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Sunday, March 01, 2015

On Snow, More Snow, and Even More Snow

Jean Sexton muses:

When I moved from my home in North Carolina to Amarillo,Texas, I thought I had a handle on things. Amarillo was a bit north of where I lived, but about where I grew up in northeastern North Carolina. Texas is in the "South" according to books. I thought I'd move to a climate that was a bit less damp and a bit cooler.

Amarillo isn't exactly "normal" Texas. It is part of the Texas Panhandle. It is on the Caprock, the high plains. It is about 3,600 feet above sea level.You can see storms divide to go around the Caprock. Amarillo gets less than half the precipitation of my former home. However, sometimes Amarillo gets its own private weather. A weather band will come and sit on Amarillo and snow. And snow. And snow! I am beginning to think most of the precipitation comes as snow!

In eastern North Carolina we realize that snow is slippery. Should you drive on slippery things? No, of course not. On the forecast of snow, then you know what to do. You get milk, eggs, bread, and toilet paper (along with any other things you are out of). If you are on well water, you pick up water. You make sure the car has gas, even if you aren't going to drive.

When it snows in North Carolina, many local places close. There's no need to drive on slippery roads; wherever you would be going is closed. Besides, you have everything you need because you bought your staples already. And the snow will melt in a few days.

In Amarillo, people go out and buy staples. When it snows, they go driving around! In slippery snow! The good thing is that Amarillo prepares for snow. Intersections get sanded. Major streets get plowed. Sidewalks for businesses get shoveled and salted.

I'm adapting, at least some. The entrance to my apartment gets some snow buildup. I've been sweeping the snow to create a pathway to the main sidewalk. If I do that before it gets turned to ice, then things are better. A couple of my neighbors are helping me if the apartment complex doesn't shovel the sidewalks. They will make me a path to the point where the sun has melted the ice. (I live on the shaded north side of the complex.)

I can handle driving in an inch or so of snow. My skills there are slowly increasing. Luckily, the Coles are willing to pick me up when the snow is deeper. I miss my "snow days," but I remind myself there will be plenty of those when I am truly retired. In the meantime, I will learn to embrace the snow. And more snow. And even more snow!