For some, less snow is great news. With no or little snow, driving is less hazardous, you don’t have to shovel the sidewalk and moving anywhere outdoors is easier with flip-flops than snow boots. Our ski resorts though, need snow, and I, for one, find the white wispy stuff almost comforting. It feels as if weather-wise, all is as it should be.
Sometimes I’ve wondered if, in a hundred years, we’d call this time period we’re living in — the early 2000s — the in-between time of climate change when winters in Idaho were comparatively mild but snow still happened most of the time. The full effects of a warming planet had not yet hit us. I think about this every time I read that NASA has issued another warning about our average global temperatures climbing.
But wet snow, the kind it seems we’re more likely to get this winter, is great for snowman-building. I found this out a few weeks ago when we had that four-six inch snowfall, enough for the grandkids to play in. Then I bent over, hamstrings screaming, and tried rolling a syrupy little snowman ball along the ground. It was no easy task. The ball kept breaking apart because the snow was almost too wet.
“We’re making a snowman, huh Gan-ma?” my granddaughter Cora asked as she watched me push my snowball around the backyard leaving a ribbon of frozen green grass in its wake.
“Yep,” I said, breathing hard and thinking, the things we do for our grandkids.
Cora’s eyes shone when she saw the big snowball suddenly transformed into a man. The world for her was a magical place.
Later, I stood in the kitchen with a hot cup of coffee in my hands and watched out the window as Cora and her brother ran around and around our drippy snowman. They were laughing and throwing globs of snow at each other. Looking at this scene made me thankful we still had a world full of natural beauty that included, sometimes, a white winter. It may not always be like this. Wise men know. They watch the sky.
Diana Hooley, Glenns Ferry