Thursday, January 12, 2006

Hoods Up – Heads Down

We always knew it rained in Oregon (duh!), but this season is setting records. The Northwest (including Northern California) is being pounded by steady, unceasing, incessant, drenching, unrelenting RAIN. Here in The Gorge the old Columbia Highway is closed due to mud and rock slides. The cat driver clearing the road was almost killed when a second slide buried his huge earth mover. This is the road we drove last weekend to show our houseguest the beauty of the region. The Sandy River (two miles away) has flooded and jumped its bank and run amok. Cars are hydroplaning all over Interstate 84. So far the Columbia is contained as it flows by here, but it has reached flood stage about twenty miles downstream. It is vicious out here. A Gore-Tex time indeed.

Here at The Hideaway we are almost high and dry thanks to a good system of sewers and drain pipes and places for the water to go. The covered porch and deck are a godsend. The yard of course is a muddy mess, but it is flat and not sliding anywhere. Once again I have planted myself in a spot that is seemingly impervious to the wild weather. My drive to work does not involve the freeway or any flooded roads (darn!) so I come and go without incident.

Nevertheless, it is damp and discourages outdoor activities. But Princess absolutely loves the lake that falls from the sky and she revels in the rain. Buddy romps and plays the same as in the sunshine. Windy and I are outfitted by Columbia (and some leftover Nike) and venture to the park to throw a soggy tennis ball and let the dogs exercise while we get drenched.

Mt. Hood has stayed hidden and draped in fog and clouds during all this. If you stare at just the right spot in the clouds long enough you can see the image of the mysterious mountain. It is there, anchored firmly against the storm. As are we. Every day as we watch the news we give thanks for our safety and good fortune as others lose their homes. We are blessed.


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