Saturday, December 20, 2008

How to survive your first Oregon blizzard

Let's get something straight...

We do not (despite what my cousin Erin believes) live completely in the middle of nowhere. I mean, we have next door neighbors on both sides. We have a post office, two grocery stores, two tattoo parlors, a PetCo, Starbucks, and McDonald's WITH a playplace, among many other things.

But after growing up in the Chicago suburbs (where 'burbs means 60 miles away from the city and still sprawling), Oregon has been an adjustment. One of the biggest issues has been the weather. It's weird and different. You think Chicago weather is unpredictable? You ain't seen nuthin' sister.

After the novelty of having to explain the concept of a "heat index" to our new friends wore off, I started working on getting used to the often windy and extreme weather that the Pacific Northwest regularly treats us to. This summer we had several days above 110 degrees. In the spring, it rains. In the fall, it rains. And in the winter, it usually rains and VERY occasionally snows.

When we first moved here, I thought that Oregon was full of wussies because the sparse snow would often immediately close school for the day. I didn't get it. I was used to bundling up and trudging off to school in minus twenty degree winds, feeling my damp hair freeze on my way to the bus stop! Two inches of snow equals no school? What was WRONG with these people?

Then I realized a few things:
1. Oregon has hills. Lots of them.

2. There are very few snowplows, unless you live on a road that is en route to a ski resort.

3. Road salt is a foreign concept to the hippie tree hugging goodness that is Oregon.

As time has passed, the snow issue has become quite a point of contention between Oregon and me. I LOVE snow. I really do. I have fond memories of playing outside in the snow with brother and sister while my Mom watched from the kitchen window (smart lady) and I still remember my Dad taking me to THE BIG SLED HILL in Naperville for a few runs after a good storm. I like to shovel. I really really do. It's good cardio. And last year I thought it was pretty cool here that we could see the grass at our house, covered in nothing but frost and flurries, and then drive a half hour and have snow to our butts on Mt. Hood. That is COOL STUFF.

Cue this year. Our first full winter in Oregon. Apparently, we are currently experiencing THE STORM OF STORMS *cue ominous music* and I've got to tell you, it's caught me off guard ass over teakettle.

We currently have nineteen inches of snow in our front yard. And it's still falling. We are officially under a winter storm warning / blizzard watch until sometime Monday. Friends who live higher up than we do already have FEET of snow piled against their houses. They are literally snowed in, Little House style. Yesterday I almost got into a fight with a lady Black Friday style over the last bag of Nestle Milk Chocolate Morsels at Fred's because let's face it, why use the store brand when you can hit senior citizens over the head with your Cheerios for the last bag of Nestle goodness?

All of this leads me to my latest blog entry, complete with pictures:

How to survive your first Oregon blizzard.

First of all, steal your husband's bitchin' ski hat, as modeled above. You know which one - the one that he simply had to have for the Google ski trip last year. The one that you made fun of for days. Because if there's gonna be a blizzard, you're gonna need a hat.

Next, proceed to check the weather channel's site constantly on both your computer and your phone. Sprint down the hallway shrieking THE SKY IS FALLING (while wearing your hat of course) and inform your husband that you need to run out for candles, flashlight batteries, and Doritos. Throw a slipper at him when he laughs at you about everything except the Doritos.

Brave the roads in your minivan that does NOT have snow tires or four wheel drive and accompany the rest of town to the grocery store. Circle the parking lot at least six times before deciding to go hit the Dutch Brother's hut for coffee because really, who needs food? Get your son a chocolate milk to prevent pure mutiny later on when it's time to be strapped into the shopping cart.

Next, beat up old ladies for chocolate chips (see above) and stock up on bread, milk, and Doritos. And eggs. And flour. And all sorts of stuff that will do you absolutely no good if the power goes out unless you are the Ma Ingalls incarnate.

Go home and stack firewood in the house. Attempt to rescue outside toys from snowdrifts. Laugh at the poor dog when she tries to pee. Make a list of things that you fully intend on baking. Procrastinate baking. Do crafts with your kids (thanks for the kits Nana!) and drink hot chocolate. Make snow angels.

Rest assured that if any homeless degenerates try to barge into your house in search of warmth, you have several large icicles at your disposal for all of your stabbing and beating home defense needs.

And try not to worry about losing power.

After all, you bought flashlights.

And besides...

You can always fire up the grill.


Azzlan said...

Amy! that first picture, I think somethings trying to eat your head! slowly. And you seem to be enjoying it, wtf?

It may be snowy but this morning, it was -5! and they say it may get to -30 tonight!!!!

erineliz said...

What can I say? I am spoiled. I think you should not have to drive more than 10 minutes to Target. ;) I am jealous of your many inches. (That's what he said) That sounds like awesome sledding to me and I would happily take the snow over the -30 temps we've been having!