Monday, December 22, 2008

Winter Wonderland?

We have had a long string of winter storms hit us over the past 8 days. We are centered near Portland, OR. We are in the country about 20 miles west of Portland, about 40 minutes from the beaches. And, we just don't get snow!! The kids here are lucky if they get one snow a year, just enough to build a snowman. We were joking the other day that all Oregon snowmen are more mud and grass than snow, and they always have leaves stuck in them!!

Well, that's not the case this week. Our "Arctic Blast" as the news stations are calling it, began last Sunday, December 14th. It started snowing in the morning and by that evening we had about 6 inches. That's a pretty amazing snow for this area, but that was just the beginning!

The snow continued off and on all that day, and they canceled school on Monday, the 15th. Day by day the cold and snow continued and day by day they closed the schools, and our kids ended up with a whole extra week of Christmas vacation. Since the 14th, we've had snow, severe winds (with sideways snow, as my son called it), and freezing rain. On Saturday night, the 20th, we had about 1/2 inch of freezing rain that coated the snow, the trees, the roads, the cars, and everything else. Some of the photos I'll post below will show the layer of ice. Since Saturday night, we have an an additonal 12+ inches of snow for a total of probably 20 inches in all. This is just unheard of in our area.

They have closed all highways to the coast and the main highway heading east out of Portland, I-84. That highway has been closed going on 3 days now, which does not bode well for my brother-in-law and his wife who are trying to drive in from that direction for Christmas. There are severe winds in the area, causing near 0 visibility and gigantic snow drifts.

These conditions are causing us considerable shipping delays. We had only 3 days of mail service last week and no UPS or Fed Ex. We have had a stack of packages sitting since Friday waiting to go out. We are unable to get out of our driveway, with at least 20 inches on the driveway. The UPS and Fed-Ex guys will not even come on our country road. Our mail man slid into a ditch twice this past week and hasn't even attempted to come out for 2 days. It's a real mess and has pretty much shut down all of Portland and the surrounding areas.

Now for the photos (remember we've had a foot of snow since these were taken):



These are rounds cut from a tree we had to take down about 18 months ago. The one on the right is hardly covered, but the rest behind it are nearly buried in snow drifts. They measure at least 2' in diameter.



This photo shows my two youngest sons in the snow. The one in the black coat is Brandon. He is 8 years old and holding a slab of ice from the sheet of ice covering the snow.

This is a view of the hill below our house, at the top of the photo you can see our house between the trees. Isn't this a great sledding hill? The boys have all had a ton of fun sledding each day. There has been enough snow to sled for over a week and they are taking advantage of it!


My hubby took these photos. This one shows his feet breaking through the layer of ice over the snowpack. The ice is about 1/2" thick. Now we have had another foot of snow over the ice.


This is our drive way leading away from our house. As you can see, it's a steep hill going down the driveway and then a steeper and longer one going up to the road. No wonder the UPS drivers won't even try it. The road leading to our driveway is also hilly and twisty, so it's just no fun. We are content to stay here, light a fire, and sip our hot cocoa. Sadly, though, our orders can't get out!

We hope you all have a great Christmas!

Heidi~~

(And the Pink Hedgehog Paper Crafts team)

2 comments:

Michelle (sf9erfan) said...

Well, guess you couldn't make it out today for the boys' checkups??? LOL! We are blasted here too. Just CRAZY! Hugs girlie!!

Lee (LuvLee on SCS) said...

Wow!!! I guess you guys are getting hit hard so far this winter!!! We've got some snow too, but not that much!! Take care and be safe!!