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Monday, January 16, 2012

Wallace the Weather Bear

When I was a kid growing up in Minnesota, the winters could be brutal.  They still are, though I’m not there to enjoy it.  I left in 1986.  I had backpacked around the country in 1975 and fell in love with Seattle, but it took me some time to get it together and leave.  I owned a home, had friends, yadda yadda.   But, my brother had moved there in 82’, so it was a bit easier then it would have been, determined as I was.
At any rate, I am writing about those sometimes brutal winters.  My dad still lives there and I worry about him, but he visits here often and we talk all the time.  Today in Seattle it’s a bit like it was in Minneapolis (and still is).  We seldom get much snow at the elevation I live in; the mountains, of course, get it, though not much this year.  So the past few days have been interesting, and they predict more for the next few days…and then it will warm up and the weather will be saying "Huh?  Who, me?"

What I remember most (when I was a kid, anyway) was sitting around the den watching the television for school closures.  That was so exciting!  Would my school be named, or not?  Usually not, because Minnesotans prepare for this event the way two people should prepare for you know what.  I mean, there are more snowplows in that city then condoms in a drugstore.  Not like here in the northwest.  Too big of  an investment for a rare occurrence like the one we are having now.  So we wait for the rains to wash it away.   I'm not even sure you can buy a shovel here.
I remember the first time (many years ago) I heard about school closures here in Seattle.  I was still half asleep and the radio woke me.  I thought “What the heck station am I listening to, it doesn’t snow here, does it?”  But they droned on and on about schools being closed because of the snow and bad weather conditions.  Puzzled, I peered outside.  Nothing. Nada.  I don’t even remember seeing clouds.  A heavy dew, maybe.  I thought everyone had lost their minds.   They were predicting snow, but there wasn’t any.  Yet.   And the total they were excepting was about 3 inches, if that.  I laughed so hard I thought my bladder would empty before making it to the bathroom.  But they have those crazy speed bumps here, which the plows would ruin, so no plows, no school.   I guess.
I have a friend with NF here in the Northwest, though he lives two hours south of me and we can’t get together because it’s too far each of us to drive due to the pain.  He's an avid weather watcher (like my mom, rest her soul, who we called “Wallace the Weather Bear” after a t.v. character) and keeps me updated on all predicted horrors coming our way be it the weather or End of Days (could be the same?) .  Or as he calls these events: Ghastly and Catastrophic.  I love those words.  They describe so much, and he uses them to freely to describe almost everything from his pain to the weather.

But by the weekend?  This catastrophic and ghastly event will be a distant (and welcomed) memory.

Update:  Still icy, stil can't leave my apartment because of the icy hill I won't be able to get back up.  Three days and counting.   And my sister is without power.   Haven't talked to my brother, but he probably is too.   Yikes.  Suppose to turn to rain tonight.

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