I’ve written a lot about the weather recently. Far too much. But when the weather takes up about half the local news every night, not counting the actual weather segment, well… I guess it’s something to talk about. The people who know I’m from North Dakota tell me that I should be used to this type of cold and snow lasting for a long time. And I reply how I’ve lived in Colorado for almost seven years now and I’m not really used to it anymore.
And then we get a morning like this morning.
Snow in Colorado is different than snow in North Dakota. Snow in Colorado is usually heavy and wet. It makes good snowballs. It sticks to your windshield when you drive and makes it hard to see. It makes the roads wet and then icy and then slushy as it melts two days later. It snows hard, thick, and heavy for a little while and then it stops.
And usually it melts.
In North Dakota, the snow didn’t melt until it melted. And then it was spring. If you hear people say it was too cold to snow, well, it was. When it did snow, it was light, dry, and crystalline. About the equivalent of Splenda.
This morning I got up. It was 2 degrees outside. I shoveled the driveway. The three inches of snow was light and dry. It didn’t stick to the ground or the shovel. The snow on the roads actually provided some traction – much better than the ice that we’ve been dealing with. The highways were clear because it was too cold for the snow to stick and melt.
And after I drove to work and was walking inside, I took a deep breath in through my nose and all the junk and nose hairs and other stuff up there that decent people don’t like to talk about – it froze and stuck together. My hair was stiff with a little ice in it. That deep breath in made me cough a little because the air was just a little to cold to be warmed up by the time it reached my lungs.
Inside, I heard people talking about how bitterly cold it was and that they shouldn’t even be made to go outside on a day like this. Nobody asked me if I was used to this type of weather. I’m sure that they all assume no one is used to this type of weather.
I sat at my desk and remembered that in high school I used to run the couple hundred feet from our house to the garage where my car was, and when I’d get there, the junk in my nose was frozen, my wet hair was a little stiff, I had a little cough from breathing deeply, and the snow that I tracked in with me was light and fluffy and scattered on the cold cement like Splenda.
I may be riff-raff and complain about the cold and the snow and say I wish it was 60 degrees outside, but for the first time in several winters in Colorado, it felt like home.