Snow falls around the Peninsula Clarion building on Tuesday, Oct. 25, 2022 in Kenai, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)

Snow falls around the Peninsula Clarion building on Tuesday, Oct. 25, 2022 in Kenai, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)

Out of the Office: One day at a time

So, it snowed this week. Not, like, a little bit — it snowed a lot. I’d guess about 10 inches around where I live and comparable depths at the Clarion newsroom.

Snow was something I was worried about moving to Alaska. Sure, it makes everything look beautiful and feel cozier, but there are some legitimate hazards that come with the downy flakes. I’m thinking about the folks I’ve seen slide through stop signs and the morning slips between my front door and my car.

When confronted as we were this week with an onslaught of winter weather, I definitely experienced a moment of panic. Sure, the studded tires are on, but my snow boots are still at home. Do I have enough clothes in my car to stay warm if I slide off a remote road?

The productivity to come from “what if” speculation, however, is finite.

A mind-set I’ve internalized since moving to Alaska is one of relativity. Is today colder than it was yesterday? Is there more snow today than there was yesterday? Does driving today feel as dangerous as it did yesterday?

It’s not a perfect system, but if today seems better than yesterday, I can at least rest assured that I got through yesterday. Thursday marked the first day of this year’s relativity chain. Today’s driving conditions definitely seemed worse than Tuesday’s, which meant I white-knuckled it from Soldotna to Kenai.

Is it possible that tomorrow’s conditions could be worse still? That is difficult to conceptualize right now. The day-to-day approach definitely makes winter’s imminence seem that daunting.

Reach reporter Ashlyn O’Hara at

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