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Street Talk

Old Man Winter Been Getting Us Down

By Mickey Howley

            People are not happy at all. They feel like their daily lives and personal freedom have been altered by something beyond their control. They want to do something about this, they want change, but feel hopeless that nothing can be done. And to make it worse, the controlling power seems not willing to let things go easy. Yes, it is the old man, Old Man Winter not letting his grip go on Yalobusha.

            Yes, it has been a winter of despair.  A bleakness has blanketed the Valley. An epoch of incredulity. Five snow days if I’m counting right. I don’t know about you but this weather has been knocking the dickens out of me. I don’t have, but lots of folks do, tiny and not so tiny kids at home creating havoc.

            The age of foolishness, especially when there are snowmen (snow people) to be made and hills to slide. Of course, you say you send the children to school to receive an education, but what you really love, what you really now appreciate, is that childcare capability where the young blue devils are out of your hair for 7 hours at a time. Peace and tranquility and they’re not your problem for the moment, that’s the best of times. These five snow days have proved how much you really love your local teachers for what they do.

            The gendarmerie and the city guys were out in force for those five days, I say guys because they are mainly men, but I mean everyone who works for the City. They were out and exposed those days, working the mean streets of the Valley to make sure they were safe for those of us unfortunate enough who travailed in the elements. I saw them, bundled and working intently to keep the town clear and safe and powered. Glad they were there.

            If you go to places where it snows a lot every year, well… they have the gear to keep things going under most conditions. Expensive equipment. And your tax bill reflects that.  And that snow clearing is also a community effort with much required individual responsibility.  In many towns you have to shovel your own sidewalk and if you can’t do that yourself, you’ll pay to have it done. So in a weird way, we’re lucky. Enough snow where it gives many a day off, not nearly enough were it costs us more tax dollars and more personal effort.

            I’d like it to be the spring of hope and the season of light soon. The Valley once again green, gentle, and warm. No whirly winds coming either.  It is about a little over two months away from the first Farmers Market. That’s the signifier for me that warmth is here.  The date for the market depends on produce and this year being so cold so late, it will be a wait and see to mid to late April as to when the opening date will be. But soon a period unlike the present.


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