One of the reasons we moved to the Portland area was for the fairly mild climate. My memories of the Chicago-area winters are not happy ones. I do not enjoy scraping ice off my car. Nor do I ever, Ever, EVER again want to spend entire days shoveling the snow off my driveway and sidewalk. A little snow every now and then is a fun novelty, especially if it melts away after a day or so.
When we put Portland on our list of Writer Move location candidates, we compared the weather averages and extremes to the Mountain View weather averages and extremes. In general, we concluded that, yes, there’d probably be some snow here, but that it would usually be minor.
A little over a week ago, we started getting a light dusting of snow each night. Mostly, it blew away or melted in the rain by the next day. So we stayed home and enjoyed some relaxing time indoors. I made my Christmas week menu, and planned to go shopping on the weekend or just before Christmas. Things would probably stabilize by then.
On Saturday, however, it was pretty snowy. Even though it seemed like the wiser choice, we decided not to stay inside. It took us longer than we thought to finish the gifts for our mothers, and if we wanted to have any hoping of them arriving by Christmas, we needed to get them in the mail.
There were a couple of inches of snow on the ground, and the roads were a little white, but fairly well-plowed. The parking lot at the post office was pretty crazy, though; we decided to hold off on the Christmas food shopping until later. Besides, we have two good grocery stores within half a mile. If the roads and parking lots didn’t clear up we could always walk.
It snowed again all day Sunday. It’s still snowing right now. Fat, fluffy flakes are swirling by outside my window, where they add to the sugary blanket already on the ground. Our windows have more of a yard view than a road view, so went for a short walk this morning. This is what I found:
- When I walked down the pathway between my apartment building and the parking lot, I sank past my ankles in the snow. (I measured the depth when I got back inside: 7″ deep)
- When I pressed my hand into the snow next to a tire-track in the parking lot, it completely covered my fingers (4″ deep)
- When I dug a finger into the sandy, brown snow on the road outside my the apartment complex, it covered the first joint. (1″ deep)
- Very few cars were on the roads. The two that I did see both had chains.
- CKL and I aren’t the only people who need groceries. Four other people were walking down the street, carrying groceries.
- When I checked our own car, I discovered that the entire car is glazed with a layer of ice under light dusting of snow.
And that was more than three hours ago. It hasn’t stopped snowing since.
But it sure it pretty outside. Today’s newspaper says that this area may have its first truly White Christmas since 1937.
Also, the people around here are crazy. A guy just walked by my window. He’s wearing black shorts, a short-sleeved white t-shirt, and eating from a half-gallon container of ice cream. But, hey, at least he’s got a hat and scarf….