i’m hitting publish on this one without photos and editing…just want to get it out there. i will come back and add photos/video/etc, but i need to go play in the snow!
we’ve lived in the pacific northwest for 11 years.
it rains here almost 9 months out of the year. not a steady grey rain everyday, but from november through june you can expect rain in some form a lot of days. it’s really the worst in december and january when the days are so short and any gray and rain just makes them seem even shorter.
people around here just get stuff done in the rain. you have to.
i learned that a good rain jacket and some hunter boots will get you through most of the rainy weather. in fact, i love my patagonia rain jacket so much that although it needs some patching, i just couldn’t part with it when ryan bought me a new one for christmas.
umbrellas are optional. we keep them in the car if it is just a crazy downpour and you have to walk more than a few blocks. mainly, we keep them around for people who visit from out of state who might melt in the rain. heck, my kids don’t even bother with the rain jacket and rubber boots, but they are oregon kids…it’s in their blood.
when the sun comes out, especially when there are sun breaks between rainstorms in the spring, people get out and take advantage of it. yes, sometimes it takes us a little while to recognize that bright yellow orb in the sky, but once we confirm that is is indeed the sun we take advantage of it.
go for a run.
go for a hike.
get out on the water.
go to the beach.
just get out and enjoy whatever isn’t possible in the rain…or, at the very least, get out and enjoy what you usually do in the rain without getting wet!
get out in the sun, because you don’t know how long it will last!
and, then there is snow.
we get snow in oregon. plenty of it. in the cascades.
portland, doesn’t do snow very often.
an inch of snow will close schools.
a few inches of snow will create havoc on the roads where people will literally abandon their cars and walk.
the topography, and lack of snow removal equipment just don’t help us out when the snow hits the ground.
in fact, in the 11 years we have lived here we have only had three BIG (relatively speaking, of course) snow storms.
this has been the snowiest winter i have ever been a part of in portland. since december 1st my kids have had EIGHT snow days.
four of those snow days occured before christmas break when we had some small 1-3″ snowfalls. yep, the schools close because the buses cannot get into the neighborhood with hills.
one snow day was this past monday, january 9th after we had a small snow storm and then a layer of ice on top.
there was one more storm forecast before the weather people said we would finally warm up and return to normal portland winter weather…rain.
on tuesday night i took the kids to the store to get some milk in case we got the 1-4″ that were forecast. school would certainly be closed, and i wanted to make sure we had milk for hot chocolate!
ryan had driven down to bend for work on monday night and it was snowing so hard in central oregon that he decided to stay on tuesday night rather than drive back into portland.
well, as we walked out of the store and drove home the snowflakes started falling. by the time we got home they were sticking to the roadways, our deck, and our front yard.
the kids and i ate dinner and watched some tv as we saw more and more snow fall. the big districts of beaverton and portland had announced their closure by 9 pm as snow in some areas had already reached 3-5 inches.
the snow kept piling up outside, but we kept waiting for word of our districts closure. lorelai went to bed, but reece wanted to stay up and wait to hear about school. i went downstairs to watch the 10 o’clock news and he was up in my bedroom. right before 11 pm i heard branches cracking as the wind was blowing the snow through the trees. then the power went out. more loud pops and a bright light.
reece came running down the stairs scared of all the noise and the dark house. we decided to sleep downstairs with a fire in the fireplace. i moved his sister to her room, away from the trees at the back of the house.
it was a rest less night of sleep for me. at 3:21 am i woke up and noticed we still were without power. when i reported the outage to PGE at 11 pm, they had expected to have power back on by 1:30am. my mind started churning with thoughts of how i was going to make coffee and hot chocolate. i texted ryan and he told me where the camp stove we bought him for christmas was. i was certain that i was going to need to use it. i was going to need lots of coffee.
at 5 am, the house woke up. electronics chirped, beeped, and began to hum back to life. we had power…just in time for coffee! while it was inconvenient, and a bit scary, to be without in the dark of the night with a storm howling outside, it was not as inconvenient as i imagined being without power during a snow day with two kids home would have been.
shortly after power was restored our school district also announced, officially, that we had a snow day!
7-12″ of snow had fallen all over the metro area and the storm was not over. highways were littered with abandoned cars. power was out all over the area.
by then end of our first snow day we had 8+ inches of snow and other areas in and around portland had up to 15″.
the mayor of portland and governor of oregon issued a state of emergency for the entire state.
central oregon, where ryan finally was able to drive home from, had received even more snow, the gorge had not thawed out from the ice event from the previous storm and was getting dumped on.
the school districts all called another snow day for thursday.
and, another one for today.
while a couple of inches of snow may shut down the city, and a foot of snow may cause a state of emergency, portlanders know how to have fun in the snow!
cross country skiing.
you name something to do in the snow, we are doing it.
i have never seen so many snowmen in my life.
our neighbor built a legitimate igloo.
we have been sledding everyday, multiple times a day. streets are turned into mini ski/sled runs!
we still have plenty of snow on the ground as we also have record low temperatures. and, although the sun is shining, the snow is not melting.
so, sun and snow, we are going to get out and play…before the rain comes to wash it all away.
we have friends headed over for playdates, and a huge mound of snow waiting for us to create something with it!