Rocky Point, Oregon 25 degrees F and partly cloudy with a high predicted of 40F
When we planned our winter trip south, we knew that December in this part of Oregon can be cold, snowy, and wintry. Still, I wanted to be home at Christmas in spite of the weather. Daughter Deb is close enough now that she can come over the mountain to share the holidays with us, and Melody and her family always come out for Christmas as well, with just a 25 mile trek from Klamath Falls to mom’s house in the woods. We have some great family traditions, one of which includes sledding down our hill on Christmas day.
There have been times when there was no snow, but not often. Last year the snow started in November and I counted 13 consecutive days of plowing and blowing as the snow dumped on us. This year November was sunny and the grass was still green. Then WHAM, that Big Chill that gripped the nation landed in Oregon as well, and our temperatures were as low as 20 degrees below Zero F. We broke all time records for cold for any day in Klamath Falls with readings of almost 30 below. Yup, you read that right. 30 miles north of the California border and it was -28F.
The good part about this cold spell however, was that it was just too cold to snow very much. Around the 5th of December, the snow started falling and Mo and I plowed and shoveled for two days, unable to keep up with the dumping white stuff. Then the true cold hit, the skies turned bluebird blue, and the snow froze in place, clean and dry after all our snow management. With temps that cold, there wasn’t much ice in our driveway and on our road, and we haven’t had to plow since then. The rest of the area wasn’t so lucky, however.
Daughter Deb over in Grants Pass spent a few days without water when the pipes froze. Grants Pass and the Rogue Valley are not used to that kind of weather, and there were hundreds of accidents on the local roads and freeways and most of the schools have been closed for more than 5 days now. We didn’t winterize the MoHo but left a heater running inside and the RV shed is completely enclosed, so we think all is OK. Our reason for buying the Grants Pass property had to do with lowest winter temps being an occasional bout with the teens and most of the time above 30F or so.
Daughter Deanna was right in the midst of the worst ice storm, just 30 miles from Dallas, where she and her husband spent 13 hours trapped in their semi on one of those “fake” hills at an overpass that no vehicle could manage. Deanna said someone would try and they all would slide backwards. Traffic was backed up for 40 miles or something like that. They finally got out of the mess to deliver in Memphis, run down to Miami to pick up some other kinds of fancy engines, and take off for Manitoba, where the cold was just normal Manitoba cold and not impossible to navigate.
Here at home, I managed to work on quilt projects for Christmas presents, and finally got the house decorated. I do love decorating for holidays, but for some reason it was a bit hard to get into it this year. I was dragging my feet. Possibly because I knew we were leaving just two days after Christmas, not to return until April. I definitely want to get it all packed up and put away before we leave, and of course I know there will be a bit of crunch time in that short two days as we finalize our packing for three months on the road.
Still, on Wednesday this week, I finally went out to the very cold garage (it was still around zero F, and Mo and I brought down the Christmas bins and I started unpacking and deciding what to use, what to skip. This year I will skip the Christmas villages, and those bins remain untouched. I decided to decorate the perfect little Christmas tree this year with the heirloom little pieces that have been with both of us for more years than I care to count instead of my fancy fruits and shiny globes that I bought for my Klamath Falls home when I moved there 11 years ago. The snowmen came out, and I laughed with Mo, saying “No matter how old and worn out I get, I’ll always be able to manage the snowmen, even if I don’t do anything else!”
Last night I finished up the lights on the porch, and in spite of the lack of enthusiasm I felt during the process, as I stood out in the snow looking at our cozy house I was so glad I had made the effort. Somehow it finally feels like Christmastime. Today I’ll go down to our Rocky Point community place and set a pretty table for eight for the ladies luncheon held here every year. The kids will come for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day and the house will look like a Mom’s house is supposed to look. I’ll start baking cookies and make some fudge, listen to some Christmas music and be grateful that we decided to stay home once again for Christmas.
This year I even made the effort to do Christmas cards and the Christmas letter. I saw on the news not long ago how this old tradition is rapidly dying as we all seem to be communicating in different ways with social media and the internet. I decided that the letter and a sheet of photos was still a nice gesture. I still have old Christmas letters from lots of friends who used to send them. Mo gets lots of cards every year, I get very few. I do think I have friends, but maybe our friends are different kinds of people. Hers are more traditional, mine are all over the map. All over the map kinds of people tend to not send Christmas cards. So what am I, all over the map or traditional??!!
Who knows if we will be here every year. Sometimes we might like to take a break and travel somewhere warm BEFORE that winter snow and cold hits Rocky Point. Each time I have done that, however, my heart misses the old traditions of Christmas and my family, at least as many of my family that I can gather in one place at one time. Mo would much prefer to be elsewhere at this time of year, and when I first knew her, she would almost always be off somewhere in December, avoiding all the Christmas hubbub, calling me from Spain, or Costa Rica or some other exotic location. I am glad that she is tolerant of my need for family times and patiently waits for two days after Christmas to escape.