Palmer Buzz

Tonight will be around zero degrees. Tomorrow will be 43 degrees. We are in the middle of crazy weather time. People are separated into two distinct camps: yeah, more spring snow; or, stop the snow now.

In most parts of the world, this is the time of year when delighted rabbits cavort in the fresh air nibbling on baby buds of infant grass. But those happy and frisky rabbits don’t live in the Matanuska Susitna Valley in Alaska. In Palmer April, our brave local rabbits are still wearing earmuffs and if they cavort— it is through ice crevasses—with slush biting between their little toes.

The Best of Break Up

Break Up is a time of light. A time of joy. A time of hope. And a maddening time of violence and conflict. As joyous as I am to see the first snow, in October, I am equally anxious to say goodbye to the last snowfall in March.

Dealing with the Anxiety—The best way to handle the frustration of break-up is to help get rid of the ice. I personally have a deep urgent and primal need to see progress of the deep snows’ disappearance and “the melt.” I have a personal duty to assist with the progress of spring probably because I suffer (like many others) from spring fever. I ask you—Is there nothing more satisfying then to crunch and kill a chunk of rotten ice with your boot?

Fresh Snow Will Hasten the Melt

Now I’ve heard from scientists that fresh new snow is an excellent tool in spring time because it has more energy than the old rotten snow. That equates to more BTUs. Which means it is hotter snow and therefore it will melt faster and make the old snow melt faster. Now this may be true but it offers no consolation to me at all—this time of year. It’s like if you eat more fresh candy, the old candy will disappear from your tummy. Right.

I realize I am in Break-Up Fatigue

Every single day there is a battle between the forces of good and evil. War and Peace. Sun and Ice. This is high drama. In fact “the melt” of yesterday was refrozen AGAIN by the night of darkness. Over and over again. This is the flirting bitterness of hope and despair on a daily basis.

Palmer Gasp

Some say that break-up snowfalls are the last gasp of winter. If this is the case, than winter is a damn strong character—because the gasps go on for six weeks.

Break up is Unruly and Disobedient

It does not observe the obligatory turn-taking in an ordered season of life. It wearies with it’s deception.. And depression is its bedfellow. Clinical depression is highest at this seasonal time in the upper latitudes because of the continual TEASE and insincerity. It looks warm outside. But it is cold as a bone and glaciers continue to grow. There is really a finite time that snow and muck can freeze and melt and refreeze. But Break up is a passive aggressive season. The sun flirts with us and then runs away. And not unlike other faltering relationships, it eventually ends in a big puddle of mud. But the mud is welcome. Simply put, mud time is the best of break up.

Palmer is Ready

All the festivals and fairs and markets are just around the corner. Just as we have survived Covid, we will survive these last few weeks of break up. This Friday is Palmer’s Untold Stories. It is a wonderful local adventure in storytelling and it is online! Don’t miss it.

Barbara Hunt is both Palmer writer and artist. She works hard to keep the robust pulse of Palmer, Alaska. She shares the good stuff in the weekly Palmer Alaska Buzz Column in the Mat Su Valley Frontiersman and daily on the Palmer Alaska Buzz Facebook Group.. Contact at or text 907.315.3222

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