Wednesday, December 17, 2008

winter storm blues (and whites)

This is a photo someone took of Newport which is on the Oregon coast. It's the Oregon Coast we're not supposed to get snow... just rain... right..?

I had the worst attitude earlier this week. We came out to Beaverton to stay at Barlow's parents house. His parents are gone and the house is empty most of the time. His mom is Thailand (but coming home soon:) and his dad is working in Boise. So we joke that we have our town house and our beach house. We were going to stay in Beaverton because I would be working in Salem, and Barlow had his finals in Portland. It would take about 3 to 3.5 hours for me to drive to Salem from Rockaway Beach, when we stay in Beaverton it takes about 1 hour. It's really a no-brainer. Well there were really bad storms this weekend and we didn't get to go back to Rockaway because the roads were really bad... and the coast can get some major out of control storms. I was really bummed out because I had such big plans of finishing unpacking (That's right we're still not unpacked) and putting up the Christmas tree... it didn't happen. I'm sure I must have driven Barlow crazy with my bad attitude- I pouted a lot because my plans were ruined!

These are not our pipes of course but I thought it was a good illustration.

Oregon is not prepared to snow, at least not in the Portland/Metro, north coast area. Oregon prepares for rough rainstorms but they don't believe in buying many snow plows. I'm a native Utahn so I have these cold weather expectations that Oregon doesn't meet- things like sanded roads, and insulated pipes. We woke up the morning after our first rough storm last weekend (in Beaverton) and the kitchen faucet wouldn't work. The pipes were frozen, we didn't even know how to access the pipes to thaw them out. All of the rest of the faucets worked fine, but not the kitchen which is near an outside wall. We tried warming up the area under the sink with a space heater, but that didn't work. I called my dad to find out the method of fixing this problem before something broke. He's had a lot of experience fixing things around the house. We had to find a crawl space and try to trace out the pipes then heat them with a heat lamp. So me made an emergency run to home depot (it's the closest) and bought a heat lamp and flash lights. We found a crawl space under the house in the bottom of the downstairs coat closet. The Barlow bravely crawled through the cold wet maze of cobwebs and tried to trace out the pipes. He found one he guessed was the right one and after several yards of extension cord he put the heat lamp on it. (I wish I'd had a camera it was creepy down there... I bravely remained near the entrance not really wanting to venture further). It was so wonderful within about an hour we had running water again. I'm so glad my dad knew the technique and I'm so glad Barlow was brave enough to crawl under the house. I have learned that 'heat tape' is a good investment and so is a heat lamp and we learned how to fix frozen pipes... what a week we've had.


Anyway we were finally able to go back to Rockaway and get some things last night, we left again this morning to stay in Beaverton. We are picking up Barlow's mom from the airport, and it's a lot lot nice for Barlow not to have to commute. It's now snowing again and the roads are not looking too safe, so I think it will still be a little while until we get back to Rockaway.

The road between Rockaway and Beaverton. Barlow still works in Beaverton so the comute could be scary if he had to drive this everyday.

I am having a heck of a time getting things worked out for my Oregon license. They want to track my history over the last 10 years, and they need verification from my past employers. The place I worked for most as a Respiratory Therapist does not share information about my performance. They will verify that I worked there, but nothing more, so now the board wants letters of recommendation from co-workers. I have a lot of co-workers that I got along with great. The problem was that Tillamook is expecting me to start working by Jan 9th and the Medical Board won't be giving my license before Jan 11th. So I'm praying Tillamook can be patient. I don't know what to do, I've tried my best to stay on top of everything, and meet their requests... it's just been very difficult.

As you can see I've been wallowing in self despair, and not at all into the Christmas spirit. My goal is to do better this week. I plan on being happy upbeat and all that other sugar plum stuff by next post...I feel much better after venting here...

Hoping that everyone is traveling safe in this crazy weather.


exclusive_remedy said...

Oh Lex - you are having a rough time. But never fear, things will work out. I agree about the Oregon snow thing - it is very frustrating. Oh well I guess, it is an adventure. As for my hand, Jasmine said she thought I needed stitches, I on the other hand, think it will be fine. Might not be the prettiest scar, but it will be fine. It was good seeing you the other day. Miss you guys. Talk to you later.

Sunnishine said...

Sorry about the board... so many hoops so little time.
Just keep pressing on. You will get there and Tillamook better hold out for you because you are worth it!

katie said...

Lex-you are wonderful. Hang in there, I guess we have been thinking along the same lines lately. Thanks for your great attitude (even when you think its not).love katie

The Poll Family said...

First off, I'm impressed with your husband's super crawl space/thaw out frozen pipes skills! That's awesome that he was able to do that and yes, BRAVE of him to go through the crawl space!! Secondly, hang in there! Everyone's entitled to their crappy weeks every once and awhile ;) Things will get better! Everything will work out...until then go enjoy a yummy dessert of sorts and watch a good movie!! Be safe out there on those roads!!

Amaree Chloee said...

Winter seems to just make everyone feel crappy. And you normally wouldn't have to deal with the snow, and that just makes winter worse. I totally understand, and Barlow definately gets gold star stickers for climbing under the house! Good luck with the board stuff! Jumping through hoops can really get you down too. We will keep you in our prayers, and everything will work out somehow!