Friday, January 2, 2009
Wrapping Up Last Year
As a new year dawns I always get a rush of organization that comes over me. I go through closets and cupboards, tossing out things I no longer use, or use so infrequently that it's not worth the space they fill. This year I need to do that with my blog too. Thus, a brief synopsis of my Christmas.
Here in western Oregon we were hit with a big snow storm that started on December 14th and lasted for two weeks. Our house is atop a very steep driveway and we ended up being snowed in most of that time. The guys were unable to get vehicles up and down except for the four-wheeler, and that soon became an impossibility also. Kevin (Christina's husband) would stop at the store as needed after work, then carry heavy grocery bags home through the snow from the bottom of our hill where he'd leave his truck. My parents, who only live 18 miles away, were to be with us for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, but there was no way to get them up to the house. So near, and yet so far!
Our plans for a calm, cozy Christmas began to evaporate. The morning of the 24th, our power went off. Living out in the country, we have a generator for such emergencies, though we've only had to use it for a few hours in the past. It certainly paid for itself this time, as we were without power for 2-1/2 days. Christmas Eve and Christmas Day are not the two days I would have chosen, but we managed. Christina's family packed up and came downstairs to stay with us, as our heater can run off the generator, but their heat pumps can't. Joshua (age 7) was running a fever and spent most of his time on the couch while the rest of us idled away the hours playing Pinochle, Hand and Foot, and a few other games.
After a nice dinner prepared by Christina in my kitchen, we gathered around to open our gifts as we traditionally do on Christmas Eve. The only trouble was the Christmas tree, surrounded by presents, was upstairs in the Berry's living room. John and I didn't have a tree since we were going to be celebrating with them. It was way too cold to be in the unheated upstairs house, so Santa's elves whisked the gifts down to our bare living room. You just do what you have to do!
John left on a piano tuning trip to Nevada on the 26th. On Saturday the 27th the roads were passable enough that Kevin was able to ferry the rest of the family down on the four-wheeler in three different runs. We crammed into the pickup and made the trek to my parents' house to have a late celebration with them. It was a very special family time and I only regret that John wasn't there to enjoy it.
The weatherman said this was the biggest snowstorm to hit Portland in 40 years, and I believe him! Chances are we won't run into the same problems next year, but I think we'll be prepared, just in case!