Our first fall and winter in Oregon have been picture-perfect by Portland standards. Dry, compared to most years, warm, and we've actually had quite a few days where the sun broke through the gray cloud cover and brightened our winter days. The other day Grant inquired, "When is it ever going to be winter?" We laughed and told him that 40 degrees and gray IS winter in Oregon. He wasn't too pleased and started complaining about missing the snow and the super cold weather.
On Sunday morning, we woke up to snow falling in HUGE gorgeous flakes. We were excited to see some familiar winter weather and ignorantly piled into the van for our 30 minute drive to church. We'd been warned that if Portland gets snow, the city shuts down, but it never crossed our minds that with a mere inch of snow on the roads, that this could qualify for shut down mode. We got about 15 minutes into our drive and realized that being a cavalier Chicagoan in Oregon is not always a good thing. We began to gain a new appreciation for the untamed beauty that is Oregon as we slipped and slided up steep hills and around sharp corners coated with sheets of ice. Thankfully we arrived safely at church and entered a near empty lobby that is typically teeming with people. Our senior pastor greeted us with a laugh and told us that there would be no more church services but we'd go ahead and have this one since people had already gathered.
We crawled home on the icy roads, listened to news reports that the interstate and main highway arteries were being completely shut down in places, and cheered when we saw two snowplows total on our 20 mile trek home.
The kids, determined to make a snowman, piled into their Illinois-quality winter gear, but had to settle for a snowball fight since there wasn't enough snow to make a snowman. Dusty, our labradoodle puppy, got her first taste of snow and frolicked and pranced around the back yard while the snow froze on her long hair. By 6 p.m. on Sunday, all public schools were already cancelled for Monday and Curt had received a call from his boss stating that it looked like a snow day for him as well.
We giggled at how differently the winter weather was handled in Portland versus Chicago, put the kids to bed, turned on the fireplace, and snuggled in to watch the 3-hour Survivor finale and stay up late. We slept in this morning, let the kids watch Disney channel in their jammies, and finally ventured out into the "bitter cold" (22 degree) sunny, gorgeous, winter day around 10 a.m. The kids played in the vacant lot next to our house, chased Dusty, and threw snowballs at each other. The girls are thawing out with hot chocolate at the kitchen table, Grant and Curt are outside puttering in the cold, the Christmas music is playing, and the sun is reflecting brightly off the snow cover. Does it get any better than an unexpected snow day?!?