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Know the West

Chuckling about polar blasts

  Dear HCN,

The other day I touched snow for the first time since 1995, when my wife and I fled the snow, ice and cold of Colorado after 50 years of residency. We moved to Southern California, where we could view the cursed stuff only on mountains far in the distance.

A pickup truck just down from the mountains carried into Escondido a sizeable sampling of wet spring snow and was parked at the curb the other day. A friend and I had enjoyed a small art gallery and delicious quiche at a French pastry, when we spotted the truck sitting there.

Like a pair of kids, we each grabbed up a handful of the stuff and she threatened to stuff it inside my lightweight shirt. I made a similar gesture toward her, discovering that the hostility I had carried against snow was evaporating almost as fast as the little snowball in my hand.

That experience, and Lou Bendrick's delightful piece, "I am an Inuit warrior," in the Feb. 12 issue of High Country News, have helped me realize that I must face my dislike of winter's cold with humor that may elevate my body's temperature, that chuckles about polar blasts may enable me to once again venture into the high country of Colorado for short periods of time.

Thank you, Lou Bendrick. Warm regards.

Bob Child
Vista, California