Surprise! Snow!


Those of you who left town after the big family Christmas party had good timing. Yesterday afternoon the valley area received a surprise snowstorm with accumulations of 2″ to 5″, depending on where you live. We got at least 2″ here in the banana belt of Beaverton.

We were all planning to drive to Stumptown for Ingrid’s birthday, when to our surprise, the skies dumped a load of snow. I started watching the TV for reports on the road conditions. All the news crews immediately head for the Highway 26 overpass at Sylvan to witness the impending chaos. Conditions deteriorated quickly, as one TV crew filmed a Tri-Met bus, futally sliding backward down the Sylvan ramp. It looked like disaster in slow motion, but fortunately for them there was no accident. Others in the Portland area were not so lucky. What a mess it was.

Ingrid and Joyce were caught off-guard when they were out having tea, and had a long journey and a harrowing experience getting home. I’ll leave it to Ingrid to blog about the details. So many were in the same boat, just trying to get home from work. Apparently a lot of people just hung out in bars and restuarants downtown, waiting for the traffic and weather to recede.

Are we Oregonians the only ones to freak out when snow arrives so suddenly? What do they do in Minnesota, where it snows all the time? We watched a movie last night that was filmed in the middle of a nasty Minnesota winter. The snow piles up everywhere, but it looks so dry that it just blows off the road. Maybe they don’t have a Sylvan overpass like we do. Or maybe they just know how to drive in the snow. All I know is that snow here spells disaster every time. If you’re a kid, you love it, it means fun and no school. If you’re an adult, it means you can’t get home from work, and you have to take care of the kids because school is closed.

Living next to a park, it’s beautiful around here when it snows. The trees look so graceful draped in white, and it’s very quiet outside. It’s nice for a day or two, if I don’t have to go anywhere. After that, it becomes a nusiance. I have to start shoveling it, put the chains on the vehicles, etc. I could do without that much snow. Such a beautiful and frustrating thing, snow is. Maybe it’s nature’s way of telling us to slow down, stop, stay inside next to the fire, drink something warm, read a book.

3 comments to Surprise! Snow!

  • Laura  says:

    Oh, when that storm blew in we got some nice snow on top of the snow that was already on the ground, but that is not unusal for where I live. We left Sunday night, the day after the party and found I 84 in the Gorge a slippery, wintery mess! We got stuck at The Dalles because of a snow related accident. It wasn’t until midnight that we got home. We were expecting to get in about 10:00. Not all Oregonians freak out with snow… just pretty much Willamette valley residents. Where I live, school goes on unless there is nasty freezing rain or if there is a foot of snow on the roads. There have been many mornings when I have driven the kids to school with snow on the roads. I agree with you about how pretty it is. Snow is pretty much keeps us in this in-the-middle-of-nowhere town that we live in.

  • Joyce  says:

    Ingrid had a truly surprising birthday! We both learned that it pays to help put the chains on even if it’s easier to stay in the car and remain clean and dry. Also, who on earth writes the directions for putting on chains? Is it the same people that write the directions on sewing patterns?

  • Suzy  says:

    Ben, Claire & I were out at Whole Foods in Tualatin when it started to snow – Claire’s first experience with it! She didn’t seem too thrilled with the cold, wet stuff falling on her face… she’s not quite old enough to appreciate it yet. We left just in time to get home safely without too much delay (other than some minor slowdowns on the freeway). We felt pretty fortunate to have made it out when we were watching the news reports later that evening. To think, we almost went up to Portland that day instead! We would have been stuck, stuck, stuck!

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