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Finally!

26 Feb

My dog, Lucy, got me up for a potty break around 4 Monday morning. I am always a little bleary at these moments, shuffling to the kitchen to get her harness. I lean out the back door, holding onto the leash, eyes barely open and  whispering words of encouragement to get her to do her business quickly. This day, I was a little more alert, on the lookout for the snow that Portland forecasters had promised yet again. Seeing none, I went back to bed and got up at my usual time.

I turned in the coffee pot before I showered and dressed. Once dressed, I went to get my first of my two morning cups. Of course, a two-hour delay had been called while I showered. I look outside. There was very little snow on the ground at home, but school is 30 minutes away and at a higher elevation. I puttered at the computer, drinking my coffee, then sat down to knit a bit. When the coffee ran out, I checked the closures: still a two-hour delay, so I wouldn’t make a pot of tea, I’d make a second round of coffee while I packed my lunch, thinking about what time I should leave.

About a half hour later, Beaverton schools were closed – Portland Public Schools maintained their two-hour delay. My streets were still clear, but apparently the storm had veered West and my school district’s higher elevation mattered.

I dumped the last of the coffee and put the kettle on for tea.

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Shopping at the end of the world

12 Feb

I don’t recall when or why I began doing so, but I always do my weekly shopping on Friday on the way home from work. It is a convenience that allows me to spend the weekend focused on more exciting options, and to spend quality time with Lucy . It has the added convenience that my local supermarket is remarkably empty at that time.

The weather forecast last week predicted snow for Portland starting late Friday night and promised snow through the weekend.

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You could feel the excitement in the students – and in the teachers. Everyone was asking “What if” questions about Monday. Texts and messages about crazy lines at grocery stores were being passed. Could they be true? I wondered, disbelieving all reports.

Skies were overcast and roads were dry as I drove home Friday, planning to stick with my weekly routine. As I pulled into my local supermarket, I could see the rumors were true.

If I don’t get a parking spot, I’ll just drive home. I have enough food to last a few days, I told myself. Although I saw cars circling the lot, I found a spot easily, parked and walked in. All the carts were gone and the lines were very long. I turned and walked out. Halfway to the car I reconsidered. I didn’t have enough yogurt to last the weekend. I’d get a basket, grab the yogurt and some veg and get out.

Well, you’d think the end of the world was at hand. I have never seen a grocery store so picked over. There were a few bunches of over ripe bananas left, so I passed on them. There were almost no packaged greens to be had!

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Fortunately, there were lots of avocados, red bell peppers, yogurt and cilantro – the things I needed for what I planned to make this weekend.

As I shopped, I scouted out the lines. Most were long, but one of the self check lines tucked into the beverage aisle and few people realized how sort it was. I chatted and shook my head along with the others in front of and behind me. As predicted, my line was fast. I was at the stand in five minutes and home in ten.

It started to rain that evening. The temperature dipped and about an inch of snow fell on top of the ice. By Saturday afternoon, most of it had melted.

Snowmageddon was more like Nomageddon.

Despite dire warnings from a range of weather networks and stations. No snow fell Sunday. Or Monday. Or Tuesday morning.

Our Snowpocalypse was a Nopocalypse.

 

 

 

Another snowy day

11 Jan

I started kindergarten in 1969. I have few memories about it, but this I have are very clear. One of those memories is encountering Ezra Jack Keats’ The Snowy Day.

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The book spoke to introverted little me, who loved making snow angels.

So, here I am, almost 50 years later, sitting at home after a huge snowfall in Portland, enjoying our 6th snow day of the school year. And I read Andrea Davis Pinkney’s  A Poem for Peter,  which tells the  Ezra Jack Keats biography, focusing on how he created The Snowy Day.

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It is a beautiful, poetic tribute to a man and a book. And the perfect thing to read on this snowy day. Pinkney’s poetry fits Portland today:

But when it snowed,

oh, when it snowed!

Nature’s glittery hand

painted the world’s walls a brighter shade.

She connects snow to equality.

Snow made opportunity and equality

seem right around the corner.

Snow doesn’t know who’s needy or dirty

or greedy or nice.

Snow doesn’t choose where to fall.

Snow doesn’t pick a wealthy man’s doorstep

over a poor lady’s stoop.

That’s Snow’s magic.

Snow is magical and it is especially so for children. I hope kids of all ages  in Portland get out and enjoy the snow today. Play, throw snowballs, make snow angels.

But be a snow angel in another way, if you can. Four homeless people have died of exposure in Portland in the last 10 days. Think about them, too. Act if you can. Donate if you can’t act. But do something to help the homeless feel that the snow brings Magic to them, too.

Snow Day!!!

7 Feb

I’m home today. School is closed. I’m on the sofa with a dog on each side of me and life is good. I’m thinking about some of my favorite books related to snow.

I have vague memories of a primary teacher reading Ezra Jack Keats’ The Snowy Day to my class.

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My favorite part was, and still is, making the snow angels. images

The book was first published in 1962, but I think it still works.

If you are housebound for a long time, you might have time for Phillip Pullman’s His Dark Materials  series:  The Golden Compass, The Subtle Knife, The Amber Spyglass.

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For Neil Gaiman fans, there is Odd and the Frost Giants, which draws on Viking history and  Norse mythology.

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Matthew J. Kirby’s  Icefall also has a Viking setting. Trapped in a hidden fortress tucked between towering mountains and a frozen sea, Solveig–along with her brother the crown prince, their older sister, and an army of restless warriors–anxiously awaits news of her father’s victory at battle. But as winter stretches on, and the unending ice refuses to break, terrible acts of treachery soon make it clear that a traitor lurks in their midst. Solveig must also embark on a journey to find her own path.

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What are some of your favorite snow related books?

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