Curse You, Arctic Blast.

I love the holiday season. The stretch from Halloween, to my birthday, to Thanksgiving, to Christmas, to New Year’s Eve just slide so effortlessly along, punctuated with friends and family, and winter…

Ah yes, my second favorite season.  I’ve already explained my slightly unhealthy infatuation with fall. It’s only natural that winter makes me a little giddy as well. I started on skis before I was 5 (thanks Mom), and my formative years were spent in states with beautiful snowy landscapes.

Oregon came along and crushed that delight as well. It didn’t ever just get good and cold enough to snow. It got half-heartedly cold and rained (strikingly similar to fall, and I’ll give you three guesses on what spring is like). The disappointment of that first winter was memorable. The supreme bluster and build-up of an incoming storm, small faces mashed against a cold, dark windowpane, the shrill screams that fogged the pane, “IT’S SNOWING!” as it really did look too solid to be rain, and the ultimate yield: a light spittle of flakes that melted immediately.

I still get excited when it snows. I can admit that, at 29. I have to refrain from stopping mid-sentence in my classroom, running over to the windows, and mashing my face against the glass.  “So, boys and girls, as Lewis and Clark organized the construction of Fort Mandan-  IT”S SNOWING!!”

The problem, of course, is that there just isn’t room for 28 other faces to press in with me.

This year, this week, was one of the only times I really (really) didn’t want it to snow. I’d planned to drive home for Thanksgiving. I drove last year, and the roads were beautiful. So, obviously that means it should be the same every year! The pass in bad weather is no joke. So when I heard that the forecast was calling for snow and cold all weekend and into this week my heart sank.

I apparently wasn’t  holding my white flag quite high enough though, and the weather was upgraded to include an “Arctic Blast” coming down from Canada. First of all, an Arctic Blast sounds like something I should be able to order from the Dairy Queen drive-thru (which, I might add, is located entirely too close to my house). Second of all, couldn’t it have waited just one more week?

Once I accepted my lonely fate, I got a little excited about the idea of this big storm. It was going to hit sometime after 2 a.m., and it came with weatherman phrases like “blizzard” (mmm… Dairy Queen), “white-out conditions,” “45 mile per hour winds,” and “dangerous road conditions.”  What do all those things mean? Snow day!

I slept with my T.V. on half the night, got up a couple of times to peak out through the blinds, and kept the phone by my ear (the staff activates a very official phone tree if school is canceled).  I awoke to….

Sneaky, sneaky iced sidewalks.

Nothing.  We got an inch or so, plus ice. School was in session. The roads and all other surfaces were ridiculously icy. I was thankful for the new house, no more scary freeway commute.

At least in Oregon those rare snowstorms are given their due respect. They bring the whole place to a standstill. Everything closes, no one goes anywhere, and all regular programming is abandoned for 24-hour coverage of whatever clever title they have given the event. “WINTER STORM: 2008” was a good one, I believe. I think they always get the same guy to record the soundbite, the low ominous baritone, and they send the poor newbies out in their parkas to stand at the scene of earlier accidents. It’s a big deal.

The high temperature tomorrow is supposed to be 17 or 19 degrees, depending on the source of information. It is going to be a cold Thanksgiving. The only good thing I can see in this, is that it will feel right to start decorating for Christmas this weekend. It seems like everyone’s in a big hurry this year, and I’ve held off a bit longer than some of my friends.  I do like my holidays, but (in music terms) I like them more as a progression than a mash-up.

In the meantime, I think I’ll go see if there’s an Arctic Blast on the menu at DQ yet. Maybe they’ll be open to suggestions.

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~ by Lindsey on November 23, 2010.

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