Well, I was hoping for winter, and Portland delivered. It delivered a foot of snow two Wednesdays ago. And the kids loved their first blizzard!
When considering moving to Portland, we found that an average Portland winter has about one or two days of snow—and then, it’s usually only about an inch of snow accumulation, if that. This winter has been atypical, to say the least.
In our second snowstorm mid-December, we saw firsthand how slippery roads can be that aren’t salted or plowed. Even less than an inch of snow caused such chaos since Portland doesn’t salt the roads for environmental reasons. Cars were abandoned all along the roads as people simply couldn’t drive in any amount of snow. Residents have to resort to buying chains for their vehicles in order to drive in just a couple inches of the white stuff.
I had quickly learned my lesson and ran to the grocery store between snow storms to stock my pantry. Good thing I did! Tuesday night and Wednesday morning dumped a foot of snow, and it didn’t melt until the following Wednesday! Portland’s snow emergency plan is to wait until temps rise above freezing and the snow melts. They do eventually plow the main artery roads and put sand and gravel down for traction, but this unusual snowstorm finally forced the city to salt some roads so the city could function. Silas was out of school for over a week. It was like a reboot to 2017.
The kids had a blast playing in the snow the first couple of days. We went sledding with our neighbors since we could walk about half a mile to a good sledding hill. Both boys were very brave at this new sport.
Brynn loved the snow, and all three of them couldn’t eat enough of it. We attempted to build an igloo in the backyard by packing snow into our recycling bucket to make snow bricks. We managed to make a ceiling-less igloo at least.
During our time snowbound indoors, Silas made a rain forest diorama for his animal project at school. Stephen was able to navigate the slippery roads that Saturday to make it to the craft store for supplies.
Silas had chosen to learn about the red-eyed tree frog, which was pretty cool. He and I made the diorama together and filled in his chart with frog facts. He memorized his speech about the tree frog and will present it to his class sometime next week. I’m impressed he’s learning all about mammals, reptiles, amphibians, and such in kindergarten.
The snow was like a giant “pause” button for the entire city. Not only was school cancelled, but businesses were closed, people were out of work, and no one could go anywhere. Since I was unmotivated to start 2017 after returning from our two week trip, it was nice to have an extended time at home to regroup. But we’ve definitely been enjoying getting back to real life and our routine. (not to mention how much we’ve enjoyed having the garbage truck pick up our trash and the plumber fix our burst pipe!)
Happy 2017 from Portland!