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For the people who are SICK, SICK, SICK of winter snow, here’s a different perspective.
Today the humidity in our area lay at 5%. Yes, five percent. No typo. We heard the reports of relentless snow farther east, but we felt balmy (65°F) sun on our faces and immediately thought of summer fires. Too much or too little of anything is a problem. Soon, we’ll be reading about floods. We don’t wish they were here, but we do wish there were some way to slurp up extra water from swollen spring streams or the Mississippi or wherever and put it in tanker trucks or into a big pipeline and squirt it onto dry pastures and into crispy forests before they become tinder.
Drought is slapping California in the face just as it has gut-punched Texas. I once lived in Michigan where a dry basement can be a reason to celebrate, so living in a semi-arid environment was a shock to me. What do you mean, there isn’t enough water? Apparently, lots of people have trouble conceiving of the issue, because you still see plenty of people watering their driveways in the summer because they didn’t bother to turn off the hose. And who can fill those huge luxurious soaker tubs with the jets that new buyers exclaim over on TV? I have a friend who adopted children from the continent of Africa, and they flatly refused to sit in a regular bathtub. The waste of water seemed obscene to them. So many people on Earth have almost nothing to drink.
I’m puzzled that we’re so reactionary when it comes to over-abundances of snow and water. In a world where your refrigerator can order groceries and your car can call a mechanic, why is it that we have no answers to balancing out extremes of water? No matter whose explanation of the cause you’re willing to believe, the grinding change in our climate is impossible to miss. The weather is frequently strange no matter where you live. Water–too much or too little–becomes an adversary.
A few years ago, we in our area were the ones buried by a surprise dump of four feet of snow. Cattle were starving in their isolated pastures, and rural neighbors were eating cat food because they had nothing else left and no way to get out to buy groceries. The roof beam in our barn cracked under the weight of a snow drift, and if a guy in a D-8 Caterpillar bulldozer hadn’t been sent out by his company to save locals as a gesture of good will, my husband and I would’ve been forced to test our stamina on a long distance snow shoe trek. The old-timers told us big snows used to be more common here, and people used to be able to plant and sustain a good corn crop without irrigation. Now there’s no one in our canyon who isn’t forced to haul water in huge plastic tubs to serve the family needs. We buy drinking water separately. Colorado doesn’t own its surface water. There’s an old saying attributed to Mark Twain that the old-timers repeat, “Whiskey’s for drinking, and water’s for fighting over.”
I don’t have any answers here, except that when you’re trying to tolerate drought or flood or blizzards, it helps the tiniest bit if you can visualize people with a different dilemma. We’re all knotted together some way in the puzzle of life. Perhaps we can invent a way to help one another. Surely there’s a better solution than fighting.