Uphill Both Ways

snowy9I have a post up at Parenting today about our experiences being snowed in for Christmas. I submitted the post a couple of days before the 25th so it does not include our experience of waking up Christmas morning to a cold house with no power. Luckily Dan had wired our generator into the house electrical system a couple of weeks previous so he was able to get the heater and fridge running and the tree lit within a matter of minutes and we carried on with Christmas without any real inconvenience. The only way you could tell that anything had happened was by the smug look of satisfaction on Dan’s face at his amazing manly handiwork. Like the Kung Fu Panda, he asserts that “There is no charge for awesomeness.”

There may not be a charge for it but there’s certainly a payoff. I note down all awesomeness in my special Book of Awesomeness and it will all be rewarded most generously.

So, the snow. The snow is deep and bounteous. We live in a suburb of Seattle, a suburb that is apparently a vortex of weather magnification. If Seattle gets 3 inches, we get 10. If Seattle has a lot of rain, we get a flood. I don’t even want to know what happens to us when Seattle eventually gets its earthquake. Perhaps we’ll get the fast elevator down to the core of the earth where Jules Verne and all the cave people live. Perhaps I’ll be made a queen there.
Our city is really hilly and I think the county has 1.5 working snow plows which refuse to come down our street because it’s too steep. USPS, UPS and FedEx all agree as does Waste Management. We’re going on our third week with no trash pickup and it’s been over a week since any mail was delivered. Today I walked the kids to a play date through snow that was well above my knees in places. Yes. They cried. Many of tears. After about 2 hours of work on the second or third day of snow, we were able to get one of our cars to the top of our hill but have been too scared to drive anywhere. Apparently the tire chains we’ve so proudly carried with us on winter mountain journeys for the last several years do not fit either of our cars. At all. We sort of assumed they were one size fits all. They are not.

snowy7The major road that connects us with the shops and services in town has been closed for several days so when I went to town on Tuesday to pick up some groceries and mail some Ebay packages that just happened to sell right in the middle of the biggest snow event we’ve had in the past 6 years, I had to get creative. Stephanie and I loaded our packages in the laundry basket my kids had been using as a sled, hooked up a bungee cord and pulled them the half mile down the hill into town. About halfway down we met up with some teenagers snowboarding who suggested that we take the packages out of the basket and ride down.

Who am I to say no to a bunch of hooligans with blurred-out faces snowboarding down a major automotive throughway?
After the post office, we had lunch at a favorite little Thai restaurant. The owner asked us if we’d been in before and when we said we had, she squinted up her eyes, crossed her arms and said, “Hmph. I never see you before…” Apparently she had her doubts but she made us some yummy food that I did not have to cook within the ever shrinking 4 walls of my snow fortress, so I forgave her for the suspicious interrogation.

At lunch I told Stephanie that there was something kind of fun in all the cold and cabin fever and lack of Christmas packages arriving. I told her about how my sisters and I would pretend we were Laura Ingalls Wilder and her posse and that we were freezing in the wilderness. It wasn’t hard since I grew up in Canada and all winter long we were one tragic misstep away from actually freezing in the wilderness. We called the game Freezing in the Wilderness due to its aforementioned subject matter. Stephanie shook her head and laughed at me just a bit. Apparently she did not engage in that type of play.

We stopped at the grocery store for rations, loaded up our laundry basket sled and headed home. About halfway up the steep hill, we noticed a large burly man walking directly towards us. He was well over 6-feet tall with a bushy mustache and wasn’t veering to the side. Neither were we. It was strange, this chicken-like approach in the snowy deserted street. After a few moments a truck drove by, heading down the hill, having bypassed the Road Closure signs. The large man stopped walking a few feet in front of Stephanie and me with a perturbed look on his face.

“Great!” he exclaimed, “That truck just ruined my Laura Ingalls Wilder moment. Here I was walking through this peaceful snowy landscape and that guy has to drive by.”
I just stared at him as he continued on. So it’s not just little Canadian girls who play that game in their bunk beds on winter nights. Good to know I’m not alone.

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25 Responses to Uphill Both Ways

  1. cornnut32 says:

    hahaha! that was great. did he seriously say that???

  2. FawnDear says:

    I love playing those games.

    We’re you wearing your knitted mittens?

    I think I need to go kindle a fire in my fireplace now.

    • Apparently my knitted mittens are snow magnets. They got all glommed up with snow as soon as we wore them so we switched to store-bought for the real work of snow play.

  3. Carrie says:

    See, kindred spirits (can you tell I’m rereading Anne of GG? Ran out of books due to my inability to get to the library) can be found in the most unexpected of people. Glad you’re having some adventures in the snow- it’s finally GONE in downtown Seattle, so hopefully will leave you alone soon too.

    • Valerie says:

      I love Anne of GG!! It’s so funny how whenever we read books, we start to talk like the characters after a bit.. haha.

  4. Nicole says:

    As we were shoveling our foot of snow yesterday morning we were joking about you Seattlites and your snow. We were wondering if ya’ll even owned shovels.

    We were without power for 6 hours on Christmas, and we’re not as cool as you. No generator. So Christmas dinner was soup heated on the gas stove by candle light.

  5. jaclyn says:

    I’m from Canada too! Do you ever secretly laugh to yourself when all the native Seattleians (probably not a word haha) are so flummoxed by a few inches of snow?

    Where I am, we just had about 2 weeks where it never got above -20 celsius, and we got a record snowfall for a certain Southern-Alberta city. I had lots of fun teasing my friend who moved here from California this summer. Haha.

  6. Mrs Lemon says:

    Kentucky had your green Christmas. It is currently 67, and it was a balmy 70 earlier today.

  7. Nancy says:

    I’ve been waiting for you to do a fun post about this weather….thanks for sharing! Love it all!

  8. Paige says:

    Oh, this post makes me appreciate that we only have TWO feet of snow at my house, and the snow plow does actually come to our street, but leaves a giant pile of snow at the end of the driveway. I’m impressed with your adventurous spirit. And I would totally bust out laughing at that man’s Laura Ingalls Wilder comment. Totally.

    I was worried about how you were going to get back UP the hill, but I guess you used your foot power.

    And kudos to your husband and his awesomeness.

    I hope they dig you out soon.

  9. We got slammed with about the same amount of snow. My husband was finally able to dig the car out yesterday.

    Your kids’ hats are so cute with the pompoms on top!

    That is way hilarious about the guy having a Laura moment.

  10. Awesome post! And go Dan the awesome handyman, LOL

  11. KYouell says:

    I want to know how old your kids were when they stopped whipping off hats & mittens? Or did they never do that? Mine couldn’t play in the snow for very long at all because falling meant bare fingers in the snow and they didn’t like that — surprise! But they don’t make the connection yet between mittens = warm hands when they fall down. Just curious.

  12. eve says:

    it is a vortex. and it’s slowly sucking the life force from me.

  13. Andrea says:

    that is the best adventure ever. we always played that game. glad to know it’s not just a canadian girl thing. haha

  14. jennifer says:

    I cannot tell you how many times a week the Laura Ingalls books come to my mind. So funny to think of “that man” having a “Laura moment.”

    This is the time of year when my kiddos are ever so tired of hearing about what was in Laura and Mary’s stockings on Christmas morning.

    So interesting to hear about all your snow experiences. I grew up north of Seattle and had been following the Pacific Northwest “snow news” with interest on the TV. Cannot imagine that much snow without snow plows and a little salt in the picture 🙂

  15. CraftyMama says:

    Thanks for sharing your pictures. We too have been snowed in and just got out to town yesterday. It’s nice to know that we are all in this mess together. 🙂

  16. kittyhox says:

    We’re in the Seattle area also and I never thought I’d be so excited that tomorrow is garbage day! Our recycling overfloweth to the max. And I’m STILL waiting for some last minute Christmas presents from Amazon. Oops.

    Kinda sad it’s all melted.

  17. Christine says:

    Has anyone ever told you that you look like the lady in the children’s TV program from Scotland called “Balamory” shown on BBC?

  18. Hello! We too decided to not travel to our families for these holidays (and also live just outside of Seattle)– I was not sure how I would handle being away from my family either but I have to say it was easier than expected….was it the snow and being stuck? (It was beautiful!!! and fun!) Our kids loved every minute and played and played and played together and has a blast- Christmas morning was magical and beautiful with all the snow….it made me realize being with my own family was ok too (even though I did miss my mom/dad/sis/theirkids & everyone else)! I just needed to do it once to know that I could!!!
    PS And what about the snow this evening & tonight??!! crazy!

    • We were just talking about it and checking weather reports before bed. From what I’m reading, it’s “raining” right now but that’s 6 inches of accumulated white “rain” on my deck.

  19. Dan says:

    I LOVE these pictures.

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