Thursday, December 18, 2008


9:30 a.m.

Snow is one of those phenomena that is ordinary in one setting, unusual in another and extraordinary in a third. Last week I laughed when relatives in Southwest Louisiana called to say it had snowed there and reported on the reactions of the children in the family who had, of course, never before experienced snow. This week, when Tom and I are on vacation in Hoodsport, Washington, in a house on the Hood Canal, not all that far from the Olympic mountains, snow is in no way extraordinary but is nevertheless... challenging, one might say.

As I write this (to post this afternoon, if the snow stops falling and our chains suffice to get us to the very small but charming public library located two or three miles from here and which, I discovered yesterday, actually boasts a copy of Tsunami on its shelves), I'm staring out at a scene composed of various shades of gray and white, except for the occasional bird darting across the low horizon or ducks bobbing haplessly in the water. Visibility of the water has shrunk to a narrow band of wild, heaving chop with a blanket of snow framing it on one side and the opaque gray mist of sky on the other. And snow continues to fall. Just saw a pair of seagulls laboriously winging past the window-- more shades of gray, of course.

In the meantime, back in Seattle (which we're to return to tomorrow), snow has paralyzed the city. Kath tells me that they've had lightning and thunder with the snow. Here the snow started late last night, as I discovered when the barking of sea lions drew me to the window, away from the book I was reading.

11 a.m. The sky is clearing and it even looks as though the sun may come out, which makes me hopeful the library may be open this afternoon. Tom's photos, which I'm posting here and were not taken in black and white, offer a sort of before and after.

Noon-- The fog is closing in again, and it's snowing harder. The power went out for just long enough to screw up all the clock radios in the house. Tom is eager to try out the new chains, though ...

1p.m. The sun's out! (But it's still snowing: shouldn't there be a snow-bow somewhere in the sky?) But there's color in the landscape, a patch of blue sky overhead, and the library's open.

2 p.m. I'm at the library and have been able to log on and post to Aqueduct's blog. We had to park the car on Highway 101 because we couldn't get the car up the hill to the library. The steps going up to the library are packed with snow. Everything's beautiful, & it's still (lightly) snowing.

More pleasures of reading etc in 2008 posts are forthcoming. Stay tuned!

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