Snowpocalypse in Seattle

The past two weeks have been challenging around here to say the least. Snow, snow, and more snow. People from Chicago may sneer at the Seattle metropolitan area for coming to a dead stop over a foot or so of snow. What’s to problem? We have glacial ridges, too. But my husband who grew up in Chicago is quick to point out that Chicago’s glacial ridges wouldn’t count as a foothill here. The arterials get plowed. The side streets do not. And traffic–bad under the best of circumstances—turns into a nightmare.

Along with steep hills, we have tall trees. Fir trees. The trees around here can handle rain. We have a lot of that. Can they handle snow? Not so much.

On Monday evening, our daughter went out to broom the snow off a previously snow-damaged laurel. Coming back into the house, she was in front of her garage door, when a snow-laden branch across the street came down and took out a utility pole, spewing a tangle of live wires across her minivan as well as the end of her driveway. Our grandson was visiting up the street. There was no way for him to get home without A: Crossing the Wires or B: Climbing over the fallen pole. Neither of which was a good idea.

When she called and asked me to call Colt and tell him to stay put, I have never heard so much panic in her voice. And why not? She was only about 25 feet from those fallen wires. She called the cops. They came. She called the power company. They came some fifteen hours later. They took a look at the damage and said, “Hey, we’re going to need more help here.” The power on her street came back on almost 24 hours later. Fortunately, years ago, after another major storm, we gave her a generator for Christmas. So she had power in her house that kept food in the fridge cold and the electric heaters working to keep the house warm.

Our house is at the top of a steep, straight driveway with a cliff on the far side of the street when you get to the bottom of the drive. We have a Kubota equipped with a snowplow, but that doesn’t help much with ice, so we’ve pretty much stayed pretty at home. In fact, today is the first day I’ve been out of the house in a week and a half. There’s still snow on the ground up here, but most of the snow has melted off the trees. Our daughter’s house is less than three miles from here, but she’s in a convergence zone with far colder temperatures and lots more snow. Her street is still completely impassable while ours is patchy ice. There’s a Road Closed sign at the end of her street. The four delivery trucks that ignored that sign this morning, did so to their profound regret. The all got stuck. That seems to remind me of a song as in, “Detour, there’s a snowy road ahead, detour!”

I’ve spent a lot of time the last two weeks dealing with dachshunds with six inch legs trying to go out to get busy in twelve inches of snow. They would go out and come in with their legs and chests wearing petticoats of ice cubes. At first I tried to use the hairdryer on the ice. Not a good idea. Eventually I figured out that putting the dogs into the laundry sink with a couple of inches of warm water in it was a whole lot better all the way around. That process entailed lots of power lifting on my part and many wet towels. Fortunately my shoulder is functional again, and I was able to do it with no problem.

Deliveries just aren’t happening up here, and that includes necessary medical supplies which spent two days stopped dead in Utah and have now been stalled for two additional days in Pendleton. They were supposed to be here last Tuesday. So that was the purpose of my trip out today—to get some interim stock. Even with four-wheel drive, the drive way at our house was a challenge. Up is fine. Down is scary.

While I was out, I made a detour to the grocery store. We dropped off some needed supplies at our daughter’s house—stopping at the end of her street rather than venturing onto it. We brought some grocery supplies back here as well. If it snows again, which it may, we’ll be good. It it keeps on raining, the snow will melt, and we’ll be good then, too.

So take care, everybody. Wherever you are, winter’s bound to be over at some point no matter what that blankety-blank groundhog said.

34 thoughts on “Snowpocalypse in Seattle

  1. I lived in New Hampshire just below the crest of a very steep and long hill back in 1978 when the blizzard happened (something like 36 inches of snow on the yard and the state of Massachusetts officially shut down for a week). I watched many a car get up to the level of my driveway and then have to go back down the hill because they couldn’t make the crest. My driveway was the turn around point. I was obviously much younger then and shoveling the snow as not fun but it was not a catastrophe either. At 70 I can’t imagine dealing with heavy wet snow and freezing rain. Hang in there. In my case the final snow I shoveled finally melted in May of that year, but it did melt. Keep yourself and your husband and the fur babies safe.

  2. Lots of snow in Minnesota this winter plus ice underneath, so is very treacherous …we also have had brutal below zero temps and strong winds to blow around the snow. Schools were closed for 4 or 5 days because of the weather. I went off our long driveway as could’t see the sides, but my wonderful son-in-law came and pulled me out. So I am glad to be in a warm house reading your blog. Stay safe. Why aren’t you basking in the Arizona sun?

  3. It sounds like you’re a “survivor”! I’m glad you and your family are safe. It’s great to hear all your creative means to manage the whims and wiles of nature. Hang in there…Spring is on its way. God bless.

  4. “Broomed the snow.” This is a phrase I have not heard in a long time, but it is so descriptive of winter in my home state of Illinois. I’ve broomed the snow off my car and sidewalks many times. Thanks for the nostalgic memory.

    Be glad you’re not here in Texas. If we got the amount of snow you have been getting, the state would be shut down until June.

  5. Of all the years to stay north in the winter. I’m looking forward to retirement in a few years and trying to find a place that doesn’t get a lot of snow and cold.. I’m starting to think there’s no place in the US that meets that criteria (without having to deal with butt ugly heat in the summer).

  6. We’ve had a few days of real winter here in CT, too. Folks have a hard time remembering to take it slow on snowy and icy roads. I have food stocked in case of power failure, but I really don’t much for peanut butter. Some day the snow will melt. It always does.

  7. Upstate NY. Husband, retired now from six decades or so of dairy farming, slid down our tenth of a mile driveway sideways in the skid steer yesterday. He is fine, but it scared him enough that he didn’t tell me about it until today. Winter is not for the faint of heart. Glad you are all safe and sincerely hope you stay that way.

  8. Oh my. A lifelong friend of 80 lives in Union. She has sent pics of a trip from Lympia doc before it all shut down. Then the beautiful snowfalls. THEN….. 80 years old and she has been brooming her plants as well. Her generator has given her power. Finally, snowplow on the road and she shoveled access. I have offered prayers for the old folks and for the younger ones who may not use good judgment. It is hard to be bound. I am assuming med issues kept you in WA rather than AZ. Keep safe. We are trying in the rain soaked So CA.

  9. Return to Tucson. I escaped the snow and ice of Michigan through a white-out on the highway to Phoenix. Arizona is a wonderful state and does not have a national emergency on its border. Let us not listen to White House lies.

  10. Greetings from Downers Grove!
    This winter has been trying. We have set a personal record for safe ice melt! Curtis drives a school bus. I believe they have used all of the “snow days”. We feel for the parts of or country that are not used to the horrific weather. After the ice storm here, as I was leaving to go to work in Chicago, trees and limbs were coming down. Thank God your daughter is safe!
    Take care, stay warm and dry.
    Electa Finley-Chonko
    P.S. tell Bill class of 1977
    P.S.S. Spring begins in March!

  11. Oh my, hard to imagine since I have been in McAllen, Texas with 90’s temps, sunny skies. I do know about snow and ice thanks to my parents growing up in MN. I have also traveled in blizzard conditions and it is not for the weak of heart. Bless you and keep warm and family safe. Karen Strot

  12. Take good care travel safe. If someone doesn’t live in Western Washington durning one of these Infrequent winter storms. Seattle and the surrounding area just shuts down . The freeways are a parking lot. The minute the word snow shows up on the news most grocery store a striped bare. We lived in Federal Way Washington for 25 years so I have lived in storms like this. Take care , the rain will come and all will be well…. Have a great week .. Jan

  13. First, I want to say that I’m glad you and your family are safe, how scary for your daughter and lucky she was safe.
    We are in California and its been cold and we are having lots of rain and strong winds but fortunate that we have had no problems. The areas where there were fires are having evacuations and flooding and having to evacuate 5-6 times in a month or so is getting frustrating for them.
    I so enjoy reading your blog and look forward to it, thanks.

  14. Glad you are all safe/ I have lived in a lot of different places that have lots of snow. Now live in Vancouver, WA and see first hand the lack of infrastructure for snow events. We didn’t get the snow that was predicted! I think you guys got ours!!
    Keep safe!

  15. In MN they’re prepared with snowplows. Mostly underground wires. But big snow us inevitable. Even so, this year has been the snowiest with more school closings and roads dangerous. Over 80 plows hit by out of control drivers. 2 hours for 20 minute trip to work. And a heck of a lot colder than Seattle. Hang in there!
    That generator was a wonderfully thoughtful gift. We have one but only used in a summer storm outage!
    ANOTHER GIFT FOR LOVED ONES: a carbon monoxide detector. Saved my parents lives.

  16. That generator was a wonderfully thoughtful gift.
    In MN they’re prepared with snowplows and lots of underground wires. But big snow us inevitable. Even so, this year has been the snowiest with more school closings and roads dangerous. And a heck of a lot colder than Seattle. Hang in there!

    ANOTHER GIFT FOR LOVED ONES: a carbon monoxide detector. Saved my parents lives.

  17. We are going to try to get up our drive way today. When we do we will be looking to purchase a snow shovel. We live at the BOTTOM of a very steep and winding driveway near Manchester on the water side . We still have 2 to 3 inches of snow on the ground and it is finally melting on the driveway. We keep a stock of food just for instances like this and have ben snuggled down. Reading , binge watching TV series and playing darts. Will be happy to get out today!!

  18. Glad you and your family are safe and secure. Up in Mount Vernon we got less snow than the rest of the area but everyone still freaked out. My son works stocking shelves for a drink distribution company and would come home talking about how crazy it was.

    By the way, thanks to your books set in Arizona, my husband and I finally took a trip to the Phoenix area last fall and bought a house in Buckeye! We are moving in April and not looking back. The “Snowmaggedon” reinforced our decision.

      • I am looking forward to it! And maybe seeing some of the places in your books. I know most of the places in the Beaumont series. And I loved how you described Ballard of old. (Crown Hill born and bred)

  19. All my friends have been housebound up there too. In Az late last night the areas In Rimrock and Lake Montezuma were flooded. Many houses involved and some people lost everything! Luckily my sisters house is not my the creek but they had their sand bags ready!
    Very good news that your shoulder is healed!
    Kathie Bell
    Cottonwood

  20. So, Seattle is as bad or worse in the snow as Portland. That’s rough. I’m glad you’re able to get out of your house.

  21. Sorry you’ve had so much snow in Seattle. We, here in Spokane, have had it, too. Almost two feet in less than two weeks. But Spokane is equipped to handle it, thank goodness. But shoveling that much is hard on old backs and shoulders. In June, we will all look back on this winter and complain about the coming heat. We’ve never satisfied. Just take care.

  22. I love your books!!! Especially the Joanna Brady series. Field of Bones was so good. Loved the characters and their interactions.
    Will there be more Brady novels?

  23. Love, love, love your books!!
    First, second and third times reading! We just wish you had more hands to write more.
    Thank you so much for many hours of joy.
    Donna and Wayne Bohrn

  24. I was shocked to see that it snowed in Seattle. We lived in Battle Ground for 7 years, then moved to Lehi, UT. We were there 4 years when my husband passed away. He said “move back to AZ”, so here I am in Tucson. Guess what? It’s supposed to snow here! We already had one small skiff of snow a few weeks back. This has been the coldest winter I can remember in the 5 years I have lived here. Of course, we expected this sort of weather in Bisbee, but not here. Anna Cross, the lady who made the two quilts for the silent auction in Vancouver, was an amazingly talented lady. She was thrilled when we moved into the neighborhood, because we were from Bisbee. I questioned here as to why, and she told me about her quilt project and brought them for us to see before they were finished. That’s when Louis gave her the shoulder patches. After the quilt was done, she brought it to our house and we took photos of it. Your books have brought many fond memories of Bisbee to me. I still keep in touch with John and Roz Pintek. They have sold their ranch in Las Vegas, NM and have built a brand new home on their ranch over the Divide. God Bless you.

  25. My husband was flying into Seattle from Green Bay, WI on the day we had the big storm. He’s been in Cornell, Michigan battling the weather while he builds our cabin. He spent the night in Green Bay to fly out the next day with a stop in Minneapolis. He already had delayed and canceled flights in his attempt fly here. He finally landed at SeaTac at 10:30 pm on that Friday…unfortunately, I wasn’t willing to tackle the roads so we ordered him an Uber and he finally made it to Lynnwood after a white knuckle drive in the snow…and that was the driver, not him. He thought he might have landed back in Green Bay by mistake…lol. We just blamed him for bringing the snow from Michigan…good thing he is loved 🙂

  26. Living in Alaska with two rescue long hair miniature dachshunds, I know the trick about dipping them in warm water in the deep sink. Our male has curly hair which causes the snowballs to build up (particularly under his front legs) whenever he gets into fresh snow. Most of the time we can knock off the excess snow using a plastic hairbrush, but the worst cases get the dip! Our female rolls in the snow everytime she goes out, but she shakes most of it off before coming back in. They both wait atop the garage steps to be dried off. We measure the snowfall by where it is on the dogs. We shovel a path to the woodshed for 1-2 inches, we drive the truck around in circles on the driveway to provide tracks for them to explore and enjoy if it is 4-5 inches, and we break out the snow plow if it gets above their shoulders (6+ inches). With at least six feet on the ground (and more in drifts) we will have snow around until May or June this year…

  27. I spent Seattle snowmageddon with your books, 4 kids out of school, and my crochet (audio books are awesome!) LOL
    You are absolutely right about the ice and our geological uniqueness. Every way out of our house was downhill ice. So, 4wd or no, we stayed put!
    On the flip side I am kicking myself that it has taken me SO LONG to pick up your books. I am currently intrigued with Ali Reynolds (book 6 currently). So much so that I no longer listen to the radio during my commute! And struggle to put her down when I arrive at work.
    I read one of the Brady mysteries first and was hooked. But in poking around on my kindle I ended up with Ali first.
    You’re style of writing is unique and I am enjoying every bit so far! So, I wanted to say “Thank you”. Thank you for sharing your storytelling talent with us.
    (And thank goodness for March!!) 🙂

  28. Thank you so much for signing the photo of the quilt at the Book Fair. That note from Anna Cross about the quilt, you told me there was not one attached to the quilt, so asked if you could have the one I had. That was the only copy I had, but it did belong with the quilt.
    Anna Cross had made another quilt depicting the J.P. Beaumont series. It wouldn’t surprise me if she makes another for the Ali Reynolds series. Your books have brought me so many hours of enjoyment. The High Lonesome Ranch was owned by the Yuncevich family. Dorothy Yuncevich was head of Adult Diversion program for the Cochise County Attorney’s Office. I retired in 2001 after 18 years as Misdemeanor Secretary responsible for all Court pleadings for all 6 Justice Courts. I still have friends there, but don’t go down often any more. Thanks for keeping me entertained.

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