What a perfect morning for cocoa and hot cereal! The snowflakes that have sputtered around Portland for the past three days are the northwest kind: lazy, sloppy flakes that fall in big clusters and disperse as soon as they hit anything. Even so, they confound us. School is delayed two hours this morning. Many of the busses are sporting chains and running behind. They pile up and then leap frog past each other, alternating stops to pick up red-cheeked folks who have been standing in the flurries for twenty minutes. Passengers are not sure whether to be bemused that two buses arrive at once. They're not suddenly chatty because of the snow, but they are very conscientious about not dripping on their stranger seat mates. Rumor has it the light rail and street cars are still running on time. Another reason to consider rail, but not good justification in a region that gets spooked by the mere mention of snowfall.
Most cyclists have switched to transit, more out of fear of ice and out-of-control cars than the unpleasantries of riding in the snow. Depending on the conditions, snow biking can be plenty of fun. My friend Baker reports that zoobombing in the slush is quite amusing. (If you're not familiar with that particular Portland tradition, wikipedia's zoobomb post can help you out!) On Sunday I rode my bike to meet a classmate for brunch at Pine State Biscuitsand kept blinking as snowflakes plopped into my face. I couldn't help thinking of my eyelids as windshield wipers working on their highest setting to provide proper visibility. As we stood in an unusually short line to place our orders (so many people scared off by the weather!), the snow mustered determination for the first time this season. Giddy Portlanders slipped out of the restaurant to twirl on the sidewalks and laugh about making slushmen after brunch. They then promptly resumed their places so they could ensure that their winter adventures would happen on a full stomach of fried chicken on a biscuit, smothered in country gravy.
Last night the snow actually started accumulating and by time Raffi and I climbed the ladder to our sleeping loft my tiny house was masked in a dusting of snow. Unfortunately, it rained all night, so we'll probably have layers of ice to contend with today.
Meanwhile, the wall mounted Envi heater hasn't been able to keep up with these below-freezing temps. (Read more about my slim electric space heater.) Over the weekend I used the propane boat heater twice because it's such nice ambiance on a blustery day, but the fan is still bothersome. So the past couple of days I've kept the Envi heater running at full tilt since it uses less electricity than the oil radiator heater. I set the timer on the rolling oil heater to come up to temp for the hours in the morning and evening that I want the house warmer. So far, so good.