Snow! In April! · 25 April 2008

Thirty years from now, people may not care that it snowed on April 19-20, 2008. Global warming may bring on tropical weather everywhere and we might be wondering if there was ever any snow even in January. Or maybe the theory that global warming really will bring on an ice age and we might all wonder if an early thaw might happen in July some year. Or maybe weird weather, like snow in late April, is just part of a cyclic change in climate that the earth has always undergone since the beginning of time and we take it all in stride. Whatever the reason for the weather, I want to remember that in the lowlands of the northwest we got a couple inches of snow on April 19 and 20, 2008.

I really do not want to comment on the debate of what is happening with our planet. Surely, we all know that we can be better stewards of the planet and hopefully keep it a viable place to live beyond the 21st century. So regardless of why we have had weird weather in the last couple years (and even before that), I just want to remember some of the highlights of this April’s weather so that my children and their children can know the truth of what the weather was really like. Even if it means that I will not get to tell a tall tale about it later.

I can imagine myself thirty years from now telling my grandkids about the snow in April 2008. “I remember that snow back in aught eight,” I would reminisce. “It snowed for two days straight. Then Mount Saint Helens blew its stack and the state was covered in ash. The wind from the explosion knocked down trees all over western Washington and power went out for days on end. We were lucky to survive.” I am sure that I could throw in all the weird weather and geological excitement that I have encountered in my life into one good story. And I would let my kids sort it all out when they got home.

Before they could do that though, I am sure that one of my grandkids would ask, “How did you survive?” I would tell them a great story of walking through snow drifts and braving earthquakes in order to get to the store and get the last loaf of bread that had to last until the snow melted. Naturally, I would mention that the trip to the store was uphill. Both to and from the store oh so far away. I may not have had travel barefoot in snowstorms traveling uphill both ways to school like my dad did but I am sure I will remember traveling uphill to and from the store after the April storm of aught eight.

I suppose that I am really doing myself and my future grandkids a great disservice by writing that we really only got a little bit of snow in April 2008. I am depriving them of a great story of strength and perseverance that I could make up in my later years. Of course in thirty years, April snow could be commonplace and a real story of playing in the snow in July might be mistaken for happening in the lowlands rather than the mountains. Or maybe snow in January might be an oddity and the story of April snow would seem far fetched and looked upon as a tall tale in and of itself. Either way, I will not be able to pull off my story of the great snow storm of April 08 after I publish this column. Still, I am glad that we did not have a huge snowstorm in April. But it will be fun remembering one in thirty years.

© 2008 Michael T. Miyoshi

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