Saturday, January 14, 2012

Hoping For A Snow Day.......

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls
 The prediction around here for the next few days is suggesting snow, beginning possibly as early as this evening. Living in the Pacific Northwest, the mention of even a few flakes in the lowlands is cause for a somewhat heady mix of alarm and excitement. Radio and television stations tease with short bites of information. They want us to stay tuned in.....and mostly we do. When gray skies turn white and the drizzle that is winter turns fluffy......we Pacific North-westerners pay attention. 

I grew up and lived for many years in Eastern Washington. Here, on the other side of the state, we call that 'east of the mountains'. The Cascade Range and it's peaks asymmetrically divide our state in two, keeping Pacific Ocean clouds and moisture sort of backed up and stuck on this side of the range. The 'west side' has more rain and a milder climate. We are cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter, while 'east of the mountains' has more distinct markers that herald the changing of the seasons. For snow or sun......many of us head east (or might I add, north to Canada) for the day, the weekend or the week. (I should note here that this has been a particularly beautiful winter here on the west side so far, with little rain and far more sunny days that normal!)

I will acknowledge that the above description of our seasonal weather patterns is somewhat lacking. I was only attempting to illustrate that, although we may have a lowland snowstorm here once or twice a season, wind and rainstorms are the norm.  I have now lived on the west side of this state over twice as long as I did the more seasonal east side. You would think that I might have grown up a bit by now and be grumbling at the mention of the possibility of cold, icy roads and poor driving conditions. But the truth is, the mention of the possibility of snow brings out the Eastern Washington kid in me. I will ignore those who complain, put on a pot of soup and watch it fall. Or pull on warm boots and a puffy coat and go outside.

When the boys were younger, I secretly welcomed snow days. I loved whispering in the still dark early morning doorways of their rooms that they had a surprise day off from school. I loved the four of us stuck here with books and movies, hot chocolate and Legos. I loved their red cheeks after a few hours playing in the yard, rolling up balls as big as they could and then searching for decorations for the one snowman they might be able to build all year. That there is a storm water storage basin a short block away where they could meet up with friends for an afternoon of sledding.

I'm often without a car on days that the white stuff is falling. Since mine handles best up and down slippery hills there are no other ways around, and since I can do what I do from home.....and since I've often planned ahead for food......Marc takes it back and forth to work and that's OK with me. Now that the boys are older and live other places during most of the winter, I email photos of our smiling Golden Retriever, hair clumped with white, after some play time outside. Or shots of bare tree branches turned lacy in our yard. These days I enjoy the peaceful beauty of a snow day and use it as inspiration for knitting or baking or picking up my camera.

It might snow tonight and for the next few days. I hope the weather forecasters aren't just teasing me. I have a full refrigerator and pantry. I have a knitting project, an empty card in my camera and a great book I'm in the middle of. Bring it on...... please!

Wishing you a wonderful weekend!


9 AM, Sunday, January 15, 2011: Big, fluffy flakes are falling! Breakfast is just about on the table , but hoping to get outside afterward.

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