A fine cooking was had, all assembled for dinner, and we watched it snow on the empty river in lieu of the cancelled boat parade, which was the original point of getting together tonight. (The folks have a very nice riverfront view from their condo.) Coming back, however... It took about forty minutes to make the less than two mile trip.
Mother of the Child and I were in two cars, because we'd come over separately. We caravanned back. ODOT is requiring chains on all state highways this evening, which includes most of the major through streets around here. In the five hours my car had been parked, it picked up about another four inches of snow. I think maybe eight inches on the ground at this point — which is more snow than everything I've seen in my nine years here put together. No plows, no sand trucks, few people with the right equipment or experience for driving in it.
It was an idiotfest all the way back. I couldn't drive over 20 mph because the chains started banging. (I'd checked them twice earlier, nothing loose, just, well, chains.) Some pedestrians were having a party in the northbound lane of 17th just south of Ochoco. Basically, a roadblock on a dark snowbound stretch of road. Everybody with a 4WD was out to prove they're Mario Andretti, even now. Then Mother of the Child (who was leading me) stopped and picked up a hitchhiker.
the_child wanted me to call her. Which no way was I going to do under these conditions. MotC pulled into a gas station 1/4 mile down the road, so I pulled in. She'd picked up some kid who said he'd been mugged and needed a ride to Clackamas Town Center. (Maybe a mile and half the far side of Nuevo Rancho Lake from where we were at that moment.) No way I'm letting her ride around with some strange dude in the car, so we swapped passengers — she took the_child, I took this dude.
This guy had had a hard day, that much was obvious, and I think he'd been drinking. I let him use my phone to call his dad, got him over to the mall. MotC followed me over, in case something bad happened. The extra driving was enough for the wipers to crust over so badly that running them only smeared the windshield even worse. By the time I finally got home I had an eight inch triangle of visibility in my windshield. My parents were getting twitchy because we'd never called in safe. And I'm exhausted. Another whiteknuckle night, in the name of Good Samaritanism, but, wow. What a night for it. And Ghu am I tired.
I am going nowhere tomorrow. Maybe not even getting out of bed.
|Originally published at jlake.com.|