Here it comes

I suppose it is appropriate that our big winter storm happens on the first day of winter. In case you missed it today is the Winter Solstice. The sun takes its lowest path through the sky for residents of the northern hemisphere. It is summer south of the equator, and they are experiencing their longest day while we look forward to our longest night.

Because I like to ski I get excited by snowstorm forecasts. But you can have too much snow. If the roads get shut down or power lines get knocked out then there’s not much chance for ski parks to open. I’ve been turned away from a ski area because there was so much snow the employees could not get to work. There weren’t enough people to open the place!

And I like to do other things, too. Like have Christmas dinner with my friends. But Mother Nature might dump too much snow on the highway on Christmas Day and thus keep us from getting together.

Like everything in life, this run of storms is a mixed bag. We certainly need the water and the snowpack. But we certainly don’t need power outages and road closures. It snowed here in town last week, about six inches total, and much of that snow is still lingering. There aren’t many things in the world more wonderful than freshly-fallen snow. But no one likes “old” snow that won’t melt away. It’s just a big, dirty pile of ice that is hazardous to walk on or drive on and you have to scrape it off things, a tedious task at best.

But I loves me some winter. Chapped lips and frozen fingers are a small price to pay.

Northern Californians might be better off staying home during this run of storms. If you have to drive, be careful. (There’s still COVID of course, but no one wants to talk about that anymore.) Make sure you’ve got chains for your vehicle. And it never hurts to have a blanket, foul weather gear, and some emergency food and water in case you get stuck somewhere.

Happy Holidays!

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