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.

4 thoughts on “Transported”

  1. We came home from McCall and ALL the snow had melted here. I was bummed… but then we woke up to about 5 inches this morning! Woohooo… my neighbors (all 60+) are FANATICS about shoveling. Seriously, you are shunned if you even have a hint of snow on your walk or driveway. It makes me laugh – I like to torment them and just shovel enough out of my driveway for my tire tracks I know it makes them crazy – it makes Tim crazy too (added bonus)!!

  2. Oh the dreaded “tire tracks shoveling” method. Shoveling snow always reminds me of Lori Tollinger’s mother, who didn’t like to leave any evidence that no one was home during the day, so Lori and Brian had to get up earlier on mornings there was snow to shovel the entire driveway clean and bare.

  3. I think it would be the same around here if there ever was any snow like that. I am always hoping that we get to use our 3 snow days – last year we did not. We are getting one day back on Inauguration day. It was a teacher work day until our superintendent asked the school board if we could use the ‘snow day’ so we could attend. -S

  4. Nope, we don’t own a snow shovel! I was very thankful to live within walking distance of some services, but with the baby we just didn’t make it out but a few times.

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