It started snowing last Sunday. It continued for a day then got very cold. Last week was a week of nervous driving, listening to the radio, reading internet news about weather etc. Then Saturday came and the world stopped.
Portland, Oregon, is a city known for rain and weather that is, in both summer and winter, boring. It is never very hot and never very cold and when we get snow it is usually last for 24 hour, we build a snowman, miss a day of work then forget about snow til next year.
On Saturday, the Saturday befor Chirstmas no less, it began to snow. It did not stop, indeed it is snowing now, three days later. My car is buried in the stuff. The snow was accompanied by severe winds too. So nobody could even go out in it to build the afore mentioned snow man. Saturday I was able to make a run to the store and that was it.
I am here alone. I talk on the phone, read, browse the net, and stew. I find that I have begun to devolve into something less than me. I sit in my pajamas, hair askew, unshaven, and unconcerned about the dishes in the sink, or the unmaid bed. Listening to even my favorite NPR shows puts me to sleep in minutes.
It as if I am beginning to hibernate, shutdown, coccoon myself waiting for the thaw. I play Sims and note that my Sim person has more freedom in his electronic world than I do. He is bored so he gets into his sports car and goes to a nightclub to have drink and dance the night away. His god, me, is stuck behind a wall of white muck. I can kill him off if I want. My daughter is an expert tormentor of Sim souls. She will wait for a sim to enter a room then delete all the doors and watch the Sim stave to death. Kids are cruel. For my part I am happy with my Sim having a life. I feel sympathetic when his advances are rebuffed. Even if I had advances myself there is no one to rebuff them.
Later I am extatic to find an entire 6 pack of Heineken that had been packed away in the closet. In truth I was looking for my gaiters, and do not really like Heineken, but what the hell? No gaiters but at least a beer fest. But even this is a let down. Drinking alone is not good. It too is too easy to do when you have nothing better to do.
No gaiters but I have my Denali boots. So after tricking myself out like a Himalyan mountaineer, I trudge down the stairs into the white muck. The snow is not snowman snow. It is powder snow. Skiiers would kill for snow like this. I manage down the street. The wind is biting cold, my breathing is hard because of the effort of postholing. It takes me 20 minutes of post-holing in snow to walk a block to the store. When I get there is looks like the day-lodge at Timberline. Men and women in Goretex, X-country skies leaning up against the building, all you need is overpriced lift-tickets.
On my way back I overhear a lady talking to her freind saying "I just had to escape." We humans are a weird lot. We are stuck in a warm dwelling with food and water and power, and we feel we need to "escape" that by plunging into a frozen wasteland. Curious.
My brother is going to rescue me. He has a 4wheel drive rig that can make its way around so I will conclude this evening in the company of others. I almost expect a party!
Maybe this is how things were back in the day. People living in sod houses, trying not to starve and freeze, cut off from their neighbors by miles of snow and ice, and then one day they meet up and have a big party. We take for granted having people around. We are so used to not being isolated that when it happens we are at a loss as to know what to do, or at least what to expect that we will do.
Maybe I'll sweep the steps? Or perhaps take a nap until my brother comes.