Winter of Discontent in Arizona

Winter of Discontent in Arizona

Around the Bluhmin’ Town


Judy Bluhm

This has been the winter of our discontent. Plenty of wind, rain, sleet, hail and snow (some of it all happening at once). For many, depression set in while all hail broke loose. Finally, the sun is shining, so we might get our mojo back. Or at least our golf game.

I do feel sorry for the snowbirds who flock to the Valley of the Sun for lovely, mild sunny days in the winter. This year was a bust. Except for a few weeks, it was as rainy as Seattle and as cold as Cleveland. We bundled up or stayed inside while all forms of outdoor activities were postponed. In the Valley, winter is what we live for! Spring might be two weeks long and then we head straight for triple digits!

My grandson lives in Flagstaff where their snowfall was of epic proportions. About 120 inches for the winter, with winds that made it like the North Pole. Trees down, patio furniture, gazebos, chicken coops and other objects flying through the air like cannons smashing into vehicles, fencing and houses. Oh yeah, the only thing missing was a cow soaring through the sky like out of the movie “Twister.” Everything else happened.

In Prescott, we were stuck in homes that had steep driveways and no way out unless you felt like sliding down into the street. Cars in ditches. Highways closed. Classes, parties, meetings cancelled. Armageddon after a few inches of snow. It was bone-chilling cold all over the State. And all we can do is complain.

According to psychologists, people like to talk about the weather because it is a “common, connecting theme.” With so many topics leading to disagreements, one thing people can share without fear of arguments is weather conditions. In a world where there are plenty of hot-topics, evidently it feels “safe” to grumble about temperatures, precipitation and wind-chill factors.

In Arizona, it is somewhat sacrilegious to complain about rain or snow. We have been (and remain) in a major drought. The trees in the North country need snowpack to survive. Our lakes and reservoirs have been frighteningly low. Our deserts need moisture. So, rain and snow are welcomed. Still, we now find saguaros waterlogged, trees uprooted, and weeds getting ready to take over.

A lady in New River said one windy night, her tool shed in the backyard just “disappeared.” Well, it landed five acres away in a neighbor’s front yard. In Anthem, a trampoline was catapulted over a block wall and into a neighbor’s pool. My grandson’s postal carrier refused to drive down his road in Flagstaff unless it got cleared (snowplows not coming) and people were stuck in homes for a week unable to get out. What kind of misery is this?

There is an old Scandinavian proverb that states, “There is no such thing as bad weather, only inappropriate clothing.” Perhaps. Of course, shopping for sweaters and boots does seem to help. And now the sun is out, Arizona! It feels hopeful. Temperatures and moods are rising. Goodbye winter. We are done with you. It’s been un-brr-lieveable.

Judy Bluhm is a writer and a local realtor. Contact Judy at [email protected] or at

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