The Big Thaw

Portland, Oregon is sopping wet again, thank Goddess.  For about an eternity we were at the mercy of what the local media called, Arctic Blast.  Other places mock our meager accumulation, but if you live here you know that over a foot of snow in a city without snowplows is a very big deal indeed.  Our furnace ran round the clock and barely kept us at toasty 64 degrees.  Two space heaters helped do the job as did plastic sheets over the windows.  We stopped using the front door.  Snow gathered on the window sill of our bedroom.  Inside!  It sounds medieval, but believe it or not, we were amongst the lucky.  It’s old and drafty, but we have a pretty decent house close to shops.  Many people were without food and power for days.  We were able to venture out for groceries we hauled on a make-shift sled.  As friends touched base on the phone I kept hearing the same phrase over and over again… “This is what I hated about insert-city-here (Chicago, Cleveland, Columbus, Rochester, Newark, Burlington)!”  Parents were on edge.  Kids were in heaven.  D was outside for hours on end with her backyard pal.  Blocks of ice for feet, they’d stay indoors only long enough for a quick snack before heading back out again.  Z had her limits.  She’s more of a warm weather gal, bless her heart.  But she too flung herself to the drifts each day in the name of snow angels.  T loved it though I couldn’t bring him out for more than a minute having remembered what I hated most about Boston.  Little D was just my speed, preferring to watch from under a blanket in the window.  Had we not been forced into this unique no-escape situation my family may have avoided spending these last several hundred hours together.  Sure, it was maddening, but much more than that it was wonderful.  We made candles, bookmarks, cookies, cake, Christmas cards and gifts.  We played games, movies, karaoke.  Without the reprieve of school, work and other obligations, we were together like never before.  We had only each other.  And after a while, even as we continually bounced fussy babies on our laps while eating cold dinners, TC and I found ourselves laughing more than we had in a long, long time.  We have one more week of vacation left and even with all this, I wish we had more time.  Together.               


Our street 12/23/08


3 responses to “The Big Thaw

  1. i agree. i am among the mocking crowd with this petty little snowstorm (mark me with the Chicagoans) and yet, having lived here for 10 years, i am also amongst the enchanted. not since (enter year/life changing event here) have we seen snow like this! inevitable next sentence: it’s not the snow, it’s the…. ICE! anyway, i’m with you: it has been a lovely vacation at home with everything nearly stopping (nice the outside world joined this time). we feel sad to see the ground again, but it isnt about the snow as much as it is about the loss of imposed family time. then again, it’s nice to have a little more outside action and freedom to move (another year we said we were going to get good snow gear and didnt and regretted it!). it’s been nice watching people push cars together (that’s always been some kind of fun to me) and borrowing sleds and shovels (we had the only snow shovel on the block – watched a lot of people shovel with garden tools for atleast a few minutes before offering the real thing.) yes, it has been interesting!

  2. That’s nice. Seriously.
    Unfortunetely, it didn’t go that way for me, but it’s nice to hear someone enjoyed being snowed in.
    Very romantic actually.

  3. How wonderful. The kids (at least D & Z) will remember this special week forever.

    Miss you all,

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