Ask and you shall receive! If it was winter I wanted, it was winter I got--delivered right to my doorstep in a furious exhale of snow, wind and ice. It started in the morning, while I was still at work, so when the first flakes started to fall, no really they pelted somewhat inconsequentially toward the ground, I ran to the window like the professional I am so as not to miss the show. Luckily, we have floor-to-ceiling windows at the office so I was able to press my face against the glass and get a good quick analysis of what we were dealing with here. Portland is not known for snow, only our inability to handle it. And seeing it come down in the city still elicits a giddy joy in me that's difficult to describe. I quickly left the office so as not to get stuck in the worst of it--not the snow, but the traffic, as Atlanta can testify, and raced back to my house so Darren could build me a fire and I could start living my idyllic vision of a snow day as soon as possible. He debated briefly on whether or not his classes would be cancelled for that day, and I assured him, as a true native of Portland, they would be. A half an inch and the city comes to a grinding halt. It's a beautiful thing!
I enjoy snow itself, although I dislike being wet and cold, but the true magic of a snow day lies in the sudden hush that falls over a normally roaring place. Once the traffic unsnarls itself and all the cars have finished sliding down the big hill by my house--it was astonishing how many people thought it was their honda civic that would make it to the top, never mind the four that just fish tailed in front of them--you can actually begin to enjoy the cement jungle in a way that other weather just doesn't allow. Probably because it's all covered, so what's normally is just a varying shade of gray here becomes a soft, inviting white, but still--there is a quiet, still peace that's inspired by an unfamiliarity of a foot of snow.
The storm kept up for three solid days, not really melting until Monday afternoon. Every morning I couldn't help but wake up with bated breath, slightly afraid to put on my glasses and look out the window, for fear that it would have all melted in the night. But it just kept coming! I've never spent so much time transfixed by a sight outside like I did with the snow. My one great disappointment was that my sister wasn't there to act out how I felt--normally with snow she runs around and yells to everyone in earshot that "IT'S SNOWING, IT'S SNOWING" and would force me to come outside with her and play about four times more than I would normally, but still, she was in Guatemala, so I don't feel that bad.
I think I like snow the best though because it changes the routine here so much--yesterday Rachelle and I walked to the grocery store and the guy in line in front of me verbalized beautifully what I had only felt the past few days. The checker was asking him, while he swiped his fairly average assortment of groceries across the scanner, if the snow had held him up much. The man thought for a minute--his eyes were blue, face a little weathered and maybe tanner than it should be for this time of year (vacation? or snowburn?), his hair was blonde and graying--and he said, in an unexpectedly familiar tone, "No--I got a lot done around the house, that's for sure." The checker laughed. "It's kind of nice, not having to do anything, not being able to do anything I mean. Makes you slow down."
Then it was my turn, and he left with only a parting, "thanks, man" as his farewell. I didn't think very much about it until we got home and Rachelle and I were locked out, and then I had a good long time to look at the melting, icy snow and think about a few things like the man in line and this coat the city suddenly decided to wear. We did take a lot of walks, and sat by the fire, and got a little cabin fever, but me and the man in line and Darren and Kelley and my Mom, and the people in the cars sliding down the hill, and all the people who were walking around too, at least we were in it together. A nice sense of camaraderie develops in the face of inclement weather, as does a slower pace of life. And for all these reasons, and the reasons before, I like winter. I like it a lot.