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.
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.
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.