Saturday, March 04, 2006

When Everything Happens All At Once

The short answer is, yes, we knew this would happen. But you know I'm not going to stop there. The long answer is far more interesting. So here it is.
This winter stinks. It's been horrible. Yucky. And by that I mean it hasn't felt like winter at all. The entire month of January was given over to wind and rain. Things iced over intermittently in February, but winter didn't officially arrive until Friday, March 3rd. That's when it started snowing. And what a lovely snow it is: it's light and airy, supple, gentle, almost apologetic: "Oh, miserable innkeeper, I'm so sorry it took me all winter to get here. But aren't you glad I'm here now?" Yeah, yeah, just get out of the sky and onto the ground. Sheesh.
People in Vermont like winter. Winter is important to us. Without a serious winter, how can we complain about the non-
existence of spring? Without serious winter, what badge will we wear on our uniform? Winter defines us. It allows us to try new beers, to drink smokier single malts, to go to bed early and get up late. It also sustains us. When we bought this inn, the realtor told us, "The white stuff brings the green stuff." No kidding. A good winter can help the state's tourism industry, as well as swell the tax coffers. Never mind what it can do for a little inn walking he highwire of financial stability.
So you can imagine how edgy we've been as we rode out this wimpy Virginia winter. But there's been a nice contrast to the ugliness of this winter: the Mountain. Thanks to the dedicated talents of the snowmaking cadre at Stowe Mountain Resort, the skiing has been good to very good. Considering the weather, that's amazing. And it's been the one thing that's dragged all of us through. While the casual winter traveler might have stayed home, the skiers have been here.
One of the things that happens when winter waits till Mach to arrive is that all the problems usually faced arrive with it. Like frozen pipes. Despite my best efforts, the pipes in room one froze this week, aided by cold temps and strong winds. I got the call this morning...but I was ready. I hooked my hose up to the hot water faucet and jammed it down the shower drain till I removed the ice dam that had formed there. It was almost too easy--I didn't cuss once.
But we're not complaining. We'll always take a shot of winter in March. The days are longer, the sun is stronger, and the skiing is better than almost any other time of the year. If we have to put up with a little of winter's downsides to benefit from its upsides, we'll take it. See you on the slopes.