Depending on how the weather turns out tomorrow, my wife and I may be getting a We Saved Salem medal from the city fathers. Well, city mother -- since Janet Taylor is the mayor.
Because this afternoon we (actually, "me," since in our household sex role equality hasn't trickled down to putting chains on) got the Highlander Hybrid ready to tackle the six miles of icy south Salem roads separating us from essential winter storm supplies that we hadn't gotten on our first expedition.
Like, organic coffee beans.
I panicked when I made some pre-blogging coffee yesterday and realized that I wasn't going to be able to get through the week properly caffeinated.
Out here in the country we don't have an expresso stand in every farmer's field. That's one of the drawbacks of Oregon's land use system that could use some loosening up. Though I'm an avid environmentalist, I'm also a caffeine addict, and the bean trumps green for me.
There were other things on the list that I carried into the nearest Fred Meyer store after learning how long it takes to get into town at 20 mph rather than my usual...um, higher speed (I know for a fact that police read blogs).
But once Laurel and I got into Winter Storm Panic Mode, our two shopping carts quickly filled with way more stuff than we'd intended to get.
It was a lot of fun. And good for the economy.
Fun, because I enjoyed the camaraderie of being out with other parka-clad Salemites taking advantage of the last clear sunny (and freaking cold) day before more snow hits Oregon.
I found myself chatting with people I usually would have ignored, or been a lot less open with. All of us had navigated semi-treacherous streets to have the opportunity to crash grocery carts in the crowded Fred Meyer aisles.
Smiles seemed more common than usual, a jovial prelude to the forecasted storm.
I couldn't believe how many newly discovered "essentials" ended up in our carts. I'd wanted to get another gas container so we had more fuel for our generator in case the power went out.
Then I figured a siphon device to get gasoline out of our cars would be handy. And why not pick up another driveway-clearing shovel, since it seemed a bit lighter than the one I'd been using?
A box of raisin bran struck me as absolutely necessary to get through worsening weather.
Plus all sorts of other food items that health-conscious vegetarians like us can't get along without (eating a veggie-burger without a whole wheat bun -- a prospect too horrible to contemplate).
We made a couple of additional stops at the Great Harvest Bread Co. and Life Source Natural Foods before clanking our way back home at tire chain speed. Our decision to leave the dog at home was wise, since the cargo area and back seat both were filled up by the time we'd finished our panicked snow is coming! shopping spree.
The last thing I said to Laurel as we exited the natural food store was, "Now that we've bought so much storm stuff, for sure it won't turn out to be nearly as bad as expected."
The first thing I did after I unlocked the front door was to check for an updated KATU forecast on my laptop. What I found was quite a bit different from the pre-shopping prediction.
The coast and Salem are expected to reach above freezing Wednesday. A wintry mix is expected at times along the coast tomorrow early morning before changing to all rain. Salem will see morning snow develop and then warm above freezing during the day with a rain - wintry mix likely.
Not great, but quite a bit better than before.
When Laurel walked in, I told her "We did it! We've saved Salem! Our storm shopping paid off. Now it looks like there won't be as much snow -- all because we prepared for a lot of it."
Magical thinking. Hey, it works for me. Especially if Mayor Taylor comes through with those medals for us.