Friday, November 26, 2010

Winter Wonderland

The iPhone tried to warn me... In its so very iPhone less-than-entirely-clear manner, but try it did: there's probably snow coming in the next few days, maybe? I refused to believe! Sure, maybe a few sprinkles, but it's Seattle, and it wasn't even Thanksgiving yet - maybe a few flakes here and there during the night and the temperature dropping down near freezing, but nothing worse than that, right? Then it started to snow a little during our (really, really cold) frisbee game early Sunday morning. Then it snowed some more during the day. Nothing accumulated. We went to the nearby St. Mark's Cathedral to hear the monks sing at 9:30 at night - it was bitterly cold, but still no snow. I couldn't see this coming at all:

The view outside my window Monday morning

And it looked gloomy and uncomfortable too... But, hey, it's still only the 22nd of November here in Seattle, how bad can it be? I went to the gym in the afternoon, fully comfortable in the absolutely certain knowledge that later that evening we'd be playing hockey, because the conditions would just get better as things warmed up during the day.

They didn't get better. It actually got colder as the day went along. Hockey was canceled... I was suddenly glad to have talked myself out of riding my bike in the snow that morning.

Ryan and I got stuck in traffic on the 520 bridge for a full two hours on the way back to Seattle after going over to the Eastside in preparation for hockey (and to watch a Duke basketball game). Apparently, noone else had been willing to believe during the day that we'd really, actually be getting hit with a proper snow storm before Thanksgiving, so noone left work early. And now, they were all stuck on the bridge. It didn't look a whole lot better when we finally got across the bridge into Capitol Hill - there was three to four inches of snow everywhere; roads were closed off in places, some turned into temporary homes to cars and buses that had been abandoned in the face of the storm. The temperature dropped into the teens(!) - in Seattle! before Thanksgiving! I couldn't stop thinking of Costa Rica (where I hope to be this coming February again).

Tuesday morning came around, and it was a whole new day:

It was bright, clear, sunny, and very gorgeously snowy! Also, very, very cold - the snow didn't seem in any rush to melt

And that's me braving the snow outside my house, wearing shorts on a nice sunny day?

I went for a stroll around Capitol Hill, finding it to be a weird site - noone seemed to have gone to work; more people on the streets than you'd expect on a normal week day, kids goofing around on their sleds... shops closed; even our neighborhood liquor store! But it was a wonderfully pretty day - in no way gray and depressing like Monday - the mood felt downright festive. I wanted a nice warm cup of soup and a spot by a fire somewhere... I settled for a nice bowl of hot chili in a warm restaurant (sans fireplace). After battling the cold wind for an hour, I turned back for home and found that the sun hadn't done much to melt the snow on the ground, but was having some effect on the trees around the house:

Pretty Winter Wonderland...

At this point, I feel like I ought to be leading this story up to a dramatic climax of some sorts, but I'm afraid I'm just not that good or exciting of a story teller. There wasn't to be much drama - the snow slowly receded over the next few days. I got to play hockey Tuesday night (noting that, at least, most of the hockey players are transplants from places like Canada, Michigan, and Wisconsin, where driving in the snow is a regular fact of life, not a national emergency), coming back home a bit after 11 in the evening, receiving a greeting from the iPhone to the tune of 'the temperature outside remains stuck at 18 degrees'... In the days that followed, that temperature continued to hover right around freezing day and night, but, without fresh reinforcements, the snow started to reluctantly give way, retreating inch by hard fought inch.

Today was Thanksgiving, and by the end of the day, the frozen wastelands finally receded and the temperatures stayed above freezing long enough for most of the ice and snow to melt. We celebrated the occasion with an obnoxious amount of food. And, to our credit, would've done the same no matter how frozen the weather could've stayed!

Lott, feeling very proud of his deep-fried creation

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