Well there have been snow showers on and off for the entire afternoon, and while it’s still very wet, what I’ve been calling “fluffy rain”. I’m beginning to wonder about the sense of being out at all. The real stuff is coming tomorrow. I’m not expecting it to start sticking until ten, but it’s already effecting visibility and is definitely enough to make the average Seattle driver panic. I think I’ll be stupid and continue my evening activities but if nobody else shows up before eight I’m not going to wait for them and go strait home.
Posts Tagged ‘Snow’
Well something resembling winter is upon us in Seattle. They say we’re going to have a real one this year, but every time I assume that we will have a real winter in Seattle it ends up lasting for only a couple of weeks.
Anyway, it certainly is cold right now. Cold enough that I thought it better to walk than bike this morning. (Though I’ll probably reassess that on once I figure out where I put my ear protectors. ) At the moment it’s still above freezing though I don’t think that will last much longer. They say it’s going to snow tomorrow (they being the weather service on Igoogle) and as I’m writing this, flurries have just started.
This has me nervous. Even after living out here for over fifteen years my biggest cause of culture shock is how Seattle handles snow. The last snowstorm crippled the city for over a week (it only snowed a little more than a day.) Even a dusting of snow, like those flurries of powder snow that is just enough to turn the asphalt grey, slows the traffic down to a ridiculous crawl. As a transplanted Yankee, I take pride in my ability to drive in snow… but it doesn’t do a wit of good if nobody else does.
To spell this out, let me describe a work related accident I had a couple of years ago… I was working for a mail delivery service. As I was doing my daily rounds the snow started coming down. Now I new my route was going to take me to the relatively steep First Hill in about an hour and this was when I made my northeastern mistake. The mistake, or more accurately assumption was as follows: “Oh, Boren is a busy street, it won’t stick.”
If Boren had been in Providence Rhode Island, I would have been correct. However, as Boren is in Seattle, this normally busy street had slowed down enough for it to cool and the snow to stick. By the time I had reached it the hill I was most concerned about, the one right before Pike Street, there was about a quarter inch of snow on the road and I found myself drifting into the sidewalk… which would have been fine if the pick up in front of me hadn’t done the exact same thing. For the next hour as we waited for our bosses and the police to show up, we watched the same accident repeat itself over and over again. Finally as an act of good samaritanism and a way to fight boredom we stood at the top of the hill, flagging people down so they wouldn’t make the same mistake.
My point is Seattleites just can’t handle the stuff. We don’t get it enough to even know how to handle the basics, like having the right amount of snow on the road, or even putting down sand. If we have more than one storm and a couple of flurries, it is going to be a very interesting couple of months.
A few thoughts on Yuki-Onna. One of the recurring themes I enjoy experimenting on in my illustrations is translating traditional folklore and mythology into a modern setting. Now there is more to this then just dressing the mythical figure in the current fashions and placing it into a modern setting. For this exercise to truly work you have to look at that figure’s motif and function and then figure out how that function translates into our modern viewpoint. Which brings us to Yuki-Onna.
In the original traditions she is a terror to all who have to go out into the mountain forests in the dead of winter, people like wood cutters or mountain climbers. But this is where the translation works well. As scary as she was in the past, the Snow Woman would be the ultimate nightmare to those poor desperate ones who have to sleep beneath a doorway in the alleyway of a northern inner city.