In the Inland Northwest we get four actual seasons of weather. Each season is unique with its own traits. Spring is when our world begins to awaken and is revitalized with new life. Summer is a time of growth and abundance. Fall is spectacular when the bushes and leaf trees turn shades of yellow, orange and red. Winter brings a time of quiet and rest.
Winter can bring with it extremes. There have been years where it will start to snow and it will just keep snowing. A couple of years ago, we were getting a fluffy snow and it was adding up to a foot a day. After several days of snow we were getting overwhelmed. Buildings were buckling from the weight of all the snow accumulation. Threats of rain had people scrambling to get their roofs shoveled off. Businesses in the cities were taken by surprise when the flat construction of their buildings gave way to the weight of the snow and collapsed. Snow can be light and fluffy and can sparkle like glitter. But snow can also be heavy. I have heard people who’ve never been around snow say that they didn’t think it would have any weight to it!
The snow provides a layer of insulation, which is nice when our temperatures start plummeting. Our thermometers can drop to the teens and single digits. Sometimes dropping below zero. Once it gets that cold out, everything freezes. When things get so cold and soaked, car doors will freeze shut and batteries have a harder time starting vehicles. Pipes in your home can freeze and burst. Animals do all they can to conserve energy and stay warm. It is a dangerous time for animals and people. One time my husband worked with a man who had moved to our area from California. This man was here during a winter when we had record low temperatures. He said that he had thought the minus sign in front of the degrees was a joke!
When you are prepared for it and have the automobiles, your home, yourself and your animals protected it can be a beautiful time. There is abundant beauty! Trees become sculptures with their frozen boughs and gnarled branches. Fences get coated with ice and snow. The river banks get icy and at times the surface can freeze over. Lakes freeze with smaller ones becoming nearly solid. Drops of water become long icicles that hang from the rooftops.
One thing that I always do in this type of weather is freeze my freshly laundered linens. Years ago, my mother-in-law told me about freezing her sheets. I laughed and thought she was kidding. She wasn’t, she was serious and excited! She told me that when you wash your sheets and let them hang outside to freeze, a special thing happens. The sheets get an incredible smell. I still thought she was joking, but she told me to try it. I did and I was amazed. The smell really is incredible! It is like the smell of rain only better. Fresh frozen laundry! Does anyone else do this or have you heard of it???