Snow day (look! pictures!)

We interrupt this irregularly unscheduled blogging hiatus to bring you: snow day.

It started out much like any other day: the Boychick nursed in the morning for the first time in over a week (he’d nursed but twice in the week prior to that, once at bed time and once when he wanted to nap — we really are coming to the end, I think), I attempted to refrain from filicide, we went to lunch with The Man, then dropped him off and drove around aimlessly (well, aimless after the obligatory Starbucks run) for an hour or so. And then… snow.

You have to understand, we live in the Pacific Northwest. Portland, Oregon, to be more specific. It doesn’t snow here. It does. not. snow. here. It’s practically in the state’s constitution; I think they hand out a guarantee along with Stumptown citizenship stating that here, it will never snow. Rain, yes. Fog, yes. Drizzle for 150 days in a row with never more than five minutes of sun: quite possibly. Snow? Well, sure, for five minutes every third year, or overnight every thirty. Last year was the once-every-third-of-a-century years, where we had snow on the ground for three weeks running, and the entire city shut down during the weeks around Christmas. So, we all figure, that’s that out of the way, no more snow this side of Mt Hood until our kids are raising their kids, right?

Ah… no.

It snowed.

Snowy street

Snowy street

That’s the hill I live on. I took this photo from my car. You can’t see the tracks from me trying (four times!), and failing (four times!), to get the car up the street to my house, because they’re already filled in, not 10 minutes later.

What. The. Fuck.

It had just started to snow when we got to the bookstore about 15 minutes away. The forecast swore up down and sideways it wasn’t going to stick, but I figured, we live up in the hills, might as well go home so we can try to play in the dusting of snow for a bit. Turn around, get home half an hour later — foreshadowing the worst day of traffic Portland has seen in 20 years — and this is what greets me. A hill I cannot make it up in the car.

Of course, I can’t leave the car either, because of this:

Asleep in the snow

Asleep in the snow

His first nap in nearly a week. Good timing, kid.

So there I am, stuck in the car, at the bottom of the hill, my nice warm snug house just in sight, with a sleeping child and a full bladder, and no one I know around to watch him so I can jaunt up to the house to take care of at least one of those problems. (No way am I going to try to carry a sleeping child up that steep a hill in the snow. The morning urges notwithstanding, I am not actually filicidal.)

So I wait. I watch the families from blocks around flock to my hill, and sled down in front of my house, down to in front of my stuck-down-here car. I freeze. I read way too much fanfic, and long for my knitting. I exchange pictures via text with The Man, and he agrees to leave his bike at work and take the bus home. (He had thought he might just bike to the bus and then walk it down the hill. Ha! Haha! Hahahahahahahaha!)

(Ahem. Getting ahead of myself again.)

Eventually, of course, the Boychick wakes up, as children are wont to do, and I lure him up to the house with promises of mittens and a return trip outside as soon as I can walk without sloshing.

We’re outside for the next hour and a half.

Except, of course, to run inside for the carrot nose, two legos (excuse me, Mega Bloks), and a small handful of large beads.

Two happy snowy people

Two happy snowy people

Believe it or not, that’s not only the Boychick’s but my first real snow person. Did you know snow actually does that thing where you roll it and it gets bigger??

(In case you couldn’t tell, I grew up in California, in the San Francisco Bay Area. I led a sheltered life. Earthquakes I know about. The basics of snow person construction? Clueless. Interesting note: I also thought entirely indoor, multi-level schools were made up for TV. Doesn’t everyone go to schools with outdoor hallways?)

I finally managed to convince the niviphiliac to come inside, just a bit after he threw a snowball, entirely on accident (c’mon, he’s not even three, you expect him to be able to aim?), during the baby’s first jaunt out into the snow in his father’s arms, right in our 9-month-old neighbour’s face.


Meanwhile, at that point The Man is still not home (by the time I get the kid inside, he’s been trying to make it back for two hours) — but alas, I don’t have any pictures of the mess of stalled cars nor the not one but two sideways buses he passed after he decided to give up and walk home the 5 miles and 500 vertical feet from downtown. In the snow. I’m sure by the time he’s ninety, he’ll have been barefoot, too.

He does, eventually, after three hours (uphill! in the snow! in the dark!) make it home, and we celebrate with weird Mexican take out, mulled wine — and high-res Doctor Who, because my family decided to indulge my unfathomable obsession this Christmas:

I am a Doctor Who dork

I am a Doctor Who dork

So that was our snow day. Now if you’ll excuse me, I think I’ll follow in the example of Ms Snow Woman, who looks about ready for a lie down as well. See, she’s already taking off her face:

Think she got into the mulled wine?

Think she got into the mulled wine?

Of course, by tomorrow she’ll be, at best, a puddle of slush, the child will be a puddle of inconsolable tears demanding the snow come back, and I’ll be marching in to the Mayor’s Office waving my No-Snow-Guaranteed card at them. Or, since I’m pretty sure I made those up, demanding they issue one promptly.

Or maybe I’ll just go buy a sled. I’m thinking it might not be another 30 years until the next chance to use it.

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12 Responses to Snow day (look! pictures!)

  1. Fantastic!! Just reading this post makes me want to abandon Florida and move straight to Oregon, without passing go! I was in the Mt. Hood area a couple years ago, and what with the fruit loop and all of the gorgeous trees and orchards and u-pick blueberries and mmmm. Now I’m hungry AND I want to build a snowwoman!

  2. My sympathies. Beautiful pics. I never had that much time outside in that much snow. I do miss it, believe it or not. My mother got us indoors asap the year it happened in mackey. Very glad everybody survived OK.

  3. LOL. I’ll bet Portland still doesn’t have snowplows.

  4. You got more than we did!! I’m jealous; we didn’t get more than an inch or two, and it’s all washed away now.

    Bay Area, hmm? Are you sure we’re not sisters from another mother? Any chance you went to Mills too?

    • I went to a college day at Mills when I was 15 or so, and got a T-shirt with a list of 10 reasons to go to Mills (or something like that, don’t quite remember), but no, never attended. And I’m pretty sure I’m my father’s only daughter. ;)

  5. We didn’t get any snow here in Vancouver, so I am highly surprised that you got so much. I’m glad you got a chance to get outside and enjoy it with the BoyChick, and make your first snowperson. So. Much. Fun!

    And my own child is highly jealous. Me? After last winter and the weeks on end of snow, I am highly glad to escape. So far, anyway.

  6. Who cares about the snow. Where’d you get that snazzy sonic screwdriver?? (I’m guessing part of the DVD set?)

    • Actually, the sonic was separate (though it came with the psychic paper). It (along with about a bajillion Doctor Who DVDs, a sound-making key fob, and a TARDIS USB hub) was a gift from my mum. Not sure where she got it, though I’d guess Amazon. It is wicked cool, and the Boychick is convinced it should be his. You have not seen cute until you see a not quite three year old say he needs to borrow the sonic screwdriver to go fix the TARDIS.

      We are raising the next generation of geek, and couldn’t be prouder.

  7. That’s some good snow that made a good snow person. Enjoy!

  8. Once again, that is an awesome snowperson! I love kiddo’s facial expression :)
    And I need to learn how to cable just to make that hat!

  9. Awesome! glad you had fun. I lived in Portland for a year in 2003, if I’m not mistaken about the year, it was the first time (so I was told) there was a snowstorm in 30 years. Climate change?? idk, but anyway, I’m from Michigan, and we gets our share of snow you know. It was so great to see everything totally close down and this little dinky blue snowplow (that looked like they got it either out of a museum or long term storage) going around downtown trying to clear things up a bit. Everyone seemed off of work and people started putting chains on their tires! I went to the cup & saucer with some friends and it seemed like all of Hawthorne was full of kids ( I use that term loosely) having the biggest snow fight I have ever seen. It was great and even though I have mostly lived with immense snow every year, maybe the novelty of it was why SO many people had SO much fun playing it, never saw that in Detroit, and it would be a nice change from the grumble grumble of winter here ;) Me and my friends used to hold official “snow days” here in Detroit, but nothing on that scale of joyful winter madness.

  10. Finally made if to your site after reading many of your tweets. I love your writing! Keep it coming! All the best for 2010.

    Dagmar’s momsense

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