store. The only bag of potatoes left were organic, which is my preference anyway...well...the fire alarm went off in the store! We had to leave our carts and go out to the parking lot. Luckily it was sunny. As I stood there with many, I imagined returning to my cart and finding the potatoes gone! But they weren't. But oh, such an ending to the saga of the storm, the beginning of winter!
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