If we had gotten Spokane's 24.6 inches of snow that fell here in the month of November when we lived in Corvallis, everything would have closed down. Here, the city throws snow plows out on arterials (main roads) 24-7 in staged alerts. We watch the weather channel and plan quick trips to the store. The shelves are stocked, and I have driven on sheer sheets of washboard ice. More snow comes Tuesday, we think nothing of nights that drop to the low teens, and we're tracking the melt rate on the prodigous icicles that hang from the overhang of our back window.
Next week we'll fly to Philadelphia for a three-week stay over New Year's. I'll miss Rachel and Nick, but I'm ready to travel again, and I'm no longer worried about the snow. Late last week just at dusk, I saw a four point buck grazing at twilight, daintily picking his way past the pines and through the empty field next to our house. My grandfather would have longed for his rifle. I marveled this beautiful animal made it through hunting season.