I Encountered This New Word – But Knew Exactly What It Meant:

This word was in an article about the writer’s recent three-mile trek through the cold, slushy streets of Chicago.

Throughout her trek she encountered…


Piles of snirt.

I’d never heard nor seen the word, but I knew exactly what it meant.


And this:

And this:

Snirt: It’s dark, yucky stuff that originally was pristine snow, but has been piled up, driven on, plowed through and thoroughly covered in dirt, de-icing salt, car exhaust, and any other available crud.

Snow + Dirt = Snirt.

If you grew up in the Midwest, as I did, you’re intimately familiar with snirt.

You have no choice, because the piles of snirt continue to grow throughout winter.  New snow is piled up onto old snirt and becomes new snirt.  Repeat, repeat, repeat.

When spring finally arrives and the ground starts showing signs of coming back to life, the snirt piles remain, adorning yards and parking lots with this:

Into, and beyond spring. 

Some snirt piles have been known to impede summer Little League baseball practice:

“Coach, where’s second base?”
“It’s underneath that big pile of snirt, Tommy.”
“What do I do if I hit a double?”
“Just run straight from first base to third, and we’ll figure it out from there.”

One factor in my move from the Midwest to San Diego County was the weather, and generally, it is all it’s cracked up to be.  This week, while people in many other parts of the country continue to suffer from the recent hellacious winter storms, our weather forecast looks like this:

So it may surprise you to know that we do get snow here – at the higher elevations – on Mt. Laguna, Palomar Mountain and so on.  The weather forecasters on the local news actually get excited when the snow levels drop from 5,000 feet to 3,000 feet and lower:

And the residents?  For reasons that escape me, hundreds of them choose to bundle up and drive – in bumper-to-bumper traffic – to those locations to experience snow and do this:

And this:

And this:

Though of course, by the time those hundreds of cars arrive at their destination, a lot of the snow has been turned into…


But here’s the catch: 

We don’t have to live surrounded with this:

We can visit it – if we so choose.

The city of San Diego proudly claims the title of “America’s Finest City,” and there are a number of reasons for this.

I now gladly add yet another reason to that list:

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