The Weather Outside

Bill and I both grew up in the Midwest, so neither of us is a stranger to snowstorms. However, when it snowed in our Midwest communities, the snow stuck around. The snowplows would come and piles of snow would end up at the ends of our streets or along our sidewalks. There they would remain for most of the winter, because Midwest winters are cold. And dreary. Gray skies and brutally cold temperatures. Day after day the piles turned from gleaming white to dingy gray and full of gravel. About the time they were nearly gone, some more snow would fall on top of the dirty, crusty snow hill.

As Bill and I drove home yesterday afternoon after running a couple of errands, I commented that I was going to have to fill my car up with window washer. As the snow melted, the splash-up on the windows was serious.

“It’s Window Washer Season,” I said. “Snow one day, dirty car windows the next.”

It’s really a Great Colorado Truth. When we woke up yesterday morning, the temperature was a frigid 13 degrees. As the sun began peaking through the trees, it was easy to see that it was going to be a sunny day. That meant that even if the temperatures barely crept past the freezing point, the sun would melt most of the snow away on the city streets by the end of the day. Put away your snow plows, Mr. and Ms. Street Maintenance People. By 10 o’clock, the sidewalks would be dry. Especially if your daughter-in-law had surprised you by shoveling your sidewalks the day before, as Jll had done for us.

This is true even in the high country, where it can snow nearly every day. Still, the sun generally shines bright for at least some of the day, keeping the snow piles manageable and the skiers’ necks and faces sunburned. In fact, it isn’t until about March that the snow starts getting on everyone’s nerves. The resulting slush nearly drove my mother mad. Mud Season, she called it. That was why she and Dad headed off to visit my brother in AZ every March. An escape from the mud.

The streets yesterday were very drivable, and the stores were full. Apparently people had hunkered down in their homes for the past few days, not so much from the snow as from the bitter cold temperatures. But they were out in full force, all masked up and social distancing. The masks actually kept our faces nice and warm. Navigating Costco with one of their inordinately large shopping carts was tricky, however. I went to get coffee and ground beef, and wound up spending nearly $150. Funny how that happens.

In a day or so, it will be in the 60s, and the outlook for snow is minimal. That’s good news for any Halloween trick-or-treaters, but bad news for the wild fires and any winter wheat.

And the cold weather makes me think about pot roast and chili. Yum!

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