Only in the Copper Country can we go from one day of school being closed due to rainy conditions that made the side roads slushy, to three to four days of below zero weather.
When looking at it from a local perspective, it's a blessing in disguise. Christmas was barely a white Christmas and now January has roared on in, which means hopefully February and March will tiptoe quietly out the door. I'm not a fan of winter but love the other benefits of living here: for example, our low violent crime rate and the quality of our schools, but I do understand the need for snow for the tourist dollar.
Even during "tourist season," which is typically longer in the winter than in the summer, we locals need to smile all the way to the bank and breathe in the exhaust from the snow sleds, sleds so expensive they are creeping up in price rivaling a down payment on a nice house. One interesting thing to follow as it relates to our recent cold snap is what will happen is, say, 40 weeks from now.
In 1996, there was a similar cold snap earlier in the month that year, that 10 months later created a baby boom. Sometimes an electric blanket just isn't enough. It's funny in a way how only two to three weeks ago everyone was wondering if snow would have to be trucked in for Winter Carnival statues; now my question is can we truck some of this snow out of here?
This winter is different, as I continue to use crutches to get around and in the process of doing so, perform some wonderful ice ballet, spinning with each huge gust of wind, and hopping on one foot. By the time you're reading this, I should be down to one crutch and a prayer.
Sadly, "pocket grandma" died this month on Jan. 19 at the age of 95. She was a tiny woman, hence the "pocket grandma" title and lived independently up until late fall of this past year, quite a feat in anyone's book. Louise Pomroy was my wife's grandmother, born during the heyday of copper mining in the Copper Country and lived through the Great Depression, many wars, more presidents than I can count and all with a smile on her face. I can't help but think of our everyday lives when someone passes who has seen so much history and had lived through the ups and downs of not only a family but of a country and a community. Every time I get a chance to talk to a local legend that can tell me the tales of our beloved Copper Country, all I can do is sit in awe of the life they have lived.
Many would look at this current snowfall and laugh and say, "Why I can remember the winter of." I'm certain those winters were far worse than three cold days and a few feet of snow. Grandma will be missed and I can't speak for everyone but I'm sure she's smiling down telling her tales of life in the Copper Country and taking pictures in a way only she could do.
Brian Foreman can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.