Joanne Palmer: Fall is coming; it’s an emergency |

Joanne Palmer: Fall is coming; it’s an emergency

In 1989, Joanne Palmer left a publishing career in Manhattan and has missed her paycheck ever since. She is a mom, weekly columnist for the Steamboat Pilot & Today, and the owner of a property management company, The House Nanny. Her new book "Life in the 'Boat: How I fell on Warren Miller's skis, cheated on my hairdresser and fought off the Fat Fairy" is now available in local bookstores and online at or
Courtesy Photo

— School starts today in Steamboat Springs. The overnight low was 35 degrees. You know what this means. Routt County Communications, beware of the following:

911 Dispatcher: 911, What is the nature of your emergency?

Caller: (Sounds of sniffing and sobbing)

911: Hello? I can’t help you unless I know what is going on.

Caller: Saaaa … suuummm … mmm …

Participate in The Longevity Project

The Longevity Project is an annual campaign to help educate readers about what it takes to live a long, fulfilling life in our valley. This year Kevin shares his story of hope and celebration of life with his presentation Cracked, Not Broken as we explore the critical and relevant topic of mental health.

911: I’m sorry, I don’t understand.

Caller: Summer. It’s over.

911: Excuse me? Let me get this straight: Your emergency is summer?

Caller: Yes, it’s over. Do something!

911: I’m sorry, ma’am. This is 911. We dispatch fire, ambulance and police for emergencies. We have nothing to do with the weather or the seasons, and we certainly can’t turn back the hands of time.

Caller: But this is a personal emergency! I’m so distraught, I might burn my house down. It’s cold in the morning, and I’m too cheap to turn on my heat.

911: Ma’am, the end of a season does not constitute an emergency.

Caller: I disagree! Summer is over, and I don’t even have a tan line. The kids are back in school; the days are getting shorter; I’ve (gulp) seen a few yellow leaves. Summer is over!

911: Ma’am, I don’t handle the weather. If I had a phone number for Mother Nature, I’d give it to you.

Caller: It all went so fast. I only did one hike, one free concert and barely made it to the farmers market. It was so cold the night of the Fourth of July that I was wearing 18 layers to watch the fireworks. I never toasted a marshmallow for a s’more.

911: Fall is still a beautiful time of year for hikes. It’s just a little cooler.

Caller: Don’t mention cooler. I am so cold in the morning, I’m about ready to put flannel sheets on my bed and the electric blanket. I might even put a hot water bottle in my bed.

911: There, there. It’s not time for flannel sheets. Look on the bright side. Early season football is already on TV.

Caller: I hate football. Brett Favre, Brett Favre, Brett Favre. I’m tired of hearing about Brett Favre. He’s injured; he’s not injured. He’s retired; he’s not retired. He flip-flops like a catfish out of water.

911: You don’t have to water your lawn as much, appear in a bathing suit or put seed in the bird feeder because the birds are heading south.

Caller: I want a week in Tahiti. The bears are attacking my garbage, I still haven’t weeded my garden, and I have no tan.

911: Tanning is passé.

Caller: Exactly. Tanning has passé me right by.

911: Think about it: Crisp fall air, leaf raking and fleecy sweatshirts.

Caller: Think about it: Mulching the garden, bulb planting, aching back, Ibuprofen.

911: Chili, fondue, hearty soups and stews.

Caller: Lethargy, weight gain, depression.

911: Ski fitness, Halloween, Oktoberfest.

Caller: Road construction. Road construction. Road construction.

911: There, there. Put it in perspective. Beijing had a 60-mile traffic jam that lasted for nine days.

Caller: Depression. Depression. Depression.

911: Would you like the phone number for mental health?

Caller: No, I’ll survive. Thanks for listening to me vent.

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Steamboat and Routt County make the Steamboat Pilot & Today’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.


Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.

User Legend: iconModerator iconTrusted User