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OUTBACK OBSERVATIONS: White Christmases

December 18, 2013 by

White Christmases are one of those iconic holiday motifs that are quite elusive, depending on where you may call home.

My old stomping grounds would fall into that category of ‘rare,’ where the imagery conjured up by Bing Crosby in the best-selling song of all time (as I’m to understand it).  The central Willamette Valley, which houses Eugene, home of the University of Oregon and hippies (depending on what you tend to think of first, Eugene’s got them both), is also know for relatively temperate (when compared to Lake County) weather that, at its worst, is cold and rainy.

So, as a result, I have very few memories of Christmases that had that cold, white stuff on the ground.  The few I do recall only could be deemed ‘white’ in the most academic and descriptive purpose.  It was more like a ‘Leftover Snow’ Christmas, but that doesn’t roll off the tongue quite as easily, you know?

It was still memorable, regardless of how one decided to argue semantics.

In those years, of course, I didn’t have to drive around in it; I had personal chauffeurs for that sort of thing and they just happened to go by the names of ‘Mom’ and ‘Dad.’  Those were the days.

I remember, vividly, peeking out the living room drapes or out the dinky window in the front door, watching millions of snowflakes twirling their way to earth in the incandescent glow of the streetlamps.  The streets, driveway, sidewalks and world beyond our house were covered in a smooth landscape not at all unlike a Thomas Kincake painting, and I think that was my favorite moment; that first viewing in which everything was untouched and perfect.

In the last eight-and-a-half years, I’ve seen  two or three ‘white Christmases’ here in Lakeview.  The first was in 2005, but was that ‘leftover’ snow referenced earlier.  Christmas Eve 2009, however, saw the most incredible fresh powder snow fall upon the town that I’d ever seen.

It seriously felt as if finally all there was a moment to justify all those countless Christmas specials in which there was always snow on the ground on Christmas Eve.  Seems that we got a good solid 10 inches of snow by the time Christmas morning came around, and it was an absolutely majestic sight.

Last year saw a similar situation, where the snow started coming around just prior to Christmas Eve, so by the time Christmas Day arrived my fate was sealed: I wasn’t going to be traveling anywhere this holiday.

It worked out fine, though.  Cup upon cup of egg nog got consumed handily, my lap served as a warm haven for both of my feline pals, Carl and Fluffy and the DVD player screened a steady stream of Christmas movies as the white stuff continued to fall throughout the day.

I’d love to see another white Christmas one of these days, just like the ones I used to know.  This is a good time of year to get reacquainted.

— Ryan Bonham

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