Snow many mixed feelings
Red Card Roberts
Park Record columnist
In most parts of the country, the beginning of winter is met with dismal anticipation. The first snowfall feels like a punch in the gut. Doctors go on the news and talk about seasonal affective depression, a real disorder that is often treated with anti-depressants. People hunker down, make vats of stew and all but actually hibernate.
But in Park City, it is the end of winter that brings about these feelings of mourning and despair. For most of us, hanging up our skis for the season is the emotional equivalent of sending a child off to college. Even though you know you’ll see them again in a few months, it still hurts to say goodbye.
Although after this winter, it’s kind of like watching your neighbor’s clueless kid — the one who accidentally drives over your lawn daily, but also mows it for you in the summers — leave for college. You’re kind of ready to see him go, but now you’ll have to mow the yard yourself.
After several consecutive dud winters, this season delivered a number of spectacular oohs and ahhs. Winter’s powder strike came to an end, and we all got our fill. And gleefully went back for seconds. But then, the other ski boot dropped. All that snow and all those storms meant glaciers in driveways and ice dams on roofs. Mine is one of many in dire need of repair now that it’s spring. My heat tape stopped working sometime in December, causing all sorts of damage — from collapsed gutters to water in the ceiling.
Aside from the new drywall I’ll soon be needing, this winter’s storms also kept a lot of us holed up indoors. A number of social gatherings were abandoned; the roads were just not worth the risk. Or, it was just too much effort to put all those layers on before leaving the house. I have about half a dozen friends who sustained a snow-shoveling injury of some sort. From blown out backs, to torn rotator cuffs. And I know of at least one marriage that ended, because, as the husband put it, “This winter was like being stuck in an elevator with my wife for a few months. By the time we were finally rescued, we realized we would have had no problem with cannibalism.”
On the flipside, I also know quite a few couples who are expecting come the fall.
So that’s kind of how this winter can be described — the good with the bad. Regardless of those mixed feelings, one of the most difficult aspects of winter ending is that spring in the mountains isn’t exactly all daffodils and daisies. Thermostats are bipolar for a few more weeks. No doubt, another blizzard is likely, as are gray skies and cold rains. It’s called mud season for good reason.
The start of spring is sort of Park City’s seasonal affective depression time — powder days are behind us and we’ve got about two more months before outside recreation and social gatherings can be reliably scheduled.
But, the pending off season doesn’t have to be a complete downer. Here are some things to look forward to until June:
• You can make a left-hand turn at any intersection in town.
• Stopping on a traverse is no longer a crime considered punishable by death.
• You can have any seat you want on the city bus.
• Twofers in The Park Record mean you can actually afford dinner on Main Street.
• Snowboard season has officially started at Deer Valley.
And, yes, the smell of a fresh cut lawn. Even if you have to mow it yourself.
Amy Roberts is a freelance writer, longtime Park City resident and the proud owner of two rescued Dalmatians, Stanley and Willis. The opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the writer. Follow her on Twitter @amycroberts.
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Amy Roberts saw a fawn in pain and compassion dictated she take it home, she writes. Her reward: A $400 fine.