It was coming down in a torrent of frying pan flakes. The air was heating up even as the earth was on its way to the dark side. We were fixed at the window watching it pile up on the back deck. I put out a fancy blue T square ruler which metered the rising drift edging to thirteen inches. This was the fifth day of cold and snow, and it turned out that the fifth was the last. Five days was enough. I had to get out.
Even though it was warming up, the snow was still cold and dry. People wandered the streets in a general state of marvel. A tiny parade of two marched down the middle of 29th street a few blocks from home. A young woman in a bright red hat under a Seattle Times golf umbrella, holding a bright blue insulated mug was shouting, “This hasn’t happened since nineteen thirty two!” She led a young man step for step while he formed a snowball behind her. He was silent, but amused, and he glanced toward me with a smile.
It’s true this sort of weather is rare enough around here to warrant such a startled cry of amazement. To them, young and probably new to the city, this really was news.
The story of snow in the Pacific Northwest made headlines around the world, but it is melting away. But now the story is of mud and the threat of landslides across the whole of Puget Sound, and that has not happened here, at that scale, since nineteen thirty two.