Snow Day


Portland was hit with a freak snowstorm yesterday. Well…sort of freak. There was cold air and there was moisture. You’d think the meteorologists could follow a basic recipe and pull the same forecast out of the oven as the local weather geeks, but I think their high tech equipment befuddled them. So while they were relying on their computer models, the rest of us were looking at the thermometer and the Doppler radar and wishing the snow would hurry up and start falling. In the end, the “brief isolated patches of freezing rain” turned into 3 ¼ inches of snow smack in the middle of rush hour. Two of my friends were scared witless having to drive home in it, and my husband Bob endured a 3-hour commute (which would normally have been a 10 minute drive). Meanwhile my inner 10-year-old was turning cartwheels.

How often do you see blue over Portland on the Doppler radar?

I wanted to be able to enjoy the snow, so I left my writer’s nook above the garage in favor of the tiny laptop desk I built last year, which sits in the master bathroom and generally serves as a perch for my other laptop. The furry one. This bathroom is on the second floor and has a 4 x 5 window that overlooks my rather extensive garden, so I was able to watch the snow falling as I worked.  In my office I’d have to be satisfied with an opaque skylight.

To fully enjoy the experience, I listened to the Barenaked Ladies Christmas album. My friends Roxie and Susan have assured me that Christmas itself  is only the first twelve days, and that it’s perfectly acceptable to listen to holiday music through January 5th. The sky slowly went blue and then purple as snow cloaked the trees, embroidering them into an icy tapestry. It got so dark that I couldn’t see the keyboard, but I didn’t want to turn on the light and ruin the magic.

The view out my window

Bob called twice to give me a report on where he was and when he was likely to make it home. He was supposed to cook fish for dinner, and I thought about doing it for him. Then I let myself off the hook by rationalizing that both his ETAs had proved about as accurate as the local weather forecast, so I really didn’t know when to expect him. Instead, I decided to take a walk. I took my recorder along to capture any thoughts I might have for the new scene I was working on then spent the next 40 minutes enjoying colored lights reflecting off the snow and surveying the neighborhood for the obligatory crop of snowmen that sprout up every time Portland gets the slightest sprinkling.

Bob was home when I returned, starting a fire in our new woodstove. It was 7:45 and he didn’t feel like cooking the fish, so I threw a frozen pizza in the oven (the gourmet kind, not one of those cheap Totino’s things that taste like cardboard soaked in catsup). We watched the end of Ferris Bueller’s Day Off as we ate dinner in our newly remodeled front room with the fire warming us and charming our noses with the rich scent of wood smoke.

My friends and hundreds of other commuters had a miserable time last night, and I hope everyone got home safely. But I had a great evening. And I am counting my blessings.

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5 Responses to Snow Day

  1. Rose Lefebvre says:

    I was one of those stuck in the snow in my vehicle for hours.
    I think I may have enjoyed the snow more if I had been home, observing it like you!

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  2. Roxie says:

    I am SO glad to hear that someone enjoyed the snow besides the three teenage boys who pelted my car with snowballs a mile before I got home. I nearly wet my pants when the first projectile hit, but I couldn’t blame them. It was PERFECT snowball snow!

    And hooray for you for enjoying the beauty of it all. Hope you got lots of good ideas!

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  3. We were both home, and we had no idea snow might be coming (we hadn’t paid attention to either the “expert” forecasts or our own observations) so to look up from my laptop and see the snow coming down was delightful. We managed to put our respective projects away and get ourselves and the dogs outside for a nice long walk in the twilight. Snow makes the evening light truly magical!

    We were SO glad not to be stuck in that horrible commute. Sorry your husband (and thousands other) were. Glad he made it home safely!

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  4. Casey says:

    Oh, it sounds like you had a lovely day, Lisa! I’d like a little snow day over here in Cali now and then. They’re very, very, very rare where I live by the coast.

    Happy New Year!

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  5. Barb says:

    Yeah, I’m with you. I was dancing around screaming “Snow. Snow.” Until my beloved called and said to come get him. He’d been traveling an inch an hour in traffic and after 5 hours gave up and called me to come get him not far from your house.
    I learned that my car makes loud beeping noises when it goes into a skid. Now that’s just what I need when I’m trying to wrestle a 2000 pound vehicle under control. I don’t know whose brilliant idea that was at the manufacturing plant.
    Great pictures. Here’s hoping for more snow.

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