Wednesday, January 10, 2007


So Seattle has had this bizarre, biblical-proportion-like string of extreme weather events. Not the TV news hype machine type of weather where things are slightly warmer/wetter/windier/colder than usual ("That's right, better bring in the cat and lay in some extra vittles: it will be a frosty 41 degrees tomorrow, 4 degrees off our average low for this time of year..."). I'm talking record setting or breaking floods, cold temperatures, windstorms, power outages, and now snow and ice.

What's unusual for Seattle is that we may get one or two of these weather occurrences every 3-4 years. But this year, we've been slammed back-to-back-to-back, and it's only January! We still have like two more months of winter.

So in the December 14, 2006 windstorm, three large trees around our house came down, including one that took out the power lines to our house and left us in the dark for six days. Yes, really.

We were fortunate to be able to stay with family members who were nearby and unaffected, but it's tough being out of your home unexpectedly for nearly a week. We would come back during the day to get clothes or make sure the pipes weren't freezing and it was colder inside our home than outside. We could see our breath in the air!

At least we had lodging options. We stayed with my brother-in-law and took my husband's nearly 90 y.o. great aunt who lives with us to my mother- and father-in-law's. Midway through the outage, my husband celebrated a birthday, so we had dinner at El Gaucho, one of his favorite restaurants, then stayed overnight in the boutique hotel the Inn at El Gaucho right upstairs. Let me just tell you how nice it was to have dinner and drinks, then finish the night, not by hiking to your car in frigid or wet weather, but by climbing the stairs to a room with a comfy, cozy bed across from a flat screen TV. J. enjoyed it so much I got him one of the Inn's plush, white, fluffy, fleecy robes for Christmas. He says it feels so good it makes him want to wear it out of the house with some pajamas and white shoes. He's totally kidding. I think.

But I digress. Before that, we were hit with this weird cold snap with snow and ice in areas that don't usually feel the impact. Then just tonight, we got socked with another snow storm.
Despite navigating the earlier storm with no problems, I managed to get my car stuck in the parking lot of some apartment complex, narrowly avoiding a collision caused by losing traction on the ice under the snow and sliding into parked cars. Fortunately, a good samaritan helped me push my car into a parking spot out of harm's way. I hope.

Since I'd managed to drive past my house and get stuck about 5 miles away, I had to again depend on the kindness of strangers, one of whom said they could drop me near a main intersection close to my house, which they did and I hoofed it home from there, arriving about 20 minutes later with cold fingers, a runny nose, and horrible hat hair, but no worse for wear.

At this point, since we've already had flooding, darkness, hail, and snow, I'm convinced locust infestations can't be far behind. We shall see. Where ever you are, I hope the temperature is above freezing, the heat and lights are on, there's food in the fridge, and you've got a safe, cozy place to sleep tonight. I know that's what I'll be giving thanks for in tonight's prayers.

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