By Bob Spiwak
Monday morning, and it’s like a breath of spring. Rain is falling, dense fog is about 300 feet overhead, and the temperature is 35 degrees after several days lurking above and below 40. Where are the robins?
Up at Harts Pass, there was no report of snow depth yet today, but the snow/water equivalent, as it’s called, is at 14.9 inches, about halfway to the 1990 maximum of 31.5 inches, based on 16.3 inches of precipitation. “Real” spring at this rate could be interesting in rivers and creeks.
But hey, it’s almost Christmas. To that end (no pun), “Christmas at The Very End of the Road,” a Mazama Store tradition, will begin at 3 p.m. on Sunday (Dec. 14) and go until 6 p.m. There will be artists and crafts people displaying and selling their wares, free lattes, snack foods and other goodies from the bakery along with tastings from Lost River Winery, Blue Star Coffee and Six Knot Ciders. Lots of fun, lots of lights and other entrees to the big day.
We wish the best of good wishes to Sam and Virginia King, down in Eugene, Oregon. Virginia has suffered a setback in her health and we hope she’ll soon be back to the bright and smiling lady we know. They spend the warm season in Edelweiss.
Again, a reminder to consider Neighbors Helping Neighbors when at the Mazama Store, and various places around the valley. There are collection points for cash and products, for both food and toys for this worthy endeavor of The Cove, with the proceeds going entirely to those in various degrees of need. The numbers have increased this year after the floods and fires and any donation large or small would be helpful and appreciated.
I had a telephone conversation with a customer service person at Consumer Cellular a few days ago. When verifying who I was, I had to give my cell phone number and I recited the numbers, emphasizing the 9 as “niner” (military speak.) The guy, Robert, asked what branch of the service I had been in and I responded with U.S. Air Force. I returned the query about military service and he said he was an ex-Marine, recently back from Afghanistan.
“Tough duty,” I said. He agreed, but in a surprising response. He said it was bad, especially the weather, continuing that there were three seasons over there, “Hot, hotter, and hotter than hell.” The worst he saw was 135 degrees.
He asked where I had been stationed and when. I told him it was the Korean War and I was on a small post on the U.S. border with Alberta and
Saskatchewan, and it got plenty hot there, adding that worse than the heat was the cold. Thirty below was not unusual. He countered with a four-day tour he had in Kurdistan where one day the thermometer was minus 50 degrees. “We were living in tents, but they kept them pretty warm,” he said.
It is not very often one gets customer service people so friendly and interesting, and this was underscored by my previous call to an Internet store which was a disaster of trying to decipher a person who barely spoke English. Robert also made me feel a measure of shame for complaining about how cold it was last week.
And nobody was shooting at me.