It's not unheard of for theMid-Columbia to get a snow day now and again. It's also not unusual for the ground to be white in the morning and back to normal by noon.
You have to love those warm chinook winds.
No such luck this time.
It's been a week of the cold, white stuff, and the forecast for the next week doesn't call for much improvement.
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So it's time to admit that winter is here. It's also time to admit that our famous 300 days of sunshine are going to be accompanied by some snow and cold this year.
Sometimes just admitting defeat is a step toward victory.
Know that it's cold. That means wear your boots, gloves, hat and warm coat every time you leave the house. None of this jacket and slippers business while you run down to the corner.
Know that it's slippery. Leave yourself extra time to get where you're going. Roads that look clear can be the most deceptive.
And don't be so delusional as to believe that every little trip is necessary.
Most of us don't really have to go out in this mess nearly as often as we do.
We drive too much. We overcommit our time and waste our energies, both the fossil fuel kind and the kind that is measured in physical and emotional health.
This is the perfect weather to remind us all of the Boy Scout motto, "Be prepared."
Be prepared by keeping a blanket in your car. Be prepared by having a couple of days of nonperishable food on hand in case you really can't get out of your driveway for a day or two. (Tuna on crackers, anyone?)
Be prepared by getting to know your neighbors and checking on each other when the weather turns bad. If nothing else, they will be happy to see a warm face.
On the other hand. There's no sense is sitting home from now until March. People in cold climates thrive in winter by dressing in warm layers, getting enough rest, drinking plenty of water and practicing good nutrition.
Scandinavians, Swedes, people from Montana are all pretty healthy.
A walk in the brisk air can be good for you, even though sitting in front of the fireplacewith a good book is so much easier.
Our lives need balance. Some rain, some sun -- mix in a little snow now and again.
If we're lucky, the extremes will be few and far between.
Like most good things, weather is best in moderation.
Winter is naturally a time slow life's pace. The days are shorter and the chores are fewer. So take it easy.
Give yourself extra time on the road when you do go out. Give yourself time to stay home on an evening. Give yourself time to appreciate the now -- snow or not.
And now that we've admitted that it's winter, let's enjoy it -- safely.