Bob SpiwakBy Bob Spiwak

I have been hearing that today (Dec. 2) is Cyber Monday. It seems that every day must now have some commercial cutesy tag on it throughout our great nation. Nonetheless, I will call it Butt Freeze Overture Day not only to give it a non-commercial slant, but also to anticipate zero degrees still forecast for Wednesday night.

The TV has also been harping on fewer days to shop this year than in the past during the holiday season. That means limited time to get your donations of money and/or gifts to the jar or big box at the Mazama Store for Neighbors Helping Neighbors. Whether a small toy for some child’s Christmas tree (or Hanukkah bush) or cash for the family, dip in and count your own blessings. These need be donated early this month, as the donations have to be sorted, wrapped, bought and distributed by the dedicated volunteers at Neighbors Helping Neighbors.

Eric Burr, our peripatetic nature watcher, sent us a report that they had 5 inches of snow near Lost River, there were 7 inches at Freestone and 18 inches at Cutthroat Lake, where the skiing was fine. Being a non-skier I am in awe of anyone skiing from Highway 20 to the lake.

Speaking of snow, Ms. Gloria came across a copy of this newspaper from last year and therein was the illustrated Mazama Store flag raising ceremony on Veterans Day. That would make it Nov. 11, and there was what appears to be a couple of inches of snow on the ground. That ought to answer the annual query, “is this usual November weather?” Ain’t no usual here.

More about the Mazama Store. That landmark edifice will be hosting its annual holiday open house on Dec. 15, from 3 – 6 p.m. There will be free samples of baked goods and a goodly number of locals vending their arts and crafts. It’s called “Christmas at the Very End of the Road,” and as of this writing the state transportation department will assess Washington Pass to determine if the road ought be shut down for the season. My bet is that it will be, and Mazama again will be the very end of the road.

I donned my big downy coat and sat outside Saturday night from about 6:20 to 7 p.m., taking in the night air under an overcast sky from which I hoped I would be snowed upon, and listened to the occasional ca-rumpp of Winthrop’s fireworks show. Half an hour later the parade of cars began driving past headed westward. After a few minutes, I regretted not setting up a car count because while the vehicles were out of sight, the earshot count seemed close to that of Labor Day or Memorial Day traffic heading out of the valley.