Greetings, Friends ~
Beautiful Oregon usually gets a bit dismal this time of year. The trees have not yet rejuvenated the life that will soon appear on the branches’ ends, the rains start taking their toll on residents here, and the evasive blue sky is scarcely seen. But this year it has been different.
Twice since Winter’s bell rang, we have had snow events. Regardless what the season is like elsewhere, the great Willamette Valley of Oregon is ill-equipped for Mother Nature blowing through and leaving a foot of white powder in her wake. Both events caught a large part of Oregon by surprise because the weather forecasters missed again. At least, that is true where I live.
These ill-planned weather events throw the citizens into a panic, of sorts. Businesses and schools shut down, vehicle accidents breed on the roadways and there is not enough equipment to clear the streets for a safe passage before the next evening’s freeze returns. The news channels explode with cold-weather preparedness information, which seems ironic. The time for preparing for a snow-and-ice-mess this big has long since passed.
Now is the time for waterside dwellers to be raising the first-floor furniture, moving outdoor pets to higher ground and making sure your aluminum rowboat is tethered to your front door so that you can get to your vehicle once the flooding starts. And it will come. Ice and snow here generally means that the temperatures intend to rise twice the numbers they were when the first flake fell, causing a rush of water to fill every stream, creek and river that calls Oregon home within a matter of hours.
Midway through February, I am hopeful that this will be the last of this Winter’s blast in the great state of Oregon. If you listen closely, you can hear the high-pitched sounds of Mother Nature’s voice, warning us to prepare better next year. Wait – no. Actually, that is the sound of our up-north Alaskan and Canadian friends laughing at us as they easily navigate six-seven feet of snow en route to work.