seattle vs. snow

curse you, snow!

the weather forecast is predicting another “snow event” around here. i love how they call it a “snow event”. it sounds less dooms-dayish than “snowstorm”. said forecast calls for anywhere between 0-6 inches of snow, which may or may not stick, and may or may not turn to rain, or sleet, or rainbows shining out of steve pool’s ass.

i don’t have a lot of faith in the forecast, but i’m seriously hoping it won’t actually snow. seattle doesn’t do well in snow storms. we’re not flat, like the midwest, and we don’t have a snowplow every other block, like the east coast. hell, we didn’t even used to use salt on the roads. basically, the city isn’t cut out for it. we come to a standstill at the first flake.

see, when it snows any amount of consequence, i still have to make it in to work. and i don’t drive in the snow. so i take the bus. taking the bus can take an extra 15 minutes to two hours, depending on the snow problems. the office doesn’t close because of snow, and if you can’t make it in, you have to sacrifice some of your precious, i’d-rather-be-on-the-beach-in-kaui PTO rather than get mauled by kids throwing ice balls or meeting your maker by slipping on the ice hidden under the slush on your way to the bus stop.

whenever it snows around here, people always pipe up with their war stories. where were you when snowpocolypse 2008 hit? how long did it take you to get home in the snow of 2010? right now, rather than share my own horror stories (believe me, snow is so much worse when you live in west seattle), i’m going to share something different. a story from a time when i welcomed snow.

it was 1990, and i was in the 4th grade. christmas break was due to start the following week, and as an early birthday present, my younger sister was going to be getting her ears pierced that afternoon. i can’t remember exactly what time of day it started snowing, but i do remember sitting outside the attendance office, eating the wheat thins that mrs. renstrom so kindly provided to us, and waiting for my dad to show up to take us home.

(side note about mrs. renstrom. she was quite possibly the coolest teacher i never had. she taught first grade, and while she was old, and kind of scary looking, my sister loved her. rumor was that she’d decide at the end of each year if she was going to teach again the following fall by standing on her head. when she couldn’t do it anymore, she’d retire.)

about an hour after school let out, dad finally called the school to have us meet him at my friend’s house, who lived less than a block from school. somehow he’d managed to make it home before it got truly awful outside, but coming to get us in the car? not gonna happen. he didn’t know how much longer he’d be, so we trekked over to olivia’s and waited in the relative warmth and comfort of her house.

dad finally showed up with our snow gear. on foot. we lived about a mile or so from the school, and it’s not a hard walk, but when you’re carrying mittens, hats, boots, and dry socks and pants, on unplowed roads (there are no sidewalks in suburbia. we don’t believe in them.) it can take a while. then, of course, you have to load small children into said snow clothes and then schlep them all the way home.

what makes this a happy nostalgic snow is that it canceled school for the rest of the week. so break started almost a week early, and like most children, we thoroughly enjoyed it, with forts, snow fights, hot chocolate, tomato soup with grilled cheese sandwiches, and sledding back at the school, followed by slurpees. yes, slurpees. i love me a good slurpee in a snow storm. it’s pretty much the only time i ever want one.

sigh. too bad i’m not a kid anymore. being an adult is so boring and horrible sometimes.

*image via

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