Right now, I have only one thing on my mind, one thing taking up all my time…so when I had to pick a blog topic, I really didn’t have a choice. What else could I write about besides…
Two days ago, everything was normal here in the town of Homer, Alaska. Days were getting shorter, nights were getting colder. Every morning we’d check the temperature—hm, got down to 28 last night. We’d squint up at the sky, admire the lovely flock of sheep-like clouds flitting across the blue, then get on with our various projects.
Then, overnight, it all changed. While we were sleeping, a veil of white fluttered down on us. The veil thickened to a featherbed, which grew and grew and grew until everywhere you look, white now stares back at you. White trees, white buildings, white ground, white cars. Everything is white except the sky, which has stayed a stubborn gray, warning of more to come.
Mark it down: November 6. The day the snow started falling on Homer this winter. As I write this post, it still hasn’t stopped. Two feet of fluff and counting. It’s everywhere, in enormous, exuberant amounts.
It’s as if we’re suddenly living in a different element, not air, but snow. To get anywhere, you have to wade through hip-high piles of the stuff. When you open a door, a ridge of newly fallen snow collapses on you. Everything—cars, trees, piles of lumber—has been transformed into ghostly white yak-like blobs. When you brush against them, you’re treated to a shower of icy crystals.The onslaught of snow has to be factored into everything we do. If anything was left on the ground before the snow fell, you can forget about finding it until sometime in May. Everything takes twice as long to accomplish, once you add in the time it takes to put on your snow gear and wade through the drifts and chip the ice off the car. The drive into town, which usually takes fifteen minutes, can take half an hour of white-knuckle, afraid-to-blink navigating of icy curves.
Better to stay home. Which brings me back to where I started. Shoveling. Yes, that’s been my life for the last two days. Shoveling paths, making huge snow mountains, clearing the driveway, digging out the cars. Sure, the snow’s still coming, but we’ve got to start sometime, and who knows when it will stop? It’s hard, sweaty work, but when I take a break and the quiet flakes cool my face and I sense the silent sigh of the land settling in for the winter, it’s a joy.
Those of you who live in the North, has anyone else had snow this early in the winter? You in the South… jealous? ;) Or thanking your lucky stars?
Okay…back to work. Thanks for the break! If no one hears from me for a while, I’m either still shoveling…or we’re drowning in the stuff. I'll keep you posted.