Live from the Salt Pile: Snowmageddon


Picture if you will, a poor rookie news reporter standing outside in the cold next to a three story pile of salt.  She’s wrapped up in a jacket that is supposed to make her look like she is at the tip of winter weather fashion sense; but all it really does is accent how red her cheeks are from the biting wind.  Her thin gloves grip the microphone tightly just to hide the fact she shivers uncontrollably.  Her only need to report tonight is just to say the county trucks are ready to roll to keep the roads safe and clear.  Down where I used to live in that belt of states from Kansas to Kentucky and even further south – this is the sign of the end, this is the picture of Snowmageddon!  Usually this happens in November or December, but they aren’t afraid to send that poor rookie out to be filmed in front of the salt piles in January or February.  (So yes, the world ends in Snow two or three times a year)  In that southern part of the mid-west, big snow storms are about all that really happens for snow.  It isn’t really snow covered, but brown dead leaves sometimes interrupted by dirty piles of ice.  Storms make the roads tough for travel for a day or two, accidents happen, people buy snow blowers, a cold spell comes in, it warms up, and everything is back to winter’s normal brown.

When I moved up here, I think other Kansas (and maybe me too) pictured Snowmageddon on a daily basis.    Constantly we would have a flood of weather, have to dig out, and the world would be one constant standstill.  And that poor reporter, day in and day out standing next to the salt pile. 

We are getting a fair bit of snow in Anchorage the last couple of weeks, but its not like that.  We had storms that dumped a lot at a given time, but for the most part the snow becomes a constant.  During snow days, you plan accordingly.  Give yourself extra time, give others extra time.  Plan to shovel – including the driveway, the sidewalk, the deck (snow build up can damage it).  Keep your shoes near the door to keep the floors clean. 

With time, it will clear up and stay to the side, and getting around gets easier.  The snow just becomes the constant.  Either its falling or its not, but it is still everywhere.  It doesn’t overwhelm, it just … is.

On the flipside, snow has its benefits.  Snow doesn’t fall if its too cold, and once its down it tends to keep the weather a little more stable.  So snow days tend to be a nice comfortable temperature, and you can get out and do things … like hike, or ski (if that’s what I did), or make the dog chase snowballs & phantom squirrels.  I get outside more during snowy days than the summers in Kansas when it was hellish hot. 

Maybe this is Snowmageddon, this constant snow fall.  But it just proves the point, the world won’t end with a roar, but a whimper … or whatever you call 4 to 6 inches of accumulation over three days.  And no rookie news reporter has to get her get her nice jacket dirty.


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