Strange weather contrasts ‘return to normal’ elsewhere
These past couple of weeks were rather strange, weather-wise, even for Oregon. The week before last we actually had our first “short-sleeve weather” days. The 70 degrees were glorious and I was able to get some good weeding done in our big flower bed at the bottom of the hill.
The next day or so, Jim and I had an appointment in town. It was the first time in three days we had gotten in the car to go anywhere. As I walked out into the driveway, I noticed that the hood and top of my dark burgundy-colored car were bright yellow. When I got in the car, I could not even see through the windshield and when I turned on the windshield washer and wipers, yellow streaks formed across the window before finally washing down the side of my car.
I hadn’t realized that the pollen counts had gotten that high. I was going to run it through the carwash in town, but decided against it as I was sure it would just return to its yellow hue in short order. The next morning, our dog, BB, began snuffling through his nose. It wasn’t a cough, but I could tell he was having some respiratory distress. After several “snuffle sessions,” I realized that he, too, had been affected by the yellow shower of pollen. I gave him a Claritin that morning and by the next day, he was much better. I’ve continued his allergy pill each day until we began to have some serious rains, which I knew would stop the pollen barrage for a while, anyway. The ensuing rain was welcome, but not the cold. April showers are one thing when they’re accompanied by some warmer temps, but I’m definitely not a fan of the dips into the 30s and 40s during the day, too.
Then, a couple of days ago, I looked out the window to see snow almost covering the grass. Snow in April? There wasn’t a lot, but a layer of white had definitely replaced the yellow blanket on my car. It lasted until mid-morning before it was gone. I can’t remember a later snow in my almost 80 years in Oregon, but when I looked up the record for Eugene, we didn’t quite get there. The latest snowfall recorded in the Eugene area was on April 29, 1951. I lived in Oregon at the time – Lebanon, Ore. – and I was in the 2nd grade at Queen Anne Grade School. I don’t remember it … kids don’t remember late snowfalls, but I can sure remember the biggest snow we’ve ever had in Oregon. It was in January 1969.
That year, we still owned our homeplace on Lorane Highway where we raised our family, but we had rented it out for a couple of years to move to Monroe. Jim had been transferred to Corvallis to manage the Mayfair Market there. The long drive had become more than he wanted to do each day. We had a lot of snow in Monroe, but at “home,” near Lorane, we were told that we had almost 4 feet of it that January. (It was a record single snowfall in Eugene that year at 47.1” that still stands). It caused havoc. We lost a loafing shed that was attached to our barn, but some of our neighbors had roofs collapse and large trees came down all over the county, some crushing anything in their paths. No one went anywhere for at least three days before the roads could be plowed, but a lot of sleds were hooked up to tractors and Jeeps and even more made sledding slopes on any available hill or incline, including roads. We had to tramp down or dig walkways through the snow in order to get out of the house to do chores. It’s not something native Oregonians west of the Cascades are used to having to do. But, for the most part, it was fun … and definitely memorable.
I hope everyone had an Easter filled with family this year. Things are beginning to feel a bit more “normal.”