One of my mournings on leaving New York for Oregon was No More Sledding. I might have cried over it. Things were emotional in general. Sure the skiing will be Mt. Hood Meadows and Timberline, but I was terrified that Jake and I wouldn’t share any more killer downhills right out the front door, or at a park like Cobbs Hill up the road: all dressed plump with layers and walking through snow covered streets, pulling our Flexible Flyers.

Um.. no worries needed. Portland is in the midst of its worst snow storm in 40 years. Commerce has been at a standstill for days and PDOT is telling us that it illegal to drive without chains on many roads. Thursday will be the first white Christmas of record. The neighbors, already suspicious, think we had something to do with all this.

Jake and I simply went sledding.

Uber-eco, we don’t use salt in Oregon. We use a liquefied magnesium something that doesn’t work as well and costs more. We also use sand and gravel. The latter is famous for popping up off the road bed in the spring and busting your windshield at 70 mph. I’m not complaining. We have cars older than your daddy that are still used as the commuter. Vanagons are everywhere, and we’ve stopped counting old VW bugs. (No there aren’t any Type 3 Squarebacks, sadly, but this was because the injectors failed 7 billion times and all their owners shot them, not because they rusted out. They wouldn’t’ve here.)

The corollary to not using salt is the utter lack of plows. Prior to now, the method of snow removal was to wait until the next day, 'cause it'll likely melt.. Cost-effective, earrth-friendly. With climate predictions heading toward greater swings in summer AND winter, we may need to re-think. We struggled out to grocery shop tonight, 2 days before Christmas, and stopped at a restaurant that had opened for the first time in a week. After 5 days of school shut downs, the city set up emergency call-in lines to help parents on the verge of strangling their offspring.