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.