Looking out the window at the snow it is as if I have been transported from the rainy green city of Portland to some snow covered hamlet somewhere in Colorado or Montana. It is snowing again today and we have inches on the ground. Having lived with snow in some for for over a week now, I can say the following generalizations about Portlanders are true.
They never go out in the snow.
They are unable to operate a snow shovel.
The people of Portland disappear when it snows. They stay holed up in their houses and emerge for only the most dire needs. They never, thank the lord, drive. The cars I’ve seen on the roads this week all have chains on them, but cars are few and far between. This is a good thing as Portlanders have little practice driving in the snow and have little to no skills in that area. Unlike any other place I have lived, the equipment to plow the roads is sparse and the roads themselves aren’t really sanded and definitely not salted. The (very small) downside of this is that life grinds to a halt when we get measurable snow. The upside is that the snow remains beautiful and white instead of nasty and gritty and brown, even on the major roads.
I would guess that 60% of Portlanders don’t own snow shovels. It makes sense. Most of the time when it snows we get a day or so of winter beauty and then everything warms up and it rains. Poof. The snow disappears. Why bother to shovel? This is in stark contrast to Massachusetts, where if you don’t clear the snow from your sidewalk it freezes and remains a slippery mess for weeks, if not months.
After shoveling my walk this morning, I took a walk of about three miles to run some errands. After I left my shoveled walk, guess how many shoveled sidewalks I encountered on my round trip? One. I even took a more traveled route in hopes that I would find some clear sidewalks. Not only do residents of the neighborhood not shovel, but businesses don’t either. The only exception was the North Star Coffee house, and they did the lazy “make a path one snow shovel wide” method. No one even throws down those things that make ice melt.
So it is a winter wonderland here, but one that has me wishing I owned snow shoes.