A Close Winter Call

The weather here in southwest Missouri is nothing if not unpredictable.  We are at a juncture where the jet stream generally dives down from northwest to southeast.  Sometimes it’s above Joplin and sometimes south, so it really keeps us hopping.  We don’t get as much snow as my friend Pied Type in Denver, nor her forest fires, but we do get the occasional EF-5 tornado or an ice storm.  The latter, which is the main cause of power outages here, is what I feared this morning when I looked out the kitchen window, but thank goodness it was merely about three inches of heavy, wet snow, clinging to the trees.  Our power went out twice this morning, but only for a minute or so at a time.   Whew!   Turns out we only got the southern fringe of the blizzard.

Here’s what it looked like.  (Click on each picture to magnify – I used a high-pixel setting.)


The pond behind our house.


Toward our little boat dock.


The bird feeder outside the kitchen.


Out the kitchen window.


Our front yard.

About Jim Wheeler

U. S. Naval Academy, BS, Engineering, 1959; Naval line officer and submariner, 1959 -1981, Commander, USN; The George Washington U., MSA, Management Eng.; Aerospace Engineer, 1981-1999; Resident Gadfly, 1999 - present. Political affiliation: Democratic.
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13 Responses to A Close Winter Call

  1. ansonburlingame says:

    Based on my backyard views we received about 3 inches of wet, heavy snow. Fortunately the temperature was rather warm and much of the snow melted later in the day.

    A man and his son offered to shovel our walk and driveway for $30 which I willingly paid. So that “couple” made some money and good for them, from me and several other older people in my neighborhood. In other words we “endured” a rather “normal” snowstorm for these parts and the kids around here had a ball as well, hitting the “slopes” with their sleds, just like I did a long time ago.

    Then read the national headlines. MASSIVE SNOWSTORM HITS THE MIDWEST. Embellishments are added about deaths, air traffic snarls, etc.

    Well “gubermint should do something, more” is the implication in such reporting, at least in my view. I instead, sat back, enjoyed the view and let a man and son earn a few bucks as well. Local “gubermint” did fine as well. I was out and about after noon and streets were cleared and all was well, as far as I could tell.



    • Jim Wheeler says:

      I paid a young man $20 to shovel a path from my front door to the mailbox. He said he was a young family man who works in house construction and was looking to make up for his cancelled day work. What will he do if he or his family gets a $4,000 kidney stone? Hmm, let’s see, that would be 200 paths to shovel. 200! Wow.


  2. ansonburlingame says:


    I have no idea what he might do with his own kidney stone. But I also believe such a solution should not be left to “gubermint” to decide as well, or you for that matter. If your guy was really worried about his kidney’s well he MIGHT have stayed in school and learned enough to get a higher paying and more reliable job than a seasonal construction worker dependent upon the weather to earn a living as well.

    Actually, I thought you might criticize ME for only paying $30 to shovel both my walk and my driveway!!! I should have given the “couple” a tip I suppose, just in case they incurred a future kidney stone, right?



  3. Cop Car says:

    I’m just dropping in from Ronni Bennett’s to say “Hi, from a fellow (retired) engineer” who was also graduated from high school in 1955. Born in Nevada MO, high school in KCMO, college in Rolla MO and Wichita KS, with relatives still living in the Joplin area.



  4. Cop Car says:

    Thanks, Jim, and, oh! I failed to include that, for six years (1980-1986), I was a reservist – AMS1.


  5. Jim, how nice to see the lovely pictures. Looks like you have Canada Geese. I’m late getting to you — we drove to Florida and back with stops in nice places along the way, and I’m just now catching up. The snow is beautiful — this is the first winter that I can remember that we have had no significant snow. Some ice, and a dusting of snow, but no accumulation.
    Maybe I should say not yet!


    • Jim Wheeler says:

      Thanks, Helen. Don’t look now but – too late. The view outside our windows looks just like it did when I took the pictures. Fortunately the brunt of it seems to be going north of us.

      Good to hear from you. 🙂


    • Jim Wheeler says:

      By the way, yes we do have Canada geese. You are sharp to see the one in the picture. They have stayed with us all winter and several times I have counted over a hundred (not a typo) on our little lake. I don’t feed them because I don’t want to make them dependent, but my neighbor does from time to time and now the geese seem to think they own the place!


  6. Jim said,

    now the geese seem to think they own the place!

    I bet they say the same thing about you 🙂
    A hundred geese – that must be a remarkable sight! And sound. Would love to see a photo of that some time. We occasionally have geese stop over, but mostly we have hawks and songbirds.


  7. PiedType says:

    You can bet I don’t miss those tornados. Or the winter ice storms. But I’d give a lot for a backyard view like you have! That’s spectacular.


    • PiedType says:

      BTW, I’m way behind on my reading here. I thought I was subscribed and just discovered I wasn’t. That’s what I get for relying on email notifications. Mea culpa.


    • Jim Wheeler says:

      Thanks, PT. We are fortunate to be in our little development. It is a little piece of the country inside the city limits, formed by the intersection of two creeks. 🙂


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