A study in winter contrasts: Stop the snow! Bring it on! | AspenTimes.com
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A study in winter contrasts: Stop the snow! Bring it on!

Su Lum
Aspen, CO Colorado

I stomp into the ad office of The Aspen Times, knocking the snow off my boots, grumbling, “Thanks a lot for the snow dances, you guys ” it’s snowed over 16 feet in the mountains and we’re barely into February!”

My co-worker, powderhound John Keck, smiles his inscrutable smile and whispers, “More!”

My VW Beetle looks like one of those round marshmallow and coconut-covered cupcakes. Three rescue missions have been dispatched from the newspaper to dig me out of my parking spot behind my sheds, to extricate me when I spun deep in the middle of the alley and, when I moved the car to the front of the house, to shovel me out of that after this latest dump.

John Keck is beaming. “More!”

My dachshund puppies, Nicky and Freddie, are going crazy. If I let them out the front or back doors, all they can see is the tunnel ahead and the sky above. They are having nervous breakdowns over the avalanche explosions on Aspen Mountain, and their paws freeze up on the short walk to the car to go to work. I warm up their down blanket in the dryer and they huddle under it, shaking. They used to like romping in the snow, but now the snow is their prison.

John Keck is ecstatic. “More!”

The Skinner family came to visit: my daughter Skye, her husband, Steve, and my granddaughter Riley. They (warned) brought their own ice chopper to hack their way into my front door, tut-tutting that I’d be trapped if I had a kitchen fire blocking the back and thinking the house was going to collapse under the weight of the snow and ice. Steve returned the next day, risking life and limb to remove a mountain of snow from the roof onto my front yard but still barely making a dent, and it’s snowing again. Again. Still.

John Keck is dancing. “More, more!”

I bundle up and go at the foot of snow on the Beetle with a broom, increasingly sure that even if I get it cleaned up, I’ll never get it out (rescue No. 3) and spot the RFTA bus coming around the corner. I see the bus stopping for a bunch of skiers and stumble to it. The bus is packed. RFTA is good, but it doesn’t take the dachshunds, who are dismayed to be left behind. Just as we get to Rubey Park, I realize that I left the car running. I don’t have it together enough to deal with all this extra stress. I feel the tug of the end of my tether.

John Keck is clapping. “More, more, more!”

I definitely got my money’s worth out of Snow King this winter, but as soon as they shovel the walks the freezing drips begin building up again. This would have been a good year to rent my house and go to Hawaii for the winter. I’ve always wanted to spend one whole winter in a warm place. But a renter probably wouldn’t put up with living in this buried little toad hole, and it’s going to be a muddy spring, if it ever comes.

John Keck is laughing. “More, more, more, more!”

I pull off my boots and my ice-encrusted pants and socks, then start running the tub while my puppies dive under the covers on the bed. I sink into the bath, thawing my feet and hands, luxuriating in the warmth, wishing I had a real hot tub with massaging jets. Outside, it’s snowing, snowing, snowing. Again. Still.

“Is it enough for you yet?” I ask. “Will it ever be enough?”

John Keck raises his arms to the heavens, grinning. “MORE!” he says. “MORE!”


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