Snow days…I used to sneer at Oregon snow days: “In New Hampshire, we eat snow like this for breakfast.” Or “I’ve driven in much worse weather than this—a foot of snow doesn’t stop me.” Or “Even The Ark can cruise through an inch of snow.” But now, I love it. I’ve been out on the roads often enough with Oregon drivers to see the wisdom of closing down the world for two inches of snow and slush; I’m even MORE worried on cold clear mornings, when they think Black Ice is a damp roadbed. I’m staying home today. I’ll drink tea from my new Dogwood patterned tea cup, wash some clothes, and set the sleeve on my new sweater. Maybe make some yougurt and take a walk. Talk to the cats, who will be restless when the fascination of falling snow wears off. NOT grade papers or plan, but be thankful that I am not exposed to the very nasty flu that is traveling the halls of CHS. A snow day is a gift from the weather gods, to be embraced and treasured. Snow Day….
Corvallis has a tradition of Citizen Involvement, which means, when you are feeling positive, that city officials listen to the folks who live and pay taxes here before making decisions—and when you are cynical, that they allow the peasants to testify before going ahead with the plans they have already confirmed. Either way you look at it—and my opinion shifts, day to day—I’ve been testifying quite a bit lately. No matter where you are, the ritual is always the same—officials sitting behind a long table in front of the crowd, speakers facing the official people, with the entire group staring at their backs while they talk, a nervous line clutching notes on one side. You step up to the microphone, sign in, and speak. Time limit—three minutes. If you are good, the officials ask questions. If you ramble, they look through the piles of papers in front of them. Waiting in line is nervewracking. Testifying, once I have stated my name and address as incantation, is fun. I like to drop a phrase or two into the discussion and see if it takes off. “Party bay” for garage, “Mega-parties” that are “too big to fail,” “late adolescents” rather than students…I really like to answer questions, or, if allowed, to ask them. Afterwards, as you climb over others on your way back to your seat, people smile at you. “Nice job,” they whisper in the pause while the next speaker signs in. Then we all turn to listen to the next in line.