Thursday, December 2, 2010

A White Christmas

A person from Minnesota or the Northeast would laugh at how Oregonians react to snow, especially in the Portland Metro area. At the first flake people make alternate plans for work, schools consider shutting down, Tri-Met chains up its bus fleet, and grocery stores are mobbed with folks stocking up as if for an extended siege. To be fair, it must be said that there are only 2 or 3 snowplows to cover the entire tri-county area which Portland covers. Which means if you live in suburbia you're on your own. Your roads will not be plowed or sanded or rocked. The freeways and overpasses will be, but you'll have to rent a sleigh to get there.

Though snow usually falls over one or two days, then melts within a few days, December 2008 was not like that. On Sunday morning, December 14, the snow began to fall thickly. By church-time the buildup caused the cancellation of all meetings, and the Bishop directed people to hold services in homes with their neighbors from the ward. We joined a memorable sweet service at the Hyde's apartment with about a dozen others that day.

grandkids sledding on our hill

Over the next two weeks, snow fell every day but one which led to the cancellation of an entire week of school, 3 weeks without garbage pickup, and a second Sunday of meetings held with neighbors. On that Sunday I skiied over to the Laney's house while the rest of the family walked. Freezing rain had left a sheet of ice between layers of snow. Every glide tinkled like shattering glass as my skis punched through the ice.

 our small congregation December 21

This snow was a wonderful gift. I was able to go out on my x-c skis almost daily (except during freezing rain), and most days, twice. I toured neighborhoods in every direction and skiied around the golf course after dark. Night skiing is magical; it's solitude at its sweetest. I felt immersed in a Christmas carol or part of a Christmas card scene.

These next two photos are a little blurry due to water drops on the lens. When gliding through this narrow path in the drifts I half expected to meet Lucy and Mr. Tumnus by the lamp-post at the other end.

 our backyard

other area views

We enjoyed an unusual White Christmas. Some events were postponed because of the snow and the cancellation of school. Our church Christmas program was held on Dec 28. The Westview High School choir concert, always held just before the two-week vacation begins, was held after Christmas. Hundreds of attendees and musicians were all smiles as we sang together, I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas . . .   On January 7th!


  1. Ha, ha! Love how this post ended. Those are some gorgeous snowy tree pictures!

  2. Such memories! In addition to the meetings in homes, my counselor and I did a number of tithing settlement house calls using his 4WD truck. A rarity I'm sure, but much appreciated by the members. And during one furious storm we walked (well, you skiied) around Oak Hills and visited Vivian to sign a food order. And we had our cozy wood stove going.