Snow can’t ruin Christmas spirit

  • By Andrea Miller Enterprise features editor
  • Tuesday, December 30, 2008 11:47am

I can imagine 20 or 30 years from now that I will be telling my nieces and nephews about the Christmas Week Storms of ‘08.

Those of us living in the north end of Snohomish County got hit pretty hard. At its worst we measured two-and-a-half feet of snow in our front yard. There’s still about a foot slowly melting out there as I write.

I say that because I’ve been essentially snowbound here at home most of the last week and a half, which was good timing, since I was taking vacation for Christmas.

As Christmas approached and it became clearer that no one was going anywhere for, a sort of melancholy settled over the household. It’s just my husband, myself and two cats we semi-seriously refer to as our children.

This was the first time in both our lives — let’s just say that’s roughly 40 years apiece — that we have not been able to spend Christmas with our families. We have an extended family that lives as far north as Skagit County and as far south as Pierce County — we won’t mention the parts of our families that live in Montana and Oregon.

To top that off, we made the pleasant discovery that we’ll need to spend about $6,000 on a new furnace. The roof over the back patio began to buckle. Oh yes, and then there’s the nearly three weeks of garbage and recycling piling up in our carport. All of which put an additional bit of a damper on our holiday spirit.

But despite the unprecedented snow, the dying furnace, a collapsing patio roof and piles of stinky garbage, we did manage to have a merry little Christmas.

We got creative and decided to amuse ourselves and our distant family and friends by making a silly video Christmas card.

Then as we watched news coverage of the storms, we began to realize that we were lucky we only lost power for about two hours during that entire week of storms. The patio roof remained intact, unlike many other structures around the area. The furnace chugged along and kept us warm.

And our neighbors reminded us of the simple things we should be thankful for — rides to the grocery store, exchanges of homemade baked goods and an enterprising teenager who brought his family’s tractor down the road and cleared people’s driveways.

Come Christmas morning, there wasn’t much under the tree. But there really didn’t have to be this year. We had all the essentials. While family and friends may have been distant in the physical sense, they certainly were in our hearts.

Andrea Miller is features editor for the Enterprise.

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