The average yearly snowfall in the Portland, Oregon/Vancouver, Washington metro is 4.5 inches. When I looked up the statistics I was actually surprised it was that much! Anything more than a dusting and everything just shuts down around here, that's how little we are used to it.
Big snows in our area are memorialized. I still remember the winter I was eleven and the big snow we had that winter. There was a total of 34 inches of snow that year.
In 2008 we had a big snow just before Christmas, nineteen inches! That was one of my favorite big snows. Our two oldest grandkids were five and four. My mama was still alive and living in her little condo not far from our house in Portland. My oldest daughter was seven months pregnant with her first baby after eleven years of infertility and loss. The whole city shut down and all of the usual pre-Christmas hustle and bustle came to a stand still. It seemed as though everyone accepted the fact that Christmas Day would be just fine even if the last of the gifts or all of the usual Christmas dinner groceries weren't purchased. One evening, my husband and I pulled our grandkids all around the neighborhood on sleds. We met neighbor after neighbor outside enjoying the snow, enjoying the peace and quiet of a city shut down by the weather, enjoying an unhurried prequel to Christmas.
This Tuesday night our small group from church was gathered in our home for a simple supper and a time of study and prayer together. The weather report called for snow that night, but not until later and we weren't supposed to have that much accumulation. We were all gathered in our living room when my husband caught a glimpse of what was happening outside through the window by our front door. It looked like a blizzard and had already covered the ground with more than the total amount of snow forecasted. It continued to snow all that night.
While almost a foot of snow isn't all that much for those who live in snow country, for northwest Oregon and southwest Washington, to us that's a big snow. One granddaughter was stranded at our house overnight after her "nana school" day, the roads between her house and ours too treacherous to get her home. She was ok with that however, as that meant she could play with her cousins, our other grandchildren that live nearby.
While the temps are still too low for the snow to melt away quickly, the sun came out this morning and the skies were blue. The temps are dropping again tonight, so while no new snow is predicted the snow we have will still be here for another day or two. While it feels like I've not been in my normal routine since Thanksgiving, I guess big snows are rare enough that I might as well just enjoy it!