We often say we cannot imagine living anywhere else but the Northwest. We grew up surrounded by its evergreen forests, snowcapped mountains, and dark lakes. It’s hard to imagine calling any other place “home”. But with the recent weather storms hitting the area that feeling might be changing.

Three weeks ago, we returned home in between two weather fronts. The first storm brought nearly 8 inches of snow. Flying into Seattle, snow glistened from below as far as the eye could see. It was truly a winter wonderland, and we were excited to be home. Upon arrival, we learned another severe storm was going to hit the area on the next day. This was not good news to us as we planned to run several errands on the next day. We needed to renew car tabs, obtain more passport pages, mail Christmas gifts; a storm was not about to thwart our plans. And, the storm didn’t …. But Chris’ car and frozen pipes did.

Rushing to get out of the house the next day with all our paperwork and presents in tow, we were stopped in our tracks by a telephone call. Picking up my ringing cell phone, our property manager was on the other line explaining there was a problem at the house, no water was running. I think I let out a stream of expletives, but can’t quite remember. He said a plumber was heading over and since it was the weekend would be charging double the rate. Crap. Since we were in the area, we decided to meet the plumber over at the house after stopping off and getting our car legal again. But, Chris’ car had other plans. As we fired up the BMW, it scolded Chris for leaving it undriven with whirring and clicking sounds. Crap. His battery was dead.

Unable to meet the plumber, he informed us our pipes were frozen. Great, just great. Putting heaters near the pipes should help them unfreeze he told us, so we made plans to try to get heaters over there before the storm really hit. When Chris’ mom, Carol, returned home from watching a play, we grabbed her car and headed out into the snow. By this time, snow covered the roads but not too much. After finally dropping off the heaters and meeting our tenants (we like them), we headed out into much worse conditions. The forecasters in our area like to exaggerate things a bit, but they were actually right on about this storm. Wind and snow caused white out conditions, but we made it home safely–thankful we probably wouldn’t have to drive in another snow storm as they don’t usually hit the area. Well, at least that use to be the case.

We spent most of the following days leading up to Christmas Eve housebound. Except for making the absolutely necessary trip to the post office to mail gifts and obtain more passport pages, we remained glued to the couch—Chris watching tv and me searching obsessively for new camera lenses. On Christmas Eve, the roads seemed clear enough to make our way out into civilization. After visiting and enjoying Chinese dinner with Chris’ relatives, we headed down to my family’s house. Weather reports said a rain storm was moving in, but when we reached white out conditions 40 miles away from my parents house, it became clear the forecast was incorrect. By the time we made it to my parents, we were through with the weather….absolutely through. We left 90 degree Buenos Aires for this???

And, let me tell you—the weather did not let up! It snowed on and off the entire time we were home, except for the last two days when torrential rain graced the region. We left amidst widespread flooding and closures of all the major highways and mountain passes due to avalanche concerns and flooding. Do we miss home, you ask. Well, yes, we miss our family and friends, but the weather can take a hike.

So besides the weather, what was it like being home? Being home was a glimpse of our past life and a vacation from our new life. Accustomed to living out of our backpacks and traveling, staying in one place and doing nothing was a welcomed reprieve. We saw family and friends; ate our most-desired foods (raisin branch crunch cereal); and defrosted pipes. My favorite memory from our time at home is of my barely audible, 4-year-old niece singing the edited, child-friendly version of Fergies’ Glamorous. Her faint voice singing the words, “if you ain’t got no money, take yourself home” hit a cord with us and since we’re not broke (yet), we’ll keep on traveling.

One Response to “Weather Worn”

  1. Elizabeth says:

    G-L-A-M-O-R-OUS. Love it! My life ain’t so glamorous these days, either. I think my hairdresser will have a freak-out when I return home in March.