Gentle Winds


“Sure hope Chinooks blow through and melt this stuff.”

We’re nearing the all-time record for snowfall in the Anchorage area. I stared out the window at our driveway, the shape of a narrow-neck white decanter. Municipality snow plows have sliced a sharp ridge along every driveway on Birchwood Loop. We drive daintily over the ridge, or leave our  car’s muffler gnarled at the top of the drive. As for our mailbox: It juts out of a shoulder-high berm across the road. We’ll be getting a note with a diagram from the postal delivery woman soon, with instructions on how to remove (shovel) the snow for her Jeep to access the tin mail receptacle. Can’t blame her. Who’d want to shove a bumper into a snow bank and reach three feet below the window to shove letters in a box — over and over and over?

Shovel tomorrow, Sunday, after church, I guess. Last year a massive muni plow swept our poor little tin mail can and buried it in a snowy ditch. They’ve missed it this year, so far. Just another day in the life of an Alaskan. In years past, mail boxes have been summer targets for bored school boys with baseball bats. Does sound kinda fun: stalking a postal bin, late at night, under Mr. Drebert’s nose; smacking a home run if the box endos off the flimsy post; hightailing with hoops of gloating glee. Utter fun. I chased down a car-full of hoodlums one time, and they outdistanced me before I got close enough to see their license plate number… And it really was a kick to watch them nail a couple of the neighbors’ mail boxes, I have to admit.


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