Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Yes, We Have Snow

There has been an abundance of snow here in Western Oregon. And that has lead to five snow days in a row. That is almost unheard of in this area. Four inches of snow... and counting...

I finally realized that snow to Oregonians is a lot like rain to Southern Californians. (I can say this because I lived in Southern California for 30 years.) When it rains in Southern California, the natives go nuts. They drive too slow, they constantly discuss the weather, and they try to avoid driving or even going outdoors. Oh, and the weatherman on TV is having a field day. He'll call it "Storm Watch 'o8," and then send a countless number of poor news people to report in different parts of the southland to interview passersby (the few there are) with questions like, "So... how is the weather affecting you today?" or "Wet out, isn't it?" Then he'll enthusiastically show you numerous maps and charts to explain how much rainfall there is, in inches, along with pictures of soaking wet pedestrians with umbrellas, schlepping through the rain just to walk to the local Starbucks.

This is because it hardly ever rains in Southern California, so a weatherman gets tired of the redundant "Sunny, with warm temperatures" forecast. The rain makes his job exciting. On the other hand, the natives are inconvenienced, confused, and wet -- and they hate that.

Oregon, on the other hand, is used to the rain. That is our redundancy, and our weather watchers get tired of the "Cloudy, with a 70% chance of rain" forecast. The natives drive the same whether it's sunny or rainy, because they are used to it. It's all part of life here in the Northwest. We go about our lives as usual, running errands, driving to work, even walking to school in the rain because that's life. That's the usual.

But then a snowstorm hits, and it becomes crazy here. The natives try to avoid driving at all costs -- even closing schools and several businesses due to the weather. The streets and stores are empty, even on the busiest shopping season of the year. Oh, and the weatherman is having a field day. She'll call it "Snow Watch '08," and then send a countless number of poor news people to report in different parts of the area to interview passersby (the few there are) with questions like "So... how is the weather affecting you today?" and "Cold out there, isn't it?" Then she'll enthusiastically show you numerous maps and charts to explain how many inches of snow we're getting, along with pictures of people schlepping through the snow just to get to their local Starbucks.

It made me wonder if the people living in Minnesota or North Dakota are laughing at us: "You call this SNOW?!" It's all relative.

Me ... I'm enjoying it. I think it's absolutely beautiful, and I use every opportunity I can to go outside and enjoy it. Hubby, the kids, and I have built a snowman, had a bunch of snowball fights, and eaten snowflakes off our tongues as they fall. We laughed as the cat tried to catch the flakes as they fall, and the dog runs around frantically with excitement. And when it's gotten too cold, we snuggle under blankets with hot chocolate (and me with hot coffee) while we watch a movie. The Wii has never been used as much, but we've also played board games, baked cookies, and done a lot of crafts. It's been fun, and we're using it as a time to spend together as a family. What could be better than that?


Kally said...

As much as I have complained about the snow I am SOOOOooooo Glad there is no ice. Last winter in Tulsa, OK we had an awful ice storm that left most of the city without power for 7-14 days. We were without for 10 days and as romantic and cozy as a fire sounds on snowy shut in days On icey freezin' your butt off in the den with 5 other grumpy cold people is anything BUT romantic. I will suffer the OR snow any day over ice.

emma said...

I wouldn't mind a little snow here...but I like how it's been nice and chilly with some showers lately here in Southern Cali. I just wish I didn't have to go to work!

Dad Stuff said...

For not having snow very often, you sure know the correct way to enjoy it.

And yes, we are laughing at you.

Happy Winter.

pixie said...

I *KNEW* it!!

Lanxi said...

I would take the snow over the frigid air we've been getting. Too many days under 20 (for a high!).

Glad to see you all are having so much fun in your 'huge' snowstorm. :)