Joanne Palmer: The four stages of winter |

Joanne Palmer: The four stages of winter

Joanne Palmer

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

— The thoughts, events and feelings depicted in this column are fictitious. Any similarity to any person living or otherwise is merely coincidental. Winter is not getting to me, it really isn’t. However, any comments on this column should be forwarded to me in care of the Sunshine Sanatorium in sunny Phoenix, Ariz. Did I mention sunny?


November 2007

When is it going to snow? Where’s the snow? Why hasn’t it snowed? Is it El Niño? Global warming? Great! The ski area delays opening. A sure harbinger of things to come. Guests are coming for Thanksgiving and there is no snow. Have I mentioned there is no snow? I am going back to bed.


December 2007

Snow is falling. It’s finally here. Whoopee. Yippy ki yi yah! Look at those lovely flakes, swirling through the air. It’s white, white, white, white, covering up the dirty, boring brown. I love living in Ski Town USA. El Niño-shmino. What do these weather forecasters know anyway? Zipadeedoodah!

Wow, still snowing and the tourists aren’t even here yet. I make some turns today on my newly tuned skis, and it’s awesome. Man, can you believe it’s still snowing? Forget sending Christmas cards, I have to get out there and ski. Ski, baby, ski.

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Forget Christmas. I am not buying or wrapping anything. I’m too busy skiing. I have one more day until the direct flights land, and I’m going to enjoy the powder.

I missed a few powder days because I’m working, but it’s Christmas week and who wants to ski anyway? Too many people are here. I’ll wait until they all leave, and then the slopes will be mine. My back hurts from shoveling anyway. Hurry up holidays and be over.


January 2008

It sure would be nice to see the sun but that’s OK. I’m going skiing. Ski. Ski. Ski. Huck. Jump. Jib. Jive. Jam. Wait? What’s this? My snowplow bill! Jumpin’ Jehosaphats! My snowplow driver will be sending his kids to Harvard. I have to get a fourth job to pay my snowplow bill and afford to hire someone to shovel my roof.

You know what really chaps my hide? Why can’t the plow guys and graders coordinate their schedules? Huh? As soon as my driveway is plowed, the grader comes by and makes a berm. Then I have to go out and shovel, shovel, shovel. It’s a conspiracy I tell you!

Why can’t those stupid snowflakes fall through the cracks of my deck? They are skinny enough. Why can’t someone invent a heated deck? And a heated roof? And heated socks and heated clothes. How about a vibrating roof? That’s it! I will invent a vibrating roof that shakes the roof and all those pesky little snowflakes will topple right down.

If one more spring catalog arrives in the mail, I will personally rip the cluster box out of the ground. I tell you what I’m going to order. I’m going to order a blowtorch to blast the icicles and ice dams from my roof.

Today, I have sunk to a new level and made a snow shooter. Kind of like a peashooter but more industrial. As soon as my neighbor goes to work, thwack! I am going to shoot my snow into his yard. Tee-hee!


February 2008

A rabid little groundhog predicted six more weeks of winter. Where? In Papagoochi? From my vantage point, the igloo on top

of my roof, there’s at least three months to go. Beware the person who says, “We need the moisture.” I’ll claim temporary insanity.

I’m telling you we need the sun!

I am going back to bed.

Wake me up when the sun comes out.