Tuesday, December 23, 2008
This week the San Juan Islands have "enjoyed" the rare essence of Christmas known and loved by young and old- snow. Winter on the islands tends to provide locals with a closure to the inherent cycle of beauty, a respite from the hustle and bustle of the summer months and the chance to recharge the battery pack that generates energy, fire, and stamina for the year to come. Winter can bring solitude but with it comes a sense of peace- and the beauty offered up by the quiet snowfall certainly adds to that allure!
The first now brushed the island on December 14th and it certainly has not let up since then. Snow kept many islanders hunkered down in warm homes over the weekend and the early part of this week, as storms continued to blanket the region. I do not have an accurate total of inches, but in our daily hikes it looks as thought the west side may have about 7 inches, and we're expecting more this evening. Now seven inches of snow in areas prepared for snow is "just another day." But we know that Island living adds a whole new meaning to such descriptors. Snowfall, icy conditions and lots of freezing cold winds have kept the islands shrouded in a beautiful but dangerous wintery wonderland. SEATAC and the eastern side of Washington took the brunt of the storm, but brunt also gets redefined when there are just a few plows on an island covered in snow. Add to the limited number of plows the tendency to stockpile the limited amount of sand we have here- and you begin to get the picture. Poor road crews- they could barely stay on the roads themselves to deliver the greatly needed traction!
Still, I just love this time of year. When we moved from Maryland back in 2005, we were told by the locals "that we never get snow on the Islands." Hmmm... In 2006, our second winter on the Island, we woke up to nearly 17 inches of "never" on our deck. We had not even brought a snow shovel for the move! Shortly thereafter, Mother Nature deposited another 9 inches- and so the stage was set- snow most certainly does fall on the Islands. And we learned, NEVER say NEVER. Another thing we've learned? Take it all in stride, welcome the respite and embrace the beauty of snow sitting on a beach brushed by waves.
Some pics from the week- pretty limited but driving has been questionable at best! Enjoy and happy holidays!!!