Two weeks ago, on our way home from church, we stopped off at a local restaurant for breakfast. It’s one of those spots that really only the locals visit – and the waitress calls folks by name, there’s chatter going on between tables, and the talk is of the weather and other things noticed. There was talk of seeing robins – so early this year – and so sweet to hear their song that’s a sign of spring. We all seem to have our own flock of Evening Grosbeaks this year. Snow loomed outside – and we all hoped we would have a snow heavy March and April – and talked about how nice those spring snows are because they don’t last long and are full of good moisture. We know that snowpack gets us through the early fire season until the monsoon moisture starts up usually in July. Everyone there was living the dream of life in the mountains – and had been for decades.
Then yesterday at the store, “dude” (as Holly calls them) in front of me was chatting about the weather with the cashier. “Spring should be here shortly – sure don’t like this cold.” I probably should have kept my mouth shut, but I mentioned I hope we still have 4 or 5 feet of snow to come. The cashier agreed with me and said we definitely need it. Dude turned around and suggested I move to Vail, Breckenridge or Telluride. I was completely befuddled, then I realized, he thinks the snow only comes to the mountain cities, and also made the assumption that everyone would want to live in a city.
He’s one of those who will likely winterkill if not this year, then next year. I pointed out the obvious that if we don’t get any more snow, we’ll be in trouble with fires in June. He gave in with a roll of his eyes and agreed that would be a good reason for more snow. He was living the dream, too – living in his own fantasy dream. Yep, he probably can’t see it yet, but ‘dudes’ winterkill and head for warmer climates. When I moved here over 20 years ago I asked someone how long a person had to live here to be considered ‘a local’ – the answer was 15-20 years. Asking further about it they explained the ‘dude syndrome.’ The unspoken question was, “Would I winterkill?” Nope. Not ready for spring until May – or June.