Appalachian on the Prairie: No snow, no problems

Mike Mallow

Mike Mallow photo

A disgruntled Mike selfie from last winter in Benson around the third or fourth driveway clearing of the season.

One of social media’s beautiful features is that it quickly reminds you of whatyou were doing a year ago.

My posts from last January feature disgruntled sel-fies of me standing in mydriveway with salt and a pitiful electric snowblower that I thought would be enough. It was not.

By the end of last winter, there was a solid two feet of snow in my yard. The ice walls that formed from shoveling my driveway were so formative, that I began reading George R.R. Martin’s Song of Ice and Fire series to seek a suitable comparison

in literature.

Now, a year later, there is no snow. It was to be expected. We’ve since sold our house and live in a townhouse where all the snow removal is part of the rent. The universe basks in that irony, and I at least admire it enough not to cry.

Snow was a huge part of my hesitancy to move to Minnesota. Your storied cold and fluffy accumulations were intimidating to someone who resented both. Of the two, I’d take the cold over snow. Cold doesn’t necessarily impede travel, but I’ve had to reschedule many events because of snow. I’d also pick the cold so the lakes could withstand a city of ice fishermen. It’s a fascinating hobby, though not one. I’d want in which I wish to participate.

Of course, West Virginia would be considered a lightweight in its bouts against winter weather. Snow is delayed at the first dusting and canceled once an inch or more strikes the ground. Don’t get me wrong, West Virginia still laughs at the deep south when their dustings come. West Virginia overreacts, but they at least have salt and cinder at the ready.

Part of the difference is that snow and flat is a much more manageable experience than snow and mountains. Inclines and constant turns make driving in suboptimal conditions much more fraught.

In any case, I’d say my own driving has improved in the snow. I’ve missed a lot less work for weather-related reasons in the last few years. Not that I’ve been tested this year.

That’s not a complaint. Any way you slice it, I’ll take a year off from the winter onslaught. 


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