Snow Storms

Posted by: Richenda at Saturday December 20, 2008 in

This is my front yard after two snow storms in a row.

And yeah, I know all of you in Maine and Alberta think that’s pretty tame, but we live in Washington, near Portland, Oregon, and we don’t usually get back-to-back snow and ice storms. We probably have fewer snowplows than Florida, which is, at the moment, 76 degrees warm.

So Ack! With the third storm in a row on the way, we had an afternoon window before the temps dropped again to below freezing, the roads iced up, and the next storm blew in. This, then, is what the grocery store looked like at 4:15 yesterday afternoon.

The lines wrapped back and around. The photograph doesn’t really do it justice! And let me break it down for you. That’s me, at the far right waving (gotta love photoshop) that’s my cart near me. As usual, I managed to find the slowest line on the planet. The two people in the front must have purchased full carts full of 8oz yogurts that all had to be rung-up individually and packed in foam or something. They probably also had 800 expired coupons.

In the time I was in line, I got three phone calls from my husband (who is on his way home. With the storm window so short, we split our trips between two groups).

The first call: The snow plow came!
Me: Yippee!!

This is good news! It means I can get home fairly easily. Though I’m still in line, (the wait now calculable in geologic time) I’m not scared. The plow came!

The second call: We’re almost home, but the temp just dropped. It’s starting to ice up.
Me: Oh great. I’m still in line. (And I’m thinking, “the temp just dropped”? I’m picturing that scene from The Day After Tomorrow, when the freeze comes in and the helicopter goes down…)

At this point I begin to eyeball those around me. As I do, some Super Lucky Lady ahead of me gets pulled out of line by the Customer Service checker who has an open spot to check someone. But hey. Okay. I’m not panicked yet. Let’s not mention that Ms. Super Lucky probably lives around the corner while I have to drive 15 minutes up a cliff to get home.

There is also a Lucky Postal Worker behind me. Well…she started out behind me. But our line was so slow she gained ground rapidly and ended up far head of me. Urg! Then again. She’s a postal worker, right? And it’s Christmas Time, right? She’s probably been working her butt off and if anybody deserves a break it’s her.

The third call: It’s so icy we got stuck. We are putting on the spider spikes (essentially chains).

My demeanor has rapidly changed. I mean, to heck with postal workers! They have a lot of practice, don’t they? What about all that ‘neither rain, nor sleet, or falling snow’ stuff? I have to drive 15 minutes up a cliff!

I finally get my turn, and it would be like winning a trip to Disneyland except that I’m worried now about getting stuck and having to walk 100 miles to get home.

And then, I am finally free and racing to the car. I try to call my husband who I hope by now has made it home. No answer. I call my son who is with him. Also no answer. I call my other son who is also with him. Still no answer. They’re probably knee deep in sleet! This does not bode well!

I load up my car and the road looks good. We live a little higher in elevation than Vancouver and so I’m glad there is no ice yet in the valley to contend with.

And you know what? I got home just fine. I get to be lucky myself, because I was driving the AWD Forrester. It took the first hill. No problem! It took the second hill,
no problem! I went eeaasy on all the twists and turns. I passed the part of the road where my husband and boys had been stuck. Wheee! And drove straight up the cliff to my house. YES!

I made it home right after they did. I will consider myself lucky twice!


And, we’re getting another 10 inches of snow, apparently. I’m thinking the
Lucky Postal Worker isn’t so lucky after all. I hope she stays warm.

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