The winds have died down. The rain has stopped. I've taken the chain saw out of my car, which I drove around with for the past three days, ready to cut my way through roads blocked by fallen trees.
Things are starting to get back to normal in the Northwest after the biggest Pacific storms in a decade roared through.
Here in south Salem we did fine. No power outages. No flooding. Just a bunch of fir branches blown loose by the 45-50 mph winds.
It's hard to see a silver lining in news stories that begin with:
A pair of storms that slammed into the Pacific Northwest had much of the region under water Tuesday, leaving five people dead, thousands without power and major highways shut down.
But I can identify at least one: maybe this will help convince people who are thinking of moving to Oregon that this state is a nasty place to live. It is! Really!
And I'm not saying this just because I recall with fondness Gov. Tom McCall's famous admonition, "Come visit us again and again. But for heaven's sake, don't come here to live."
He said that in 1971, the year I moved to Oregon. So it obviously didn't have the desired effect on me. Nor on so many others that now we need lots of Tom McCalls.
I'm hoping that these storms will do what McCall couldn't: keep people from moving here.
Heck, already I have to spend an increasingly disturbing number of minutes every week in Salem "rush hours" (which for a long time have been called "rush minutes," but threaten to become the real thing).
And, aspiring Oregonians, you need to know a few other things about this godforsaken state.
So if you want to tick God off (and trust me, that isn't a good idea; just look at the storms that hit the godless), go ahead and move here.
If you do, prepare to spend a lot of time smelling gasoline fumes. Because Oregon is one of two states that don't allow you to pump your own gas. You can self-serve your own suicide, however.
Bottom line: don't even think of coming to Oregon. North Dakota, check it out. They're just trying to scare you off with all that Badlands talk. I hear it's a terrific place to live.