Grandma's Tales

January 2, 2007

Snow in Colorado

Filed under: Society — Geeta Padmanabhan @ 10:59 pm

Colorado SnowThis Associated Press story relates to parts of Colorado going under several feet of snow recently. It delights me no end. Read the story and then go on to find out why.

“Call it a winter sale. Jim and Mary Walker are selling snow on eBay. Starting bids were holding steady Friday at 99 cents for samples from “Blizzard I and Blizzard II.” The Walkers got the idea for selling snow after shoveling mounds from two storms a week apart that together dumped more than 4 feet. “I figured eBay has ghosts and all sorts of weird stuff, so why not snow?” said Mary Walker, who teaches business workshops on employee communications.
Walker’s auction notice suggests avoiding shipping and handling charges by stopping by their home and picking it up — in a dump truck. Only 10 offerings of snow are available and the proceeds are earmarked for a used snowblower for Jim or a pair of shovels.
She says she doesn’t really expect to find a buyer for their blizzard overstock. “We just wanted to just give some folks a laugh,” she said.”
Five years ago I spent the coldest part of winter in Denver, the capital of Colorado. The temperature had crashed to -20 C or something. Even as I shivered in the heated interiors of the house, I couldn’t take my eyes off the mounds of snow all around – in the yard, in the sidewalk, in the streets. The house looked like it was on top of a snow hill.

City snow is breathtakingly beautiful at night when the street lights bounce off the white surface. It turns totally magical if it happens to be a moonlit night.

For Coloradans the snow goes much beyond being merely beautiful.  They have to do some hard shovelling; and driving out to buy grocery is not a pleasant chore. And Coloradans are great outdoors people. Most get what they call “cabin fever”, the wretched feeling you get if you are forced to stay indoors for a long time. They sight snowfall and head for the mountains looking for ski slopes. That is, those who can.

Others find ways to turn snowfall into windfalls. Early on the morning after several inches of night snow, we heard a knock on the door. The door was shut in by the drift in the porch, so we opened the window a crack. A man stood there heavily bundled. We could see only his brown eyes through the slit in his woollen mask.

“Will you let me shovel the snow in your drive?” he asked. “Five dollars!” Of course we let him. So did all our neighbours. He worked a total of nearly 50 drives in the four streets we could see from our corner house. Instant business!

The sun shone during the day. It didn’t melt the snow, but helped to pack it. Men and women came out in their thick jackets and caps walking their dogs equally well-covered! I caught sight of a man pushing a stroller with a toddler in it! Probably the child’s first feel of snow. Get used to it, son! Think of it as fun!

As I watched in total amazement, a woman in ski gear appeared at the far end of the street opposite. She came skiing down the road, waved and whizzed past, her hair blowing in the wind. She saw the snow-filled street as a skiing op!

The night brought another knock. It was snowing again. Must have been awfully cold outside. We weren’t going to open the window this time. The guy outside understood and flashed a big card that said WORLD WILDLIFE FUND.  He also showed his ID. We at once invited him in.

“Isn’t it very cold?” he said. “Think of the animals and birds in the  moutains and plains around us. Not all of them hibernate, you know. We are planning to leave food in places where they can easily access them. There are  foxes and rabbits and wolves and…” He told us about the animals, their food  habits and why he thought they would die without help in such harsh winters.

“Buy these chocolates from me. You’ll help them,” he said. We did. And gave the box back to him.

Now, two Coloradans are trying to sell snow. Trust them to do it!



  1. Interesting experiences of Colorado.
    I can relate to this winter. Last weekend I landed in Delhi around 9:30 PM and as I came out of the plane, cursed myself for having agreed to travel to Delhi! But then I saw a bunch of enthusiastic airline employees were braving the cold by standing on the tarmac to take care of us, which kind of changed my views.

    Comment by Rajesh — January 4, 2007 @ 6:14 am | Reply

  2. Hi Rajesh, just which airlines is this? They have all my support!
    Yes, life is all about turning “adversities into ops,” right?

    Comment by Geeta Padmanabhan — January 4, 2007 @ 6:04 pm | Reply

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