You don’t have to be a native to recall tough winters in North Idaho. Jeff Selle/Post Falls nominated the winter of 1996-97 as a doozy. Jeff was living in Cocalalla at the time. Take it away, Jeff: “I had to shovel my roof daily. The power went out for about a week over Thanksgiving, and we had to cook the turkey on the wood stove. It was great, man.” By midwinter, Jeff simply walked up a snow berm to get to the roof. The berm in the driveway was so high that a backhoe could no longer scoop the snow over the top. So Jeff hired a bulldozer to push the snow to the middle of the yard. The pile eventually climbed to 15 to 20 feet. “We hollowed it out with tunnels and rooms and made the most elaborate snow fort of all time,” said Jeff. The snow fort lasted until early June. “The winter of ‘91-92 was also extreme, if you were living in Rathdrum. Jeff, again: “One morning the snow drifted completely over the roof of our house, and they closed Highway 41 for several days.” Bottom line? Pay attention. This winter will be one worth recalling once another good one hits 10 to 15 years from now.
Speaking of the winter of ‘91-92, Bub Lawson of Rathdrum had a method of storing frozen turkeys during the winters that I wouldn’t recommend to newbies. Bub is one of the town’s better bowlers. He has rolled 300 games. He was also a sure bet to win during one of those turkey shoot contests around Thanksgiving and the holidays, sponsored at the old CdA Cove Bowl. Bub won turkeys by bowling strikes in the third, sixth and ninth frames. At one point, he had bagged five turkeys – too many to eat or give away. So he flipped two of them into the snow on his roof for safe-keeping (as he’d done the previous winter). And that’s where they stayed until Bub was reminded of his winnings when he discovered a foul-smelling fowl on his porch. The turkey had slid off the roof during a January Chinook. The remaining turkey on the roof was just as rotten. Jerky, anyone?
Danger, danger, boomer
After suffering a recent mild heart attack, Post Falls Councilwoman Kerri Thoreson has become a reluctant expert on the topic. And she cautions fellow baby boomers not to get carried away with their snow shovels. When a fellow Huckleberries blog poster wrote that he’d suffered chest pains while shoveling snow last weekend, Kerri responded: “No two people will have the same symptoms. And even many cardiologists don’t correctly diagnose heart issues in women. My symptoms were fatigue and occasional shortness of breath for a week or two prior. Then as the heart attack was building it became profuse sweating and aching in both arms from shoulders to tips of fingers.” Kerri never had anything remotely resembling a sharp pain or a chest pain or a jaw pain but she knew something was wrong and went to the ER in time. She reminded baby boomers: “More than twice as many women die of coronary disease than from all forms of cancer combined.” Be careful out there.
Poet’s Corner: The first snowfall of winter/in splendor did us wrap,/but now when we see snowflakes/we merely say, “Oh, crap” – The Bard of Sherman Avenue (“How Swiftly The Magic Flies”) … Sightem: At CdA’s Humane Society Thrift Store/Third Street, an eagle-eyed shopper spotted a T-shirt for dogs, with a message for the times: “Desperate House Dogs” … Jumping G. Horsefat: 74 percent of 1,198 respondents to an Idaho Statesman poll Monday said it wouldn’t watch President Bush’s State of the Union address that evening. Blog commenter Arpie opted for videos of Rocky and Bullwinkle instead. Quoth he: “Much more enlightening.”
“Snowstorm 2008”? Too dull, sez Huckleberries blog wag Bob Salsbury. Quoth he: “It’s like naming the biblical flood of Noah “Flood 40 Days.” Tongue firmly cheeked, he offered his own snowstorm titles: “Super Death Snow Madness 08, 2008 Roof Crushing White Hell, Sliding to Oblivion 2008, Snowballs from Satan 08, Joltin’ January Freeze Slam, Boffo Blizzard Blast 2008, and Death Comes a Snowflake.” To which, commenter In The Know retorted: “De-Californication 2008.”