Thursday, February 18, 2021

The Big Freeze

We are completely frozen in, something that rarely happens here in Portland anymore. We are quite comfortable with the furnace and the fireplace. Food a plenty we have nothing to complain about. Our eldest son and his family have been without power for the entire weekend and not expected to get power until late Monday. I asked if they would like to come here as we have more than enough room for everyone but my son and daughter-in-law are closer to work from their house than they would be from ours. So they are toughing it out, cooking on a portable camp stove and keep a fire burning in the fireplace.


Last Thursday evening the temperature dropped significantly, then the wind started howling and shortly after it started snowing and never stopped the rest of the evening and all day Friday.  The wind remained pounding keeping this old gardener inside. I don't mind working in rain or snow but toss in any sort of wind and I'm inside.  Saturday morning was a beautiful winter wonderland for all the neighborhood children and a few adults dragging sleds and disks to the hill in the local park a short way from Menagerie Manor. We actually bundled up and took Roxy for a short walk. She seemed to enjoy the quiet snow filled streets. 

After our little walk it was time to get MeMa back inside by the fire with Roxy snuggled down next to her. I was concerned about our mail carrier trying to deliver mail with our front porch frozen with a thick layer of ice. The old chicken house had a stock of Ice Melt that I would have to work hard to get to as everything was layered in ice. There was a good foot of snow that had to be cleared from the pathways and to get the gate to swing open. 

It was hard but enjoyable work as there was no wind so I was able to finally get the Ice Melt out and get the front porch cleared for safe foot traffic. 

The greenhouse had a good layer of snow and ice on the roof, always a worry of collapse I was able to knock most of it off. 

Thankfully there are no birds in the aviary

The Koi pond was so covered in ice and snow but I could hear water running back into the pond from the filter. I was able to slice a chunk of ice out of the ice in order to allow gasses to escape. 

The next morning after breakfast I went out and started removing a narrow path from the driveway which is covered in 8 inches of snow. I decided to try and get just a cars width cleared but the snow was covered in a thick layer of ice which was making this job very daunting. MeMa has to be at the hospital tomorrow and this stuff was not melting quick enough on its own.

Our wonderful neighbors herd me chipping away and soon arrived with shovels and really set to work.

It was less than an hour and the entire drive had a good clear path for us to leave. I thanked them and went in to check on MeMa. As I entered the parlor MeMa pointed at the "army" of neighbors clearing ice and snow from our front walkways and porch. It literally brought tears to our eyes, they are truly wonderful neighbors and just knowing we will be able to get to the hospital helped remove some of the stress.

The next day we drove out to the hospital so MeMa could undergo surgery to remove one of the four lymph nodes.  When we arrived our eldest son was waiting for us to wish his Mother good luck. He and his family are one of the three hundred thousand Oregonians who have no power or heat. After I got MeMa checked in I had to leave do to Covid restrictions so I took my son out for lunch. We had an enjoyable visit and then headed back to the hospital parking lot were we said goodby so he could head home and get things ready for work the next day. I, of course was not alone, Miss Roxy is my willing companion on these hospital visits. When the waiting gets to me then we take a good walk around the grounds.

Surgery went well, removing one of four lymph nodes with cancer. This one will tell them what form of lymphoma and the course of treatment that will follow. As I type this last entry the warm Oregon rain has returned helping to melt this frozen country.


  1. The snow looks very pretty "sitting here in the warmth". Your wonderful neighbours clearing your driveway brought tears to my eyes. Glad the surgery went well. Hope the news is good.

  2. I am so thankful you have such wonderful neighbors.
    Once in the old house we were without power for five or six days. We heated by the fireplace, though we had the gas stove for food--and coffee in the camping pot.

    1. I am so thankful, we are one of the few neighborhoods that did not lose power.

  3. Bless your neighbors, Doc.
    Still praying for you all.
    We have more ice than snow here. Two more freezing nights and we are supposed to start warming to more normal February temperatures.
    God bless you all, Doc.

    1. Linda, hope you get to move into your new home soon.

  4. How good it is to have such neighbors, you probably deserve good people to be around you.

  5. It looks beautiful around the place. I had forgotten what it looked like. Hope MeMa is back home as we speak. I'm so glad you didn't lose power. It was 4F this morning and encased in snow and ice. Then, a big fracking earthquake that lasted quite a while. Oh spring, come soon.