96.1 FM | 780 AM | Yours for Western Alaska

A Week in April

Looking out of the Volunteer House.

Looking out of the Volunteer House.

Monday
The melt began last week. Months of snow and ice running brown through the streets. So much snow. Piles of it around town. Massive mounds. 10 to 12 feet high. 15 feet long. Some 20 feet. Little kids climb to the tops and throw snowballs down on their friends below. Some just stand there, looking at the world. They look like kings.

Tuesday
Puddles flood the streets. Some as wide as the streets themselves. Muddy water as deep as the imagination can conceive. Until your foot strikes bottom. Or a passing vehicle throws the contents on you, and you’re standing there drenched, sentiment sliding down your clothes, and your fury has nowhere to go.

Wednesday
I walk out the door to go to work. Morning sunlight sifts hazy and yellow through fog.
I start coughing.
It’s dust.

Thursday
I walk out the door to go to work. Snow is on the ground. A fine overnight flurry. So fine, I can see individual snowflakes in their flat crystal intricacies nailing down the dust. The snow sticks around for the day, and Nome looks like a white car after a hasty wash.

Friday
The snow is gone, and the dust is free, kicked up in thick clouds by passing cars. “It’s not supposed to be like this.” A locals tell me. “Too early.” But I’ve heard that line since January.

Saturday & Sunday
Snow falls fat and swirly. The thermometer reads mid-30’s. Flakes fall faster, almost frenzied. But the street melts every one it touches, sending them flowing in small rivulets down the asphalt.

Somehow, even through the eternal winter, summer will come.