Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Walking in a Winter...

clusterfuck! Oregon is famous for one thing. Rain. We have no football team, no baseball team, we had a basketball team once (I kid, I kid...go Blazers and all that). When you tell someone that you're from Oregon you can expect a comment about the rain (and occasionally a reference to crowbars and kneecaps, but we aren't proud I assure you). Try as you might to convince them that it truly does NOT rain all the time, it is futile. As familiar as we Pacific Northwesterners are with rain, we are just as unfamiliar with snow. Yes, we have Mt. Hood, Mt. Bachelor, and are a hop skip and an eruption away from Mt. St. Helens, but down here on the valley floor? Snow is a rarity. Thus, when it does happen, we freak out.

We don't know how to drive in it, walk in it, live in it. Some people have snow chains, somewhere, but if they can find them, they probably don't know how to put them on. The evening news becomes the all day news as we watch the WINTER STORM OF DOOM 2008 broadcasting live from Sylvan Hill where we have one inch of snow and a 10 car pile up. Schools are closed, roads are closed, businesses are closed. Add ice to the mix and we might as well be undergoing chemical warfare of some sort cuz ain't nobody going nowhere (it's not often that I get to spout double, dare I say triple, negatives in a sentence...freeing, but I feel stupider for having done so).

On Saturday night, one such cold spell struck. Typical winter temperatures in the Portland Metropolitan area are in the 30's, we are currently experiencing the low 20's and the teens. By Sunday morning the ground had about an inch of snow on it. The problem was, all the aforementioned rain that we had before that was frozen solid underneath. I got sucked into the broadcast of ARCTIC BLAST 2008 (I shit you not, it's covered in similar intensity as natural disasters like Katrina around here) and watched as car after car couldn't make it up portions of the freeway. I listened to ODOT, Trimet, PDOT, and any fool stupid enough to walk past news cameras give their take on the impending doom.

Sunday night it only got colder and slicker. My parent's house is on a sharp curve that slants and has large ditches on either side. We're just outside City limits and sanding our road wasn't a priority...until we had 11 cars in our ditch at one time. ELEVEN. Tow trucks slid into cop cars, gravel trucks slid ever so Stars on Ice like between two of the stranded cars without even touching them, and bystanders are falling on their asses like drunks in a 3-legged race. Soundtrack provided by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky.

I haven't left the house since my last class of the term on Saturday morning. The sun is out, but it's still only in the upper 20's out there. The rest of the week promises more rain and snow...and I love it. It's so peaceful and calm when the ground is covered in snow. I wake up in the morning and I know, without even having gotten out of bed, whether or not it has snowed. There is no sound of speeding cars on the road outside, my room is brighter, and everything is so...silent. It all affords me the luxury of being able to do nothing. To think. To sort through clutter and find some sense of clarity under it all. I don't need to be out in it like I did when I was a child; I enjoy just watching it. I don't like footprints in my snow; I prefer it untouched. I don't need hot chocolate with marshmallows; I do need coffee with eggnog in it. I'm no longer a child; just a child at heart.


CJ said...


♥Haze♥ said...

I totally know what your talking about. I live in southern Oregon and we get snow and ice even less then you. We get 1/2 an inch of snow schools are either delaied or shut down. Businesses are closed too.

I agree with you though about loving to watch it. Every year I do love to go somewhere that does have snow like Diamond Lake to be able to experiance the amazingness of it. I guess I'm crazy, but I would love to live in Alaska to experinace that.

This week has been crazy with all the weather!

Anonymous said...

OMG - you got to use the glorious semi-colon. I saw it a couple times there. Tee-hee.