Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Snow Day #2

Here in the Portland area we woke up yesterday to a big surprise: SNOW! Forecasters completely missed the boat on this one - no one knew this was coming (dumbasses) and everyone enjoyed a rare day off. Schools were closed, traffic was so bad that most people ended up just staying home. Mr. Chick attempted to go in, but only got a few blocks before running into stalled cars and blockages preventing anyone from going anywhere, and turned around to come back home.

It seems that since the weather people didn't expect any accumulation, public transportation was caught unprepared going into the morning commute. We don't use salt on the roads here in the NW, choosing to sand the roads instead. Only the sanders weren't put out on the streets until it was too late, and then couldn't even REACH some of the main freeways, etc. because too many cars, trucks and busses slid all over the on-ramps and such, blocking passage. It was a complete mess. It took people HOURS to get an
ywhere only to have to head back home because where they were going ended up being closed.

But for those of us with nowhere to go, it was a great day! 3-4 inches of dry powder all over the streets? That just BEGS for sleds, snowball fights, and the building of snowmen. Our street has a very gentle slope to it, starting right at our driveway. Our house/yard seemed to be the collection point for the people near us to push their kids down the hill. It was a fun morning. Of course, we don't often get snow all the way down here on the valley floor. We don't live at any real elevation, so it's a big deal when it happens. And since it's such a rarity, the kids are ill-equipped for appropriate snow clothes. We aren't the only ones, it seems. MOST of the kids who were out sledding were wearing sweatpants, not snowpants. Coats and hats and mittens, sure. But very few had snowsuits or other water-proof attire. I had Nicholas and Lauren layered up with fleece pants, and that seemed to work out ok for the hour or two they were outside. Nicholas doesn't even have a heavy parka and we had to layer him up with two fleece coats. And boots? We're big into rain boots in these parts, not snow boots. So a few layers of socks were necessary. It was amazing the kids could even walk with all that clothing on. As expected, Lauren outlasted Nicholas, being the tougher of the two when it comes to things such as personal (dis)comfort. She doesn't mind the cold and the occasional sting of snow meeting bare flesh. Nicholas, however, is more sensitive and likes his creature comforts and went inside much earlier than his sister.

Later, after warming up
for a few hours, our family went back outside for a snow walk and ended up at the park nearby. Giant fields of snow beckoned us, and the kids knew immediately what to do: flop down and make snow angels! People were out and having a great time all around us. One group made two gigantic snowmen - taller than any human. That was cool. Other groups of roving teenagers were sledding down hills strewn with jumps and other bone-breaking obstacles. We even saw an abandoned wooden (?) bar with a snow ramp built in front of it, perfect for a fearless teen to strap on their snowboard and try to slide along that bar. Crazy. No wonder it was abandoned - I just hope they didn't get hurt. And speaking of dumbasses, count me as one of the biggest. You see, I actually own snowpants. And they were very accessible to me before leaving on this walk. But foolishly, I opted to just keep my regular jeans on instead, thinking we were just going for a WALK. I should have known better. Mr. Chick is very playful and he wasted no time in making sure I was as covered in snow as I could possibly be. Shaking the snow off tree branches as I walked under, pelting me with snowballs, and tackling me in the drifts. It was fun, if I'm being honest, but oh my cold, freezing legs!! Those jeans were quite wet, quite quickly. It's my own fault for not putting on my snowpants, and Mr. Chick was letting me know. I did my best to retaliate, but to no avail. He won. Next time I swear revenge!

So today is Snow Day #2. Schools are still closed, but today the road conditions are better. Mr. Chick is back to work, but we're still enjoying another day off, home-bound. We're planning on heading over to the neighbors for hot chocolate and letting the kids watch a movie together. All this time at home is at least good for one thing other than catching up on the laundry: it's giving me time to work on my newest knitting project. A sweater for my friends' daughter who is turning 1 next month: Fun!

The picture on the left is of how it will look when it's finished. The star on the right is the front of the sweater I've knitted, my first attempt at intarsia with that star. The red/blue stripes is the beginning of a sleeve. Ignore the random pink smudgy spot in the middle - something is happening with the camera that makes that mark and we can't fix it (yet).

I'm off to stockpile some snowballs and plan a sneak attack on Mr. Chick when he comes home tonight. He SOOO has it coming!

Fun, fun. I miss snow (having grown up in the North) One thing I have not adjusted to from being a Southern for 20 years is the lack of snow.
Sounds like you had a blast.
Love the pics!
for the pink spot try reformatting your camera (card) memory. If you have a card reader open up "My computer" and right click on the drive that contains the card and choose format. I'm not sure how it would be done without the card reader.
good luck
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