Merry Christmas From Snowed-In Oregon


I really, really love snow. Snow makes the world seem magically Narnian, quiet and beautiful. It creates an other-worldly appearance to everything and is so peaceful. But snow has its drawbacks and today I’m an expert in that area.

We’ve been snowed in our home just outside Portland for the better part of 10 days now, and it’s beginning to wear on us. We have over a foot and a half in our driveway and street right now (the picture above was taken when we only had a few inches). Portland seems to have no snowplows so, beyond the major freeways, the roads are slick and full of drifts. Thankfully we have four-wheel drive on our Outback so we’ve been able to get to the grocery store when needed. All our planned Christmas parties were canceled though and we haven’t had church for two weeks. I admit to some major grumpiness, mostly directed at my husband. So in an effort to get myself in more of the Christmas spirit, I’ve decided to list why I’m THANKFUL for being snowed-in. Here goes:

  1. Being forced to slow down. The usual hustle-and-bustle of Christmas time has been replaced with family time. Lots of family time.
  2. Planned gatherings replaced with impromptu ones. We had a spontaneous Christmas potluck with our neighbors last weekend when the snow started. We all brought what we had on hand and enjoyed an evening of laughter and stories. This afternoon we’ll walk two houses down so Grace can play with her little friend Braylon and us moms can catch up.
  3. Snowshoeing! Yesterday we dug out our snowshoes and trekked to the grocery store more than a mile away. Many pedestrians in sneakers were quite envious.
  4. Potty-training. It wasn’t really on our radar yet but, with all this time stuck inside, we decided to give it a try. 22-month old Grace pooped in the potty for the first time today. That’s a reason to celebrate!
  5. A reminder of the true meaning of Christmas. The first Christmas wasn’t comfortable or convenient. It was messy, probably cold and definitely uncomfortable. Mary had Baby Jesus in a barn. My inconveniences and boredom are nothing compared to what she and Joseph endured. I vow right here and now to stop complaining and to focus instead on the gift of being warm, comfortable and with the people I love most in the world.

Merry Christmas to you and your family!


Grace is mystified by all the white stuff everywhere




  1. Angie said,

    December 23, 2008 at 6:59 pm

    Go Grace! We need to get her chatting with Asher about how that pooping in the potty stuff works! How fun that you went snow shoeing with a purpose. Brings back good memories of my snow shoeing experience in Oregon! :)

  2. Becky Manderscheid said,

    December 27, 2008 at 6:19 pm

    Beth — thanks for the reminder. I, too, have been a little grumpy about the cold weather. Your fifth point about the first Christmas being neither comfortable or convenient especially struck home since I spent Christmas being sick and at my in-laws (which was lovely, but we all know it’s nicer to be home when not feeling well). Anyway, thanks for the encouraging reminder to be grateful!

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