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Merry Christmas to all, and to all a safe flight

We are the proud owners of snow chains. Susanne and I strapped them to the front tires yesterday morning, one $40 purchase closer to being able to get out of our back alleyway and onto the snowy street, which is only 8 snowy streets away from the highway out of town. Turns out we had to shovel the alley all the way out to the street because it was too high for the undercarriage of the SUV. We’re not talking low-riding NASCAR racer here — we’re talking Honda CR-V with a clearance of more than 7 inches. This was not DC snow. Apparently it’s also not Walla Walla snow but since this is our first winter, to us it’s now a package deal in our minds.

Thirty minutes later we had shoveled our way out, and the chains did their job giving the car some traction. Then it was off! To where, we didn’t know. We were just excited to be out of the house! So we went where any red-blooded North Americans would go — we drove to Macy’s and did some last-minute shopping. Nice bargains at the only department store in town, I must say.

Back home, we decided to part out front on the street. The math went like this — if it snowed badly overnight, we’d only have to dig off the car, but if we put the car back in the garage, we’d have to shovel out the whole alley again. So we parked on the street.

This morning, I heard a rumbling like a train was rolling down our street. Unfamiliar with such noise, I looked out the kitchen window. It was . . . wait for it . . . a PLOW! In the alley! Twelve days after the snow first started accumulating, and notably, 30 MINUTES before we were leaving Walla Walla, the plow dug out the alley. Gee, thanks a lot, jackass. Where were you on December 15?

We drove on up to Spokane and it was like a drive into an Agnes Martin painting of white on white. The road was white. The hills were white. The scrubland plants were covered in snow, rendered invisible. The fog was white. The sky — take a guess. There were two rut lines in the road, and so I followed  those to keep on track. I’ve never seen white like that.


Agnes Martin painting

Agnes Martin painting

I think the only place more remote would be the River of No Return in Idaho. Or so it would seem. But come to think of it, there are probably people there. There are not all that many people up here in Spokane. 

As we came into the city limits, the snow started falling again. Forecasts call for a few to several inches to fall today and tonight. We will cross our fingers that our flight takes off on time — and hopefully, with us on it this time.

Happy Holidays, everyone!

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