Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas from Seattle -- still buried under gobs of the white stuff and recently back from the depths of darkness

In other words, it's been snowing for eight days solid... and the power was just restored.

Let me just say right now that menopause has its perks. When the temperature in the house was in the 40's and everyone else was freezing cold, my own personal heating system, my reliable hot-flash-0-matic, worked perfectly. Every 20 minutes or so, the ol' lady furnace jets would fire up and I'd warm up nice and toasty. I swear, if the power had been out much longer, I'd have had marshmallow skewers poking at me from all directions!

It's been a few days since I've tormented you with endless "Seattle's Arctic Blast of 2008" photos. Just when you think you've gotten rid of me and my camera with that clever power outage ploy, I'm back with more!


(Click out now if you've had enough of my endless Snowy Seattle photos.)

Still here? Cool.


On Christmas Eve, Elisabeth and I took it upon ourselves to trudge to the store through the snow (uphill both ways) to pick up some desperately needed provisions.

Well, that's not entirely true. We decided to take Shasta for a long walk and pick up a few things that we needed.

OK, wanted.

OK, fine -- we wanted an excuse for a long snowy walk.

Headin' out, on the street -- well, on the snow covering the street -- in front of our house:


Elisabeth decided to slide down the hill on her butt -- which Shasta thought was just hilarious.



Even at almost 25, I still think of her as my cute l'il girl:


As we got to the intersection (and this isn't even a busy one), we could see cars' effects on the environment. Somehow the stuff they spew becomes pretty obvious when there's white snow to sop it up:


We realized, as we walked along this little country road, that the trees above us were downright dangerous, as every few minutes we'd hear cracking sounds, followed by a falling branch!



Be careful, Mr. Snowman! If you hear cracking trees, just duck and take cover. Or, um... not.


These people thought their trash would be picked up as regularly scheduled. Dude, some people in the Pacific Northwest are going on week number three without trash pick-up!


This deep slush and these potholes are nothing compared to what them city-dwellers in Seattle proper (as opposed to us rural hillbillies) are dealing with!



Not wanting to risk life and falling limb, we decided to walk along the main roadway, where there were snowplows...


...and busses!


Elisabeth opted for a short rest, but Shasta just wanted to trudge ahead. IMG_0435

The store! In the distance -- civilization! Provisions -- finally!IMG_0445

Or not:


And actually, when you think of it -- aren't provisions in the eye of the beholder? I mean, so what if they didn't have much milk. We can do without milk if we have to. But what we can't do without are... A DOZEN RED ROSES!




We took our sweet time walking back from the store, stopping at the library parking lot to play a bit:

By the time we got home, it was snowing hard and getting dark -- a perfect Christmas Eve. I wanted to play the old audio tapes of the Bavarian Christmas from her childhood that Mom had given me before she died, but they're so old now and so filled with audio pocks and scratches, that the music can hardly be heard anymore. So instead, I put on a Vienna Choir Boys CD (much to the kids' chagrin, but I'm sorry -- some thing are sacred!) and we had our traditional Bavarian Weisswurst and Kartoffelsalat Christmas Eve dinner. (No cameras allowed, by decree of my family!)

Once a year, on Christmas Eve, Mom's favorite day of the year, I light the candle that we bought in Munchen a few years ago, the one I call "Omi's Candle." I tear up and get all mushy on the inside when I light it once a year, but on the outside I just quietly light it and let it burn during Mom's favorite 4 hours of the year, the sacred hours of 4 PM to 8 PM on Christmas Eve -- the hours of "beschaerung" -- or, as I thought it was called as I grew up, "be-sharing," which is another word for the time the family spends together, lights low, Christmas carols on the "stereo," and exchanging gifts.


After beschaerung, Tom and Elisabeth baked apfelstudl and kipferl cookies from his mother's delicious stash of Christmas cookie recipes from her own childhood and her own European heritage. Delicious!




We woke up on Christmas morning to no power. Within two hours, it was freezing cold (no, not literally!) in the house... so we went outside to document the record Seattle snowfall and then to play!


car snow




IMG_0519 IMG_0555

When we came inside, it was most definitely time to light a fire.


(Yes, Tom made the fireplace -- over a period of two years. We love it! Do you see the face in the stones?)

Actually, it was time to make TWO fires -- that one downstairs, and this one upstairs: (Yes, Tom made this fireplace and mantel, too. Think we should keep him around?)


And now, it's time for Christmas fondue (which I might photo-chronicle... or not). But for now, I'll leave you with a Christmas wish of happiness, health and good cheers -- and US a Christmas wish of melting snow, warming temperatures and no flooding!


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AstroYoga said...

Wow! SO much snow!

Your memories of your mom remind me to appreciate the German Christmases I get to experience here. They really love Christmas.

Anonymous said...


These guys do great work at restoring old tapes and transferring them to CD - not that expensive, either!

Carol said...

Thanks Patrick! I'll have to check them out. It'd be a shame to completely lose that tape!


jennifer said...

Great photos! Woodinville made the national news (NBC news at least), did you see it? We've been melting up north of you and it was clear in Edmonds yesterday; I was so surprised to hear it was still pelting you guys on the east side. Glad to hear your upbeat account of the day! Merry Christmas (and merry boxing day, now).

Anonymous said...

What a great adventure to Safeway! I'm jealous that you had power on Christmas Eve though- we lost it both then and all Christmas day and I'd estimate that between the two days we got another 10" of snow. No UPS or Fedex last minute packages delivered, darnit.

I am SO ready for it to be gone. At least off the roads and out of trees.


Margaret said...

You've got (or had) way more than we did down south. I like adventures, but there have been a few too many of them this past week. (icy roads, Seattle driving, snow, snow, snow) I'm ready for normality.

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