Years ago I was young and in love. I boarded a plane to the great state of Washington with my new fiancé to meet his family. Something in this state grabbed me and I have never been the same since.
All those years ago I dreamed of someday living here. The trees … how green it is … the rain … the trees …
I don’t know. This place is breathtakingly beautiful. For years I have had a vision in my mind about what the Pacific Northwest is. It included rain, gray days, more rain, lots of green scenery, and thousands of trees to fill my soul. For years I lived under the assumption that it rarely snows here and when it does, the state is practically shut down. I was also under the impression that the summers are quite pleasant with hot days being as rare as the snow.
When the air conditioning stopped working in California, just before we moved, and our house would cool from a thousand degrees to 85 degrees in the wee hours of the morning only to immediately heat back up, I took a deep breath and carried on. We would be leaving the oppressive heat for milder temperatures. I reminded myself of what wonders awaited me on the other side of the move.
Then we got here. The sun was out even more than I expected. Some people were obnoxious enough to suggest we take a picture of blue skies before we moved, you know , in case we forgot what they looked like. I knew there would be sunny days. I just didn’t expect to regret not negotiating an air conditioner into the cost of our home. Neither did most of the neighbors. We all melted last summer.
Not to worry. We could always get an air conditioner. Once our backyard was hardscaped we could enjoy the great outdoors as well as a pleasant air conditioned indoor experience. Time was all we needed. And money.
Summer burst into flaming fall colors. Temperatures dropped and life was as I expected. All native Washingtonians we spoke with assured us that as much as we would love to see snow, we shouldn’t count on it. It never snows here!
Never say never. The kids have had two snow days and one two hour delay day due to icy conditions. It has snowed at least ten times. Remember when I was under the assumption that everything shuts down in the event of snow? That seems to be as rare as the snow was supposed to be. Frankly I’m tired of wading through slushy or icy snow every other Sunday while wearing a skirt and heels.
We bought a snow shovel mostly as a joke. Murphy’s Law would suggest that if we put money into a snow shovel we wouldn’t need it. Mother Nature had other plans. The snow fell again three nights in a row. Just to mock us, it never stuck to the sidewalk!
Wally Weatherman used to make a point of how unlikely this winter has been with all the snow. This is not normal. He used to make it sound like the snow would naturally stop surprising us if we could just endure to February. Now he simply repeatedly reports that it was the wettest February on record. Because 50 feet of snow fell. Oh and by the way, more snow is forecast for this weekend. The first weekend in March! When a newscaster pointed that out, Tracy Traffic said there has been snow as late as April! What have I done?
All those years ago when I subscribed to the dream of living in the Northwest, I did not sign on for all the snow. I’m sick of the snow. Please make it stop! If I wanted to experience this much snow I could have moved back to Utah. Which I never put on the list of potentials because of all the freaking snow!
I know, I know. Get a grip. And you’re right. It could be worse. At least here the snow stays white and pretty because it melts quickly. Not as quickly as I was led to believe. Not usually by the end of the day as I expected, but in a day or two. In Utah the snow falls in October and melts somewhere around the middle of May. Utah may only see two or three snowstorms each winter. They probably don’t even think of it that way since the snow is always there. Gray and dirty and slow to melt. It could be worse. Still … I hate the snow!