In 1989, Joanne Palmer left a publishing career in Manhattan and has missed her paycheck ever since. She is a mom, weekly columnist for the Steamboat Pilot & Today, and the owner of a property management company, The House Nanny. Her new book "Life in the 'Boat: How I fell on Warren Miller's skis, cheated on my hairdresser and fought off the Fat Fairy" is now available in local bookstores and online at booklocker.com or amazon.com.
Joanne Palmer's Life in the 'Boat column appears Wednesdays in the Steamboat Today. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org
Find more columns by Palmer here.
Steamboat Springs To: The Seasons
From: Mother Nature
Date: May 21, 2008
It has come to my attention that the residents of Steamboat Springs are getting annoyed with me, Mother Nature. Therefore, the following memo will review the most recent performance of each season with a suggested plan for improved performance and productivity. Please implement all suggestions immediately. Let's get our ducks in a row!
Spring - Your performance has been unsatisfactory. Punctuality is a big, big problem. The first day of spring was March 20. Where have you been? Your excessive tardiness will no longer be tolerated. It appears to me you have been spending too much time with Old Man Winter. Please be advised that interoffice romance is discouraged.
Not only has your performance been unsatisfactory, it has been erratic. One day it's warm (Mother's Day was appreciated), but then you follow it up with a week of snow, wind and rain. I am getting impatient. I'm ready for the flowers to bloom. It is time for the residents to put away their snow shovels and get out their gardening gear. They want to put their geraniums outside without fear of frost.
Suggested improvements: I am sending you to at a three-day Time Management seminar. Attendance is mandatory. Please don't be late.
Summer - A short but adequate performance last year. Consistency seems to be an issue with you. Last year there were not enough temperature fluctuations : you were red-hot all of the time. This is the high country, not the Sahara. Yes, yes, I'm fully aware of global warming. In fact, former Vice President Al Gore gave me a private viewing of his slideshow. Loved it! But I'm not ready to go there yet.
Suggested improvements: Please interface with spring to ensure a seamless and GRADUAL transition. The residents do not like it when it's spring one day and summer the next. Ease them into it.
Autumn - Last year your performance was very good. But there appears to be scheduling conflicts. You extended your season into winter by weeks, giving the residents such a scare they delayed the opening of the ski area.
Suggested improvements: You need to interface with the Aspen Department and put on a better show with the leaves this year.
Winter - Excellent performance! However, overtime expenditures were outrageous! In case you have misplaced your manual, "Mother Nature's Mandates," which outlines all operating procedures, I would like to remind you that overtime expenditures must be approved in advance. Please prepare a projected overtime budget for the 2008-09 ski season and submit to accounting immediately.
The Mother Nature call center logged hundreds of calls (quite a few from Jill Murphy Long) reminding me they love snow. They moved here knowing full well they'd measure snow in feet instead of inches and that entire days might be devoted to shoveling the stuff. However, one irate resident complained she lost her green beans to snow on the Fourth of July. July! Mother Nature checked the frost dates for fall and found that the first frost date was listed as Aug. 16. The last frost date of the previous season? Aug. 17. Winter is empire building, and this activity can no longer be tolerated. These turf wars must stop!
Your relationship with the Department of Sun must improve. You two need to work together to provide sunny days and fresh snow.
Suggested improvements: I am sending you to a Team Building Seminar (yes, it's in Silverthorne so you can stop and shop at Target). Attendance is mandatory.
Thank you for your attention to these matters. Let's hit the ground running and make it a great year!