Storm of a Lifetime

Monday, December 22, 2008

Portland is still well below freezing, and the forecast shows freezing temperatures tomorrow, then another snow storm that will bring 2-4 inches Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Amazing! This is a storm I may only see once in my lifetime here in Portland, and I'm spending every possible moment outside so I never forget it. We woke up to many more inches of snow this morning, and now have nearly 2' of snow in our SW Portland neighborhood. The drifts are much deeper. In fact, my car is nearly buried! I spent many hours outside today walking many miles. Landon and I have spent the past couple of days taking turns going for walks (oh, how I'd like to take a walk together, just the two of us!) so that Juniper can stay indoors to get over her cough. Portland is beautiful beyond words right now. This is the way December was meant to be. Just think--all the fake frost we usually buy around here, and this year, the wreaths on the homes of Portlanders are naturally frosted and it's a wondrous sight.

So, hang tight--this storm isn't quite over yet--get out every day for a walk, and soak up every minute of these beautiful city streets covered in white. It's not often we get to see what our city looks like without all the asphalt. Joni Mitchell's song goes, "Paved paradise to put up a parking lot . . . " Walking around the past few days, I've realized that when everything is covered in white, it really does look like Paradise--why did we ever pave it? By the way, if you are walking around in Paradise, as I was tonight, watch out for the occasional 4-wheel enthusiast. They can usually be spotted a mile away, and they just might be the end of you, so be careful!

I walked all the way up Bertha Blvd. tonight, cut down Capital Hill Road, stopped by our friend Gay's house for a glass of wine (her house looked beautiful from the street, illuminated with a Christmas-y glow), then walked back down Barbur and headed home. Stopping by Gay's house on a wintry night like tonight, it felt like an old-fashioned way of living, and hearkens back to the days of Laura Ingalls Wilder's Little House series, where neighbors trekked in deep snow to check in on one another. I got to thinking tonight about our modern conveniences, and wonder if they don't rob us in the end. Slowing down this week, and spending many hours walking, I've felt like I'm really living. Maybe it's the excitement of the snow and all its abundance, but it could be that a slower-paced, more sustainable life might just be the answer to getting us away from the direction we're headed. Wouldn't it be great if as many people walked to the grocery store as we've seen on Portland streets the past few days? If everyone was helping and assisting each other the way we are seeing now? The snow storm has forced everyone to slow down, and I can't help but wish life would stay this way. If life did stay this way, I think we just might have a decent shot at turning global warming around. I can dream, but for now, I think I'm going to start walking more.

3 comments:

The Ferriter Family said...

Ahh reminds me of the ice storm of 97' here. Mike D. remembers Im sure, he was visiting...no power no heat..every one huddled together and shared food and wood stoves (for nearly a month). People in Laura's time had snow shoes I tihnk, they totally help. Hope you guy's are surviving and having a grand ol' tie!!

Ayelet said...

I read the Little House series every December and just finished The Long Winter. Can you imagine spending all day twisting hay into sticks to burn for heat? No way! We still have power, but they don't down the street, so I'm waiting for ours to go out...

Karli said...

I'm going to have to reread those! When I was in 2nd grade, I saved up my allowance for a long time until I had the $25.00 to buy the whole set. I still have them! Allie--by the way--this all ceases to be fun (I think) when the power and heat go off. --Karli

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