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Examiner
  • Jeff Fox: Let it snow – up to a point

  • It’s beautiful. Oh, I know it’s disruptive to businesses, churches and others.

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  • It’s beautiful.
    Oh, I know it’s disruptive to businesses, churches and others. On Wednesday, Lenten services at my church got snowed out. That’s a new one, but a prudent choice.
    Yes, my back and shoulder really hurt right now, and I’m starting to think a snowblower is not an extravagance. Can pain – golly, my shoulder really does hurt – overcome my innate cheapness and my argument against investing in something you might use once a year? Magic 8-ball says odds improving.
    I know the kids love being out of school, but many parents and others who have to deal with the hassle don’t. I generally think the little dears should be spending a good deal more time sitting in class, learning, well, whatever replaced the three R’s. They’ll get theirs when all these days are tacked on to the end of the school year. Fun in February, misery in May.
    Still, upwards of a foot of snow – twice in less than a week, no less – is just a lot of snow, especially here in Kansas City, my home and a place I dearly love. But let’s face it: We’re not built for this. We don’t pooh-pooh it like Minnesotans, and we don’t freak out like Mississippians, but there’s a big difference between two inches and two feet. This is crazy.
    But stop and look around. It’s beautiful. The white on every branch. The white on everything. Even the stuff as it falls out of the sky has a certain magic. It changes the quality of the light as you shovel, ache and complain.
    I know, I know. This sentiment – expressed at this particular time – might get me ridden out of town on a rail, except that the rails are buried. Plus there’s this. Two weeks ago in this space I casually, wistfully commented that winter, such as it was, seemed to be easing and “one suspects we’ve seen all of the snowy wonderland for this year.” So blame me.
    The scientists tell us the math here is pretty straightforward. Climate change means more energy in the weather system. More heat means more moisture in the air. We’re looking at a drier climate overall as the years pass, but these extreme events are likely to hammer us randomly but repeatedly.
    Let’s put that another way. Twenty-five years ago I left beautiful Independence and moved to northern Minnesota, 600 miles from here, a place where cold and snow are extreme and people take a certain pride in riding it all out. There is an art to it.
    Kansas City? You moved here from Kansas City? You’re a long way from your natural habitat. Why on earth would a sensible person do that, I was asked more than once.
    Page 2 of 2 - Well, I gently joked, maybe if I stick around for 20 years, with global warming it’ll be as if I never moved.
    No one ever thought that was funny. And here we are.
    Things change. We adapt. I for one am older, slower, fatter and, despite by bullheadedness, perhaps wiser. Time for a snowblower. You can only fight nature so long and so hard without upgraded tools.
    Follow Jeff Fox on Twitter: @FoxEJC
     

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