Snow "Buries" Seattle Print
Written by Michael Fones   
Friday, 19 December 2008 10:10

This was the headline that greeted me in this morning's Seattle Post-Intelligencer, "Snow Buries Area!"

Chicken Little lives in the Puget Sound. Downtown Seattle had four inches of the white stuff, while other areas got up to a foot. Of course, this is quite unusual for the area, and Thursday morning had people scurrying for cover as the snow was accompanied by thunder. Apparently, many native Seattle-ites don't know what thunder is, either.

In the upper peninsula of Michigan where I went to college for my undergraduate degree (Michigan Tech, in Houghton), four to six inches of snow was a daily occurrence. Of course, there were all kinds of snow removal equipment to keep the roads serviceable. Even so, since the town was built on the side of a steep hill, most of the roads that climbed the hill were off limits for much of the winter. I remember seeing cars sliding slowly backwards down the grade, the driver frantically trying to keep the back end pointed straight down the hill...

I will admit, the snow and ice has kept me off the roads. There are precious few snowplows here, no trucks dropping salt or sand, so the roads are quite treacherous. I gave a talk last night (to a dozen or so hearty souls who braved the elements - most walked to the church), and afterwards gave a ride home to a woman who walked thirty minutes to get to Blessed Sacrament. The icy hills and narrow car-choked streets around Blessed Sacrament made me extra careful.

I am supposed to fly out Monday morning after preaching at Blessed Sacrament this weekend. Unfortunately, another storm is supposed to hit Saturday night, with sustained winds of 50-70 mph and gusts up to 90 mph along the Puget Sound, accumulations of six to twelve inches in downtown Seattle, and rain turning to ice later. This is sounding like last year, when I got stuck in Colorado Springs December 20-24 because of a blizzard.

This is not a complaint. I am very, very blessed to have a roof over my head and warm clothes to wear. This cold is bitter by Seattle standards, and the homeless here are filling the shelters and churches that offer refuge from the cold. Sunday I'll help out with the weekly soup kitchen that this small parish has hosted for several decades. The parishioners recently renovated the kitchen and dining areas, and those who come here for a hot meal will appreciate being out of what is forecasted to be an absolutely miserable day.