Saturday, November 27, 2010

Santa came early...

It's not the flat screen TV that we really wanted, or a new sewing machine for that matter, but we just spent all of our Christmas money, and then some on some studded tires for my 2-wheel drive car. With all the snow and ice we've been having, it quickly became a necessity. My husband had to take off work parts of 2 days this week just so that he could take the kids to and from school in our 4-wheel drive truck. Last winter, we had an old AWD Subaru, but sold it this summer. I miss her!

The snow also caused our Portland family to cancel their visit to see us. The interstate through the Columbia River Gorge was closed to non-essential traffic due to ice and freezing rain. So we've had a pretty low-key holiday here. I've been busy finishing up some quilting projects. We also got the house all nice and clean as only you do when company's coming. I finally froze all the rest of the left-over turkey after multiple dishes of turkey the last few days. I'm hoping the kids go back to school on Monday, but we're still getting snow, and the roads are still pretty bad. Here's 2 quilt tops that I finished this week:

I was reflecting on how this is our first ever pair of studded tires, and how when I moved to Oregon 20+ years ago, I'd never even heard of studs, except for the manly kind! I bought a brand new Mitsubishi Mirage for $6000 in New Orleans, La, only days before I left to drive it across the country. As I was driving through southeastern Colorado, in early Spring, the weather turned to freezing rain. I heard on the radio that the interstate was requiring chains or studs, and since I didn't know what either were, I figured I didn't have them. The plain water in my washer fluid bin was turning to ice on my windshield, and I quickly found an exit with a hotel and holed up for the night.

The next day, I heard that the interstate in Wyoming was accessible with no restrictions, so I headed that way. I had never driven in snow before, so I crept along so slow that the plows and rock trucks kept passing me. The rocks that poured out of the back of these monsters (remember I was driving a Mirage... a tiny, 2-door car) quickly put some small cracks in my windshield, and popped so many tiny holes into my new paint job that when I got to Utah, I decided to keep driving until I got to Nevada, well past the storm. This was WAY before the days of the Internet, cell phones, or any of the more modern ways we now get weather data. For years, I had nightmares about driving in the snow.

Fast forward 20+ years, and it's hard to believe that it was only 20 years ago. So much has changed. Now, after living in Northern Michigan for a few years, and after learning to drive in icy mountains when I worked for the BLM, I know a thing or 2, but this place is so much different than Southern Oregon, or Michigan. So studs it is! So far I like them. I finally have a usable car again, and my husband doesn't have to drive kids around anymore. It makes me wonder what winters were like a few generations ago, and thankful for the times we live in.


Laura Martone said...

Frankly, it makes me thankful to live in New Orleans and Los Angeles during the winter months. No studded tires necessary!

P.S. Sorry that your Thanksgiving company had to cancel - what a bummer.

Susan said...

Well, maybe the new studded tires will equal safe travels to fabric shops in your future?
The quilt tops are awesome!

Amy @ Never-True Tales said...

Those types of necessary but boring purchases are just no fun. Right up there with replacing the water heater or installing a new roof. But you can't put them off!

Becky said...

Yeah, no fun, but studs sure are necessary here. I have a new-found respect for being able to get around in a car!