Ice Storm

This weather is no joke!
It is literally not a joke.

It all started on Thursday when many inches of snow suddenly fell upon our temperate city. We, being more accustomed to rain, all went to New Seasons at once, where everyone looked to be purchasing the ingredients for mac and cheese, along with beer. One girl just had a whole basket filled with individual bottles of beer. The mood was festively harried. Once the trek to New Seasons was accomplished (cars trapped in the parking lot by spinning wheels, we were very glad to be afoot with only the stinging ice and snow in our face to impede us, as is natural), everyone hunkered down and waited to see what would happen next.

What happened next was MORE SNOW. It was both TGIF and an official snow day, so I emailed my students (not one of whom has yet emailed me back; god knows what’s going on up there) and washed my hands of the whole affair. My friend made the journey on a bus to come hang out with me because he wanted to get out of the house. We trudged around and he taught me about tuning systems and did a lot of scary math I couldn’t follow but that impressed me a lot. I put him on a bus that afternoon and I assume he got home okay, although it’s possible he has had to start a new life in an ice-hole, as my friend Willow did when she couldn’t make it home from work on Thursday and had to sleep at somebody’s house.

Snow upon snow upon more snow. The next day I went to the coffee shop and it kept snowing. I ate a chocolate croissant and an apple fritter, because fuck it. Unusual weather makes you feel like you could do anything; you could go start a new life and take up smoking and maybe never go to work again. I read for 6 hours about the Protestant Reformation. When I looked up, the snow was coming down more furiously than ever, and there were people sledding down the middle of the street wearing goggles with big dogs cavorting next to them. I trudged back home.

Then I took the snoop to the park and we invented a game where he runs in a circle around me and I kick snow at him and he dodges it. This went on for perhaps longer than you would think it would, until I was sweating and panting. Then I pitched snowballs at him and he caught them in his mouth. He pooped three times in the very middle of the street because there was nowhere else he could do it (he is very particular).

In the evening, as we knew it would, the snow turned into freezing rain. When it snows this much in Portland you know the next step is ICE STORM, because our natural state reasserts itself and dumps water all over the snow and then it all freezes into what is basically 4 inches of solid ice covering every surface. And the city has like one snowplow and they need it for downtown. The last time this happened (when I was here, anyway) was 2005, when the city was shut down by ice for so many days that I finally got so stir crazy that I walked from Northeast to Northwest and it was a real adventure, the sun slowly setting as I trekked, like a Robert Wilson animation, everyone in their yards excitedly yelling WHERE YOU GOIN???

I am concerned about my class tomorrow. Lots of missed class this semester; it’s not great. What are you going to do, though, it’s the hand of God.

Today we walked across the solid crunching ice and tried not to fall down. We reminisced about the time in Crested Butte that my old man fell down “like a cartoon,” straight onto his butt with his feet flying up in the air, and we laughed so hard we almost peed. “I’m too old to fall on my ass now” I said and the mood was tempered. I seriously think my spine would shatter. Our front steps are covered in inches of slick ice and the snoopy fell down them but I lack his springy youth and can-do spirit so I went gingerly. This time he found a tree to poop under. There was not a single car on the road; earlier in the morning we citizens had all received emergency alerts on our phones telling us to stay indoors. Mercy!

Luckily, the power is not out, so we are warm and toasty and we have leftover spaghetti. The buses aren’t running; everything is closed; what will happen next? At 6:30 a.m. tomorrow I better be sitting on a damn bus or this semester is really going to be shot to hell.

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2 Responses to Ice Storm

  1. Allie says:

    So I take it the Snoopy is feeling better now? I’m glad to hear it!

  2. Eileen says:

    Reading academic texts for 6 hrs sounds about right for a snow day! This reminds me of a spring break lo these many years ago in Ann Arbor where the town shut down due to a foot or so of snow, and we walked in the lone tire tracks down the middle of the totally silent snow-covered street to the martini bar. Of course the town didn’t actually declare anything, because snow in Michigan = whatever, but still.

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