Sunday, January 16, 2005

Permission to Putter

Afghan Yarn
Originally uploaded by Rozanne.
It has become clear to me that what constitutes "bad weather" to the average Portlander wouldn't even merit comment in the Midwestern frost pocket where I grew up. As a kid, I often woke up on dark winter mornings to find the thermometer hovering at a frigid minus 20 degrees F (and I'm not even taking into account windchill). I wasn't happy about it, but I stoically zipped myself into my snowmobile suit, wiggled my feet into my dorkola moon boots, pulled on my balaclava, loaded 40 newspapers on my bike, and delivered them. If there happened to be two feet of freshly fallen snow--as there quite often was--I pushed the bike and plowed my way up to the doorstep of each house on my paper route. All this before school--before breakfast, actually.

By cracky! Kids these days just have no idea. And neither do most Portlanders. On Friday, the temperature here was about 30 and 15 mph winds howled out of the Gorge. People complained bitterly. On Saturday we had an "ice storm," that is, light rain fell intermittently throughout the day and turned to ice. It made roads and sidewalks slippery and hazardous, but it didn't deserve to be called a storm.

We're just a bunch of wussies here, that's all. I'm no exception. Within a year of moving to the Pacific Northwest, I lost all ability to tolerate temperatures below 40 degrees. And when we got that freak snowstorm last year, I nearly went out of my head with cabin fever. I really don't know how to explain such a rapid decline in coping ability, but there it is.

Actually, I couldn't be happier that we have had an entire weekend of so-called bad weather. It gave me permission to stay inside and putter. All those errands I should have run? Too dangerous to go out--even on foot. Instead, I caught up on some e-mail; did a tiny bit of housecleaning; had a nice chat with my sister on the phone; baked a loaf of bread; watched a DVD of Mike Leigh's Grown Ups (I recommend it highly), and hung out with B and Rusty. And--have no fear--I worked on the huge-ass afghan project, which is now 10/182nds complete.

The photo at the top of the page is a picture of the yarn I'm using. The colors look pretty true on my monitor, but they might not on yours. They're jewel tones more or less: ruby red, sapphire, emerald green, gold, and bronze (which might look kind of brown, but, trust me, it is a cool sort of bronzy patina color). I'm also going to be making some black squares, but the yarn store was out of black. They tell me it is the most popular color and that the yarn company can't dye the wool black fast enough. This sounds spurious to me. Haven't they heard of black sheep? Anyway, just use your powers of imagination to add a black skein into the mix. I photographed the skeins on B's hideous chair--their final destination--so you can see what a huge benefit to humanity it will be to have an afghan tossed over that eyesore.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Storm Weenies. That is what Tracy and I have affectionately started calling people in the NW. I grew up here and I still say the valley is full of Storm Weenies.

The other really irritating thing is the 24 hour news coverage on how ice is slippery.

And So It Goes

10:47 AM  
Blogger Sharon said...

I love the colors you are using in your project. I talked myself out of ordering yarn etc. online but when I make my next trip to the big city, may come back with yarn and hooks.

My blood is Texas thin so I will continue with my weenie ways in cold, snowy, icy, Neb.

12:15 PM  
Blogger Rozanne said...


The thing is--a lot of these storm weenies are transplants from places where there was actual bonafide stormy weather. I just don't know what happens to people.


You are allowed to be a weenie. The weather in Nebraska is legitimately something to complain about--even for those who are born and bred there. Brrr. Single digits and windchill. Do go out and buy some yarn and hooks--it will make the crappy weather more bearable.

1:01 PM  
Blogger Cagey said...

Love the colors you have chosen!

re: Midwest storms - I just try to look 'em in the eye and realize they occur to make me appreciate August summers when the heat climbs to over 100. Sigh. Oddly enough, when my sister lived in Hawaii, she actually missed the extreme seasons and got bored with even, albeit humid, temperatures.

3:31 PM  
Blogger Rozanne said...


You have that Midwestern toughness/resignation--and I mean that as a compliment. All us tranplanted Midwesterners seem to have turned into a bunch of whining cry babies.

6:01 PM  

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