Saturday, January 7, 2017


After a week of frigid temperatures we are finally starting to warm up a little. Just in time for the precipitation to come back so we are looking at freezing rain tonight. Of all of the weather systems it's about the worst. Wind is awful. Noisy and damaging. Rain can get dreary and too much causes floods. Snow (depending on where you live) can be an annoyance or just what winter means. But freezing rain and ice? No matter who you are you can't deal with the ice. Just the smallest amount and roads are impassable. More than that and trees start snapping. Power lines go kablooey. No driving, no walking, no power, possible tree in your house. Crazy. Ice is awful.

Here we call it freezing rain and it's bad enough. Colorado had ice storms and they were terrifying. Freezing rain with high winds so everything would get covered in sheets and layers and it was thick. Took forever to thaw back out. Here the freezing rain hits, fucks everything up for a day (usually, sometimes longer) and then regular rain comes back and we get back to our normal winter weather. Which I know drives some people crazy but I don't mind the gray and rain during the winter. Much prefer it to ice and snow. It's just annoying not paralyzing.

So we have freezing rain coming in. What do you do?

I went to the grocery store and made sure we had food to see us through the weekend. Beat the bread, milk, and eggs people but just barely. The lines were starting to get crazy when I was there yesterday afternoon. The local news just put out a notice that if you need groceries you might want to get there now. Places are jammed. We stopped this morning and filled the tank. Yes, I should have done it yesterday but I figured we would be out early enough today to miss the last minute pump rush. And we mostly did. They didn't have quite enough people working so it was a little slow, but we got filled up and ready. You can't pump your own gas in Oregon, that's why it matters how many people were working. But the lines at the pumps were starting to get longer by the time we were done. A few weeks ago when we had our second storm of the season people didn't take it seriously. A lot of people got stuck on the drive home for hours. Lots of people ran out of gas. Now they know. Gas up. We have always done it because it adds weight to your car. Weight helps with stability. In Idaho I kept the car at no lower than 3/4 of a tank all winter. A heavier car is your friend. But people here don't know things like that. Or why you carry a bag of kitty liter in your trunk even if you have no cat. But anyway...we have food, we have gas and we are tucked up at home.

And now we wait.

It's incredibly windy out there right now. The clouds have gotten much thicker since we first got up this morning. But it doesn't look bad. So I'm at the point where I am prepared but still holding on to the thread of hope that they got the forecast wrong and it will miss us after all. Predicting weather in the Portland area is actually really difficult. It's due to the gorge to the east, the coastal range to the west, the ocean beyond that, the open plains on the east side, the trough that Portland and its suburbs are settled in, and blah blah blah...the weather people explain it about once a year. Usually after they've missed a big storm. Either by saying it will hit and it doesn't or by saying it won't hit and it does. But there are geographical and meteorological reasons why it's very difficult to predict weather here. So we are all always a little skeptical no matter what about storms.

I am also incredibly cautious about them. Overly so, I know. But people here cannot drive in any sort of inclement weather. Hell when Fall hits and we get our first big rains after the summer people crash into each other. RAIN. It rains here 9 months out of the year and they can't drive in it. So yeah, snow and slick? Nope. I'll stay home thanks. I can drive in it. Drove in it in Idaho and Colorado. When you have plows and people who know what to do it works. When you have people who just get out of their cars and leave them in the road? Not so much. We also don't have chains for this car. There is an international waiting list right now (seriously, that's what the parts guy told me) and they are looking at March before they get them in. The car needs specialty low profile cables, the chassis and the run flats don't leave a lot of room in the wheel well so regular chains and cables can tear up the car.  So no way to chain up if we did get out and the weather turned on us. So we will stay home.

Which means lots of time to watch movies, read books, and bake cookies...oh the horror.

Seriously, if you take away the fact that we are missing out on hockey I couldn't have planned a better weekend.

I hope where ever you are the weather is good. And if it's not good I hope you are prepared. Snuggle up and enjoy the weekend.

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