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Pre Christmas 2008

My first December in Portland has been very interesting.  I was prepared for the rain but not for snow.  At least not in the amounts we have gotten.

The first snow storm came through on Sunday and dropped a couple of inches in downtown Portland and as much as 8 inches in the areas surrounding.  I got six inches at my house.  Portland doesn’t get a lot of snow so city services are not really prepared for what falls, nor are Portland area drivers and residents.  I don’t think people expected the weather forecasters to be as right on about the weather report as they were.  As a result, Portland has basically been shut down since Sunday.  Today more people were able to get out.  I got out and as far as the Post Office about six miles from home.  At that point my car started skidding so I promptly turned around and came back home.

Now people believe the report for the next storm which is supposed to drop twice as much snow as Sunday’s storm along with ice and rain over a two day period.  That’s supposed to begin early Wednesday morning.  People are trying to get chains and/or snow tires but guess what?  The stores are out of them.  The demand has far exceeded the supply and even Les Schwab’s warehouse is empty.  They’re hoping to get more in Wednesday or Thursday.

And that’s not all.  There is a third storm coming on Sunday/Monday which is expected to leave twice as much snow as the Wednesday storm.

Luckily, I got groceries on Friday and made tamales on Saturday so I’m set as far as food goes.  However I have Christmas shopping to do that probably won’t get done now.  I also wanted to buy a dining room table and chairs so we can have Christmas lunch (my daughter catches a plane on Christmas afternoon so we have to make it a lunch) sitting at a table.  That might not happen either.

I was telling my son about this on the phone last night and he reminded me of another Christmas when we didn’t eat at a table.  One year I had everything ready for the kids and I to eat Christmas dinner and I had asked the kids to clear the dining room table and get it ready as I did the cooking.  I asked them several times but they never got around to it.  When it was time to set the table, they hadn’t cleared it off and everyone was starving.  I didn’t want to fight with them so I figured I wouldn’t make a big deal.  We resorted to an “indoor picnic”!  We had done this before when it was wet out so this year we did it for Christmas.  We got the plastic liners for our table cloths and put them on the floor in the living room and then put the linen table cloth over the liners.  We set the table, on the floor, using our good china and crystal, just as if we were sitting at the table.  That year we had an indoor picnic in the living room, next to the Christmas tree then when dinner was over, we played Scrabble and just took it easy.  No pressure.  It turned out quite well.

This year we may be having an indoor picnic again, but for different reasons.  I guess it really doesn’t matter as long as we’re all together.

It was tough to get my son and daughter’s schedules to work so they could fly up here for Christmas but we did it.  Now, the only really tough thing will be getting them to the airport to pick them up!

Anyone in the Portland area have a van or SUV with snow tires or chains willing to make a trip to the airport on Sunday night?

Santa?  Wanna led your sleigh?

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This is my favorite Christmas story. It’s about the night that I was born. I have posted this elsewhere over the years. I’m hoping this will inspire me to write a new Christmas story in the next week so I can publish it for your enjoyment.

DECEMBER 25, 1955

María lay in bed exhausted, yet unable to sleep. She’d had an endless day and had just finished putting out the gifts for her four children. Tomorrow would be filled with joy and much activity. The kids were sure to waken by seven, anxious to open their gifts and play with their new toys. There would be lots of cooking to do, too. (more…)

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