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Tuesday, December 23, 2008

 
[#] [3]
the snow, especially where we are, is as bad as they say. portland doesn't salt its roads and only barely sands major arteries, leaving the neighborhood streets to fend for themselves. we have three ways to exit powell butte, and when there's snow & ice two of them become as dangerous as walking over the backs of a pit of crocodiles in your bare feet. one of them is flatter, so if you can get onto 136th you have a decent shot at getting around town if you stay on the main streets. that's how we made it to see kristen & todd before they left to california, even though it was silly to do so; i didn't even have chains. sven sweetly put some on while i was being a patient advocate at planned parenthood a few days later, but then broke them when he drove too fast on the highway, cutting trixie's wheel wells. the storm has not been kind to trixie: the cold seems to have put her in a coma and she doesn't respond to anything, despite an attempt to jump her. though at this point, though, we can't get out, anyway; the snow is piled high and only big trucks & snowmobiles are making it through the powdered streets here. in town is easier (michaelmas & arwen are managing to survive), but multnomah county has declared a state of emergency till january 5.

even before it got really bad, the gocco class i was scheduled to teach last monday was cancelled because of the weather. too bad i didn't know it until i arrived at the iprc, though! i had gone into town early to do some xmas shopping & errands, so i missed the call. for my trouble i got a gift certificate to the half & half cafe and i saw the small press show by red bat and loaded hips. we also decided to reschedule the other class i was supposed to run that week. january is going to be a busy month! the next day i visited michael & got stuck a couple of times in his steep neighborhood. i took the opportunity to see shu-ju's exhibit at the central library's rare book room and took a bunch of pictures of the "gems of small press" exhibit, which were beautiful.

the good news is that the solstice was sunday. that means we've had the longest night of the year and the sun will begin its six-month return northward, bringing spring with it. to celebrate, we tried to take the semiannual walk to the apple orchard on powell butte, but we only made it to the "kissing trees" in the wooded area before we turned around. fortunately, i'm getting better at dressing for the snow: rainboots, 3 pairs of socks (1 wool, 2 knee-high), 2 pairs of sweats, a skirt, long fingerless gloves over isotoner gloves, red coat w/ liner, 2 hats and a scarf. toasty! on our way up the hill to the butte a woman clearing her driveway wanted to chat with us -- until she learned we were from "the red house," which she had a visibly disapproving reaction to.

on the day of the first good snowstorm sven sledded on the hill outside our house right into a curb and is still nursing a bruise that covers his whole leg now. but lots of other people have been playing with sleds, skis, snowboards, innertubes, etc. last night they built a ramp of snow and were flying off it as i shoveled the sidewalk. people have even come from other neighborhoods, and in general i have discovered that 3 or more boys together will average a curse word for every three words in a sentence, sometimes stringing together whole sentences of curse words loosely joined with conjunctions or pronouns.

a snow story that cracked me up today: a young girl pulled her mom down the hill in a sled. when they reached the bottom the mom said, “now i should pull you!” “no,” the daughter said. "are you sure?” the mom asked. "my hands are cold," the daughter responded. "but it's fun!" the mom cried, clearly confused. the daughter rolled her eyes. “fine," the daughter said, crossing her arms and stomping up the hill.

anyway, this has been the most snow portland's seen since 1968. even if the rain melts the snow and we don't get a white christmas, it's been pretty amazing. sometimes i feel like i'm living in colorado again! facebook has been overflowing with updates on the "snowpocalypse." leeann is sending missives about her trip to see her idaho inlaws. with all the holiday parties that cancelled, we don't have to go anywhere or do anything. i'm just grateful we have heat, power, food -- and the internet.

Comments:
I saw this video. Amazing!

My recollection of Portland was one snowstorm per winter (although not so much as this year), during which time it was safest to walk places.
 
Another video that you might find useful. These cable chains are designed for vehicles with minimal wheel-well clearance, and their zig-zag design makes them easy to put on, it looks like. If I needed new chains, I would consider them.
 
thanks for the snowchains tip, chas! yeah, that video is amazing: and it was last winter, which wasn't even half the snow we had in this last storm. it still seems to hold true that we usually we get one good snow a year which shuts the city down for a day or two, but 2 weeks was a little excessive!
 
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