|thrifted-yarn wool mittens in progress|
Portland shuts down when an inch of snow falls. Cars lie askew, abandoned on streets. Evening commutes double or triple in length. Because snow is relatively rare here, unlike rain, it's imprudent to spend tax money on an entire fleet of snow plows and sanders. It's also a much wetter, heavier snow here than in much of the dry West, often with a combination of freezing rain. (And I know this because I grew up in the high desert of southeastern Oregon where it snows regularly.) Most Portlanders don't own snow shovels or understand the importance of shoveling driveways and sidewalks before snow turns into compacted ice. Instead, we'd rather use the occasional snow as an excuse to shut school and stay home, binge-watching Netflix and drinking hot chocolate while knitting mittens. Or wait, is that just me?
I don't knit much anymore, but when I do return to simple projects like these, I remember why I taught myself to knit in the first place (i.e., I needed something to do while my ex played first-person-shooter video games nights and weekends in his "office"). Basically, creating a useful, warm clothing accessory is much more productive than sitting on the sofa for hours not creating a useful, warm accessory. And now my roommate and I can drive up to the mountains this week and play in the deep snow, maybe even trek to and bathe in one of the local hot springs. Now that's a winter break I can subscribe to.