The electricity is still on. Don't know for how long. Need to get this report out to the blogosphere while I still have a warm laptop.
Things are desperate for us here in Salem. I just checked: there's an inch of snow on the ground! And it's twenty-six degrees! Pray for us, rest of the country.
Because Oregon's Willamette Valley doesn't get much snow. So this storm is a shocker. Laurel and I are taking it seriously. Our lives -- or at least lifestyles -- are at stake.
Panic started to set in yesterday.
We'd been tuned in to the Storm Tracker bulletins on every Portland TV station. We knew what was coming: a couple of inches of snow! Below freezing temperatures! (and loads of exclamation marks in blog posts)
Our essential supplies seemed to be in order. Gas for generator to keep the laptop and DSL router going. Silk soymilk creamer to go with the coffee needed to write blog posts.
But then we took a closer look at the pantry. Yikes! Just a few organic walnuts. And only a few crumbs of raisin bran. I felt like the Donner Party, facing starvation.
Sure, we have an all-wheel-drive Highlander. And tire chains. But the natural food store is eight miles away! (winter storms bring out italics in addition to exclamation marks)
I got together an emergency bag: ski jacket, gloves, hat, rain pants, salted soybeans. Threw it in the back of the SUV along with the chains, which I'd practiced putting on. Got the wife and dog in the car so we'd live or die together. Set off for Life Source Natural Foods.
Made it fine.
Especially since it was sunny and forty degrees. Felt a little silly walking into the store dressed for an Everest expedition. But you can't be too careful when an inch or two of snow is on the way.
Some of it appeared this morning, which is when our winter ordeal really began.
I turned on the TV to see how panicked the Channel 2 Storm Tracker team wanted me to be. Plus, to watch Meet the Press while I ate my Sunday pancakes.
The DISH network receiver wasn't working. Then I remembered: the final episode of Survivor is on tonight! The Donner Party didn't have to deal with that -- just minor stuff like deciding whether to survive by eating dead bodies.
I got up on the roof. Brushed some snow off the satellite dish. Wondered how much more God was going to make me endure. Got an answer when I realized that I'd missed recording all of Meet the Press.
Shit! Now I really had a winter storm story to tell my grandchild. Assuming I could bribe her enough to listen to it.
At the moment we're in the eye of the storm. Well, actually according to the Storm Tracker folks the storm is over -- until a new one rolls in middle of the week. And that could bring another inch or two of snow.
It makes me feel better to know that people in Minnesota and New Hampshire realize what we're going through here in usually temperate Oregon. (It's now 25.7 degrees; that's a .3 degree drop since I started writing this post -- I think I can hear the wolves starting to circle.)
Portland's storm miseries appear to be taking a turn for the worse, as it appears that it is now getting dark. The darkness is expected to cut visibility in many areas, and these conditions may persist until morning.
When it'll be a brighter day, the Storm Gods willing. And as long as I'm appealing to a higher power, please let the 57 year old physics teacher dude win Survivor.