Friday, December 13, 2013

We're Not Special Anymore. Oregon Thaws.

The rain began yesterday afternoon and continued.  Not hard rain, but rain nonetheless.

Temperatures that had not risen above freezing in ten days suddenly soared.  Salem was approaching 50 degrees by 6:00 p.m.

Slush replaced ice and quickly.

Nothing to talk about anymore.  Nothing special here.

I read about people with skates who pulled them out of closets and went skating on freeway lakes.  What a grand thing, for those ugly little lakes to be covered in white and ice, with skaters bent low cutting the ice with their blades gracefully.

Freeway Lakes are scungy algae filled and stinky in the summer.  People fish there by the score, lining the dirty banks, having perhaps no way to fish somewhere better.  They get stocked with hatchery trout by the wildlife people.  The fish don't live long if they're not caught, due to low oxygen levels.  Ducks frequent the ponds adding their refuse to further deplete oxygen and make the algae blooms even happier.  People dump cats too at the lakes.  One year a deputy went by just after someone had thrown a mother and her kittens into the water, in a bag the cats escaped.  They were trying to get to shore.  The deputy saved them.  I trapped a bunch of Siamese teens dumped at one of the lakes one year.  KATA took them in.

There was hoopla over people skating on the lakes, over whether the ice was thick enough.  So the paper people measured it and it was four inches thick, plenty thick for skating.  A news crew allegedly rushed down from Portland when it was heard people were sliding babies in car seats across the ice.

I'm not in favor of endangering babies.  Don't get me wrong.  But I love reading about people, who grab a moment, from perhaps difficult and mundane lives, seize an opportunity for some out of the ordinary fun, like skating, on a pond, in the valley of Oregon, that never sees snow and ice like this.

Over a block away, three car thieves in a minivan, being slow chased by police, slid and crashed into a fire hydrant, cracking it open, sending water everywhere.  The thieves ran, one of them barefoot.  Really?  Stealing cars, you don't put shoes on?  They were followed and found shivering, by their tracks in the snow.

The snow and ice event has provided for nonstop entertainment start to finish.  Something like watching car races for the crashes.  And who doesn't.

But we can go back to griping about the rain now.  Go back to popping anti depressants or drinking or bitching, however one does, to get by, these gray long drippy Oregon winters.

Because we're no longer special.  The snow is gone.  The ice has melted.  The ordinary has returned.

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