Tuesday, December 25, 2007

White Christmas
All over town between noon and 1:30 mommies and daddies were shoving bundled-up kids out of doors to be models in their Portland Christmas Snow of 2007 photographs. I saw this throughout my ten-miler today. I heard one optimistic little guy shout, “When it gets really deep, we’ll make a snowman.”

First little white pellets then big wet gobs fell from the sky – first sporadically then in a frenzy – that slow-motion sort of frenzy that characterizes snow falling and, I don’t know, crashing on a bike. It was, yes, magical, even if it barely stuck, barely added up to a quarter-inch, barely will be recorded in meteorological history.

I had laced 'em up and gotten out at noon precisely, about 45 seconds into this little weather event. I was going to run no matter what but this, this was cool. It isn’t every day you get to run in the snow on Christmas Day. Even if this were, say, Buffalo, the odds would be slightly less than 1-in-365, right? I read somewhere that in here in Portland, there hadn’t been a trace on Christmas Day since ’90 and ’90 is further back in history than you or I want to think, my friend.

Tons of people were out, the parents and the kids, people and dogs, a guy in a T-shirt smoking a cigarette, woman runner in shorts, a bunch of runners in tights and wool hats ... me, in tights and my customary running cap. The temperature was around 33 or 34 and who knew how long the snow would last before the predicted changeover to rain? My house is between 50 and 100 feet above sea level, so after a jaunt around Laurelhurst I headed back toward and up Mount Tabor, 500 or so feet up. There the wind was swirling, blowing the big flakes around. They hurt when they hit an eyelash just so, refresh when they land in your mouth, and when one hit me on the nose I actually giggled.

Everyone was digging it, this Christmas snow. Where the trees didn’t catch the snow, it actually accumulated on the trails. It never stopped falling as I went around, down, up and down the mountain. It only turned to rain just as I rounded the corner onto my block, then it was snow again, then rain, all in the matter of a hundred yards. All rain since. Maybe more snow tonight, maybe enough to stick around into the morning. Maybe some on Thursday. Kind of a big deal in these parts. Nice around Christmas.