Monday, November 22, 2010

The Blizzard of '10

In one of my very first posts to this blog, about 6 months ago, I said I was here in Port Gamble mainly for the stories to tell my grandchildren. I then told my first story, which was about the three people who simply walked into my house, thinking it was a business.

Now I finally have my second story, the story of the blizzard of 2010. I'm sure if you have been skiing much, or grew up in the midwest, or even got lost on a blustery day  in winter then you feel like you've been through a blizzard ... or maybe have. But for me tonight was the first such occasion.

On the way to Poulsbo, Nov. 22, 2010 8 am

Your "average" winter morning in Port Gamble (I hope NOT). Cold, but not bone chilling, windy, but not overpowering, Kris and I went to Poulsbo to get some meds I had called in a week ago. The road was not slick, not covered with snow, but in spite of that the drivers here were being EXTRA cautious. I saw no particular reason for the incredible slow movement of the traffic until about 1/2 way to town. Then I saw it ... a huge vehicle, laying on its side, in the ditch. Suddenly the word "Slick" was given new permission to enter my thought waves, and it certainly did with a vengeance.

Port Gamble, Nov 22, 2010, 10 am.

Kris had planned to open the quilt store today, in spite of some quite strong winds and a little snow falling. We returned from our journey to Poulsbo around 10 am, and headed to the quilt store to check on its ability to hold heat (I'd give it a C-) as well as hoping for a few customers, although we both wondered who might wander out today. Very few people did wander out. I also took my snow shovel with me and after we got settled in, I shoveled my way to the post office to pick up our mail. Not much there

Port Gamble, Nov 22, 2010, mid afternoon.

My shoveling, although done to all known proper procedures, was not successful in keeping snow off the sidewalk or out of the front door. It is amazing what a little puff of wind will do in covering up a bald spot a person has put on the sidewalk.  ALL my shoveling was gone:

This is my best shoveling job, done about an hour before this photo was taken. The snow is back!!!!!!

       The day before, this dept. of transportation sign blew over, one of those sophisticated ones with flashing lights, even.
Have you ever seen the main street of Port Gamble this dead in the middle of the afternoon? I haven't either, so I decided to see who  the dedicated people are that work here on a day as cold and windy as this.

This is what I found nearly everywhere I went. By this time it was closing in on 3:30, and the forecast which in the morning had been for clearing and warming by Tuesday, was now saying maybe Wednesday.
But first I found John from Olympic Sports, the Kayak store. The owner, dedicated, but I was certain that minutes after the FedEx man was there picking up John's shipment, he'd be gone.
Laura, the Postmaster was also still there, ready to re-wrap a package.
Kate, holding down the coffee pot at Gamble Coffee Co. was the only true "employee" I found, but it was also the only true "store" that  I found with any business.

And Kris, dedicated owner of the quilt store, and like any  other owner, lost in paper work.
And that was it, all the people still  at their posts in the afternoon.  Kris and I headed for home shortly after, and I thought I had seen all the bad weather I was going to see, although the weatherman was shifting his "OK to travel" date back to Thursday. And surprisingly enough he also was predicting that Port Angeles, which already had a half  a foot on the ground (the score: Port Angeles 6 inches, Port Gamble 3 inches) was due for 12 more overnight!!

Port Gamble, Nov. 22, 2010, 8 pm

Ok, NOW I can say I have been in a blizzard. There was no reason to take a camera, it was too dark and blowing too hard. Kris and I live on the highway and decided to take a walk as far as the flagpole. You've seen storm movies where the rain or snow is blowing sideways? That was it at the flagpole. I've been sailing for 40 years and have been caught in a few windstorms, and based on my experience I'd say it was blowing 40+ which probably doesn't really rate as a "blizzard", but it certainly will next week when I see the granddaughters.

Even now, at 1am, the wind is howling, blowing the snow off some parking lots and throwing it into other back yards. Occasionally the house shakes, moans, creaks .... just now my desk shook. Yes, a person could get a little nervous, but I've been making things even more nerve racking; I've been reading Newt Gingrich's new book "Valley Forge" about G. Washington, the winter in Pennsylvania, and politics ... lots of politics, even then. But when one reads about the soldiers who had no shoes, who would look at their feet and feel good if they were red, but know they would always walk with a limp if they were black, well, it makes me embarrassed to think I would call this an "blizzard." How about "a really windy day."

1 comment:

Shirley said...

Score: Port angeles 12", Port Gamble 3". Blizzare is gone, but 17 degrees at 7 a.m. at my house.