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Let it snow - it's better than the rain! - The Fucking Bluebird of Goddamn Happiness [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Zoethe

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Let it snow - it's better than the rain! [Nov. 29th, 2005|07:09 am]
Zoethe
[Current Mood |coldchilly-nostalgic]

If the gods would grant me the ability to obliterate one kind of weather from the face of the earth, I would undoubtedly choose freezing rain. wildcelticrose's entry about the weather in Seattle gave me a shudder, remembering the joys of dealing with this phenomenon as a college student in Oregon. We had one year where the ice on the ground was several inches thick, every twig on every tree encased like a caterpillar in a clear cocoon, and the power lines bowed - and many snapped - from the weight of the ice. Trees split to their very roots pulled down by the elixir of life gone bad.

Classes were not cancelled. At the time I was living at home and going to the local community college, relying on the bus system. On this particular day, every time the bus stopped to pick up passengers you could feel the driver pumping the brakes. As soon as the bus stopped, it slid off the crown on the road and bounced against the curb. Getting started again meant fishtailing.

When I got off the bus, despite my careful step, I slipped, windmilling myself to a stop with my arms wrapped around a telephone pole. You couldn't walk. All you could manage was a slow shuffle, one foot sliding forward a few inches, weight carefully balanced. Stepping off the curb was an act of courage.

But I had to cross 122nd Street in order to catch my next bus. And so, when the light turned I began my slow trek across its six lanes. There was almost no traffic, but a single car was coming down the hill toward the light.

And the driver and I realized at about the same time that he was not stopping. He was headed straight toward me at too high a speed, his frantic pumping of the brake having little effect on the speed of his vehicle, and the slope of the road overcoming most of that effect.

As for me, I could do very little but keep shuffling forward. There is no sprinting across the street without at least some friction, and there was no friction. If I fell and he hit me, it would be even worse. I just kept shuffling forward.

And so there we were, him pumping his brakes, me inching my way across the street, eyes locked. I could see the knowledge and the apology in his countenance: I'm about to kill you, and I can't do a thing to stop it.

And then, about 5 feet short of me, one wheel found gravel - or the gods were kind - and the path of his car jerked left, swinging him past me. Relief was the last expression I saw on his face and he was gone, down the road toward the next intersection, unable to stop and share the moment or the adrenaline with me.

I got all the way out to the campus. None of my instructors showed up for class. They wisely cancelled classes the next day. I wouldn't have gone again, anyway.
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: lacey
2005-11-29 12:59 pm (UTC)
And so there we were, him pumping his brakes, me inching my way across the street, eyes locked. I could see the knowledge and the apology in his countenance: I'm about to kill you, and I can't do a thing to stop it.

My god. I can't imagine that knowledge.

I wouldn't have gone again, anyway.

I imagine not!
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[User Picture]From: kmg_365
2005-11-29 01:17 pm (UTC)
This post brings back a few memories for me - one of a year where Mother Nature constantly foiled my plans to visit T. Another where I ended up sliding over a highway "divider", landing in the northbound lanes...I was facing south.

I hate ice.
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[User Picture]From: momlady
2005-11-29 01:39 pm (UTC)
http://www.livejournal.com/users/momlady/20745.html#cutid1

I'm not sure if you read my journal, but I had posted some pictures at the above link, of when I used to live in Portland. If you go down to the 3rd picture, you'll see the first ice storm I experienced living in Portland. The photos are old, but they came out good. Have a look if you have a chance.

:-)
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2005-11-29 02:16 pm (UTC)
Hey, it was probably the same ice storm, or one of its cousins, because this would have been 1978.
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[User Picture]From: momlady
2005-12-08 01:10 pm (UTC)
Ack! I just got your reply to this. Yes, it was 1978 when this was taken!
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From: wildcelticrose
2005-11-29 01:39 pm (UTC)
Lasts years strorm was plain rain when I woke up early to check the weather (online, on TV AND by walking outside)

45 minutes later as I was negotiating an elevated concrete ramp to get on to the highway, it suddenly turned to freezing rain.

It was awful, carnage everywhere. I had no where to go, but to put my little truck in 4WD, slow WAY down 15 or less all the way to work. and hope no one slid into me, and that I didn't end up in a ditch or upside down like so many others.
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[User Picture]From: greybeta
2005-11-29 01:43 pm (UTC)
Reminds me of a time when an ice storm hit while I was working at the movie theater. Scariest half an hour ride back home in my life (which normally took five minutes).
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[User Picture]From: hugh_mannity
2005-11-29 01:59 pm (UTC)
Well, you should have a warm down coat soon. I mailed it priority mail on Saturday.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2005-11-29 02:16 pm (UTC)
Oh, yay!
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2005-11-30 04:12 am (UTC)
And in fact it arrived today! And it fits. Ferrett thinks it hides my curves too much, but it is warm! And that counts for everything in the winter! Thank you so much!
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[User Picture]From: hugh_mannity
2005-12-02 01:13 am (UTC)
I'm so glad. It's a lovely coat, but it was usually too warm for me if I went anywhere by car, so I didn't wear it much. I'm delighted it's going to be worn and appreciated.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2005-12-02 02:21 am (UTC)
I'm outside so much, waiting for buses or walking from work to school that I can definitely use it. Granted, once I take it off it's like carrying around a sleeping bag! But it's worth it. Thank you again.
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From: bonerici
2005-11-29 02:36 pm (UTC)
i love snowboarding, so when it gets cold I'm all happy and jumping up in down in anticipation.

So bring the cold! But freezing rain does nobody good! You can't board on slopes frozen with ice.

I think you've found the single type of weather that nobody enjoys.

Except . . .

The day after freezing rain, the trees look so beautiful, translucent, their entire forms covered in a fairyland shimmerring, the entire world transformed into a sparkling dangerous beauty.
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[User Picture]From: kmg_365
2005-11-29 02:44 pm (UTC)
So bring the cold! But freezing rain does nobody good! You can't board on slopes frozen with ice.

Last time we went riding, it was all ice, and I ended up catching a wicked edge and breaking my wrist.

My sister used to work for Burton (which is why we have all Burton gear), and she recently moved out to Oregon. After riding Hood, she said she'll never ride on the east coast again. Never had the pleasure of riding on powder.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2005-11-29 03:19 pm (UTC)
Powder on Hood can be an infrequent pleasure. I've skiied on mashed potatoes there more than a few times.
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[User Picture]From: kmg_365
2005-11-29 03:54 pm (UTC)
I think one of the things she liked about it was that it didn't hurt as much when you fall. When I broke my arm (I actually landed on the back of my head first), it felt like I took the Nestea plunge on concrete.

Not fun.
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[User Picture]From: pleepleus
2005-11-29 02:40 pm (UTC)
I truly hate ice storms. They scare me to death. There are few worse feelings as a driver than knowing you cannot control your car and may be on your way to hurting or even killing a person or yourself.

*shivers*
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[User Picture]From: kmg_365
2005-11-29 02:45 pm (UTC)
Which is made even more dangerous when people choose to park their cars on the shoulders of the beltway, and the road crews don't treat the roads ;)
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[User Picture]From: pleepleus
2005-11-29 02:52 pm (UTC)
no kidding! Where do those people go anyway? Noway in hell I'd walk on the beltway at anytime, *especially* in a weather event.
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[User Picture]From: trillian42
2005-11-29 05:42 pm (UTC)
God, I hate ice storms. Last time we had one here we lost power for 12 days.
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From: dogens_zen
2005-11-29 06:40 pm (UTC)

Tacoma is not Seattle.....

not being snooty, just observant. On the coast, the relatively small distance between places like Tacoma and Seattle can mean the difference between a car encrusted in ice and one lightly covered in dew. As was the case this morning.

I grew up in Ohio. I lived in Indiana, Michigan, Wisconsin and Missouri as well at various points. I've done Midwest winters. Trust me, you would weep for joy to be here in January or February (or now, for that matter) where a "bitterly cold" day is 40. Yah it rains. And yah, folks are stupid when there is the faintest hint of snow or ice. But we have gone entire winters without either of those showing up. At all.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2005-11-29 07:06 pm (UTC)

Re: Tacoma is not Seattle.....

Coastal Oregon is still one of my favorite places in the world, and yeah, the weather is very gentle.
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From: dogens_zen
2005-11-29 07:47 pm (UTC)

OMG, yes....

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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2005-11-29 07:59 pm (UTC)

Re: OMG, yes....

Whaaaa! You've made me homesick!!! We used to go to Cannon Beach all the time.

[sigh]
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