Wednesday Vignette – the perfect storm

This winter, Portland has experienced more winter weather than the previous two years combined. So far, the kids have missed an entire week of school, followed by a national holiday celebrating Martin Luther King Jr.  On MLK Day, we decided to brave the still mostly unplowed city streets only because we had studded tires. We ventured up to the mountain to go skiing. Funny enough, as soon as we passed through the outer suburbs, we realized that the snow that had crippled Portland for a week was incredibly localized. There was very little snow beyond, and the roads were clear until we got to the elevations where you normally start seeing snow again.


From the slopes, we could see the top of Mt Hood, capped in a caldera-shaped cloud. A fellow snow worshipper told us that those types of clouds indicate more stormy weather.


The snow was perfectly groomed. Grand expanses of perfect corduroy entertained us. Oddly, few others were here on this glorious bluebird day – we almost had the slopes to ourselves. The ribbing left by the Snowcats the night before was still there through the afternoon. It was a truly luxurious day.


As the day drew to a close, and the sun had started to set, I looked over at the mountain top again. The previously tidy cap had grown substantially, and assumed a swirling motion. I zoomed in, and snapped this shot, right before my phone died, and less than an hour before the sun disappeared.

The great irony is, that here we were, on the day devoted to the memory and legacy of one of the greatest heroes of the American Civil Rights Movement, only days before one of the most contentious scum bags ever elected, is sworn into the US Presidency. A fresh coating of ice on top of the one already existing, is promised with this storm. As I write this, it is raining, temperatures are hovering around freezing, last week’s snow cover remains on the ground, and schools have not been called off for another day – not yet. As for my embattled garden, it has most definitely taken a hit in the two storms we’ve had so far. With more coming, it’s easy to see its parallel drama unfold in our society. With a presidency built on hate, privilege, oppression, racism, sexism, gay bashing, and outright mockery of those with disabilities, we are in for a few  years of national soul searching. As with my garden, my trust and hope lies with the resiliency of life and those living in it, along with policies and actions that reflect its diversity. We’re going to need a lot of grass roots action in the years to come. We need more leaders with the courage, compassion and intellect like Martin Luther King.  As for school – we’re still waiting for that call.

About annamadeit

I was born and raised in Sweden, By now, I have lived almost as long in the United States. The path I’ve taken has been long and varied, and has given me a philosophical approach to life. I may joke that I’m a sybarite, but the truth is, I find joy and luxury in life’s simple things as well. My outlook on life has roots in a culture rich in history and tradition, and I care a great deal about environmental stewardship. Aesthetically, while drawn to the visually clean, functional practicality and sustainable solutions that are the hallmarks of modern Scandinavia, I also have a deep appreciation for the raw, the weathered, and the worn - materials that tell a story. To me, contrast, counterpoint, and diversity are what makes life interesting and engaging. Color has always informed everything I do. I’m a functional tetrachromat, and a hopeless plantoholic. I was originally trained as an architect working mostly on interiors, but soon ventured outside - into garden design. It’s that contrast thing again… An interior adrift from its exterior, is like a yin without a yang. My firm conviction that everything is connected gets me in trouble time and time again. The world is a big place, and full of marvelous distractions, and offers plentiful opportunities for inquiry and exploration. I started writing to quell my constant queries, explore my discoveries, and nurture my curiosity. The Creative Flux was started in 2010, and became a catch-all for all kinds of intersecting interests. The start of Flutter & Hum at the end of 2013 marks my descent into plant nerd revelry. I occasionally contribute to other blogs, but those two are my main ones. For sure, topics are all over the map, but then again - so am I! Welcome to my blogs!
This entry was posted in Wednesday Vignette and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to Wednesday Vignette – the perfect storm

  1. Tina says:

    National soul searching–indeed! And yes, we will all need to resist where we can: calling and writing our representatives, daily if necessary (my particular form of needling); marching; financially supporting groups we believe in and whatever else we can think of. Death by a thousand cuts to incompetence and nastiness and scam.

    All that said, those a beautiful shots!

    • annamadeit says:

      Amen to that, Tina! Death by a thousand cuts – what a great phrase. We already know there will be at least a thousand cuts to the country as we know it. Although, I hope by the time his time in office is up, he and his cohort will only have managed to inflict injury – not death.

  2. Peter/Outlaw says:

    A beautiful calm day below and what appears to be turbulent change at the top of the mountain are an interesting contrast. Food for thought. Looks like Portland schools are two hours late today. Oh well, the vacation had to end sometime.

    • annamadeit says:

      Trust me, I’m still waiting for that call – those poor school officials are under so much pressure to open up schools again. But, quite honestly, the roads in our part of town are still covered in a thick sheet of ice and compacted snow, since they were never plowed. And, with the new rain, they are even more slick than yesterday. They really should call for one more day. IMHO.

  3. I hope you got your snow day call, Anna. I’m glad you had a chance to make use of all that beautiful snow on MLK Day too. I share your apprehensions about the political scene. I’m scheduled to walk in one of the “sister marches” scheduled for Saturday. It may rain here, which sadly seems fitting. Here’s my WV post:

    • annamadeit says:

      You mean you might get rain on your parade??? Well Kris – that’s FABULOUS!!! (And, I really mean that. 🙂 ) I’m marching on Saturday, too. Knitted a couple of pink pussy hat while being cooped up inside this weekend. Still no call – just a two hour delay. So, kids are getting ready now. It was a nice extra vacation, but I’m ready for normalcy to return.

  4. FlowerAlley says:

    You made me spit coffee. I am reading along about snow and WHAM, the term “scum bag ” appears. Yes, we are headed into a new calibration period. Pay attention, do what you can, but don’t poison your spirit. We had a big snow here in NC. It melted in days and my lizards came back out. Yesterday was 75 degrees. Whew!

    • annamadeit says:

      From snow to 75??? Wow – there is symbolic power in that too, you know… About using the word “scum bag” – I honestly couldn’t think of a more suitable term.

  5. Evan Bean says:

    Your mountain photos are spectacular. Silly me, I was rushing to write my GBBD/Foliage Follow-up/general update post yesterday, I forgot to designate one as a vignette. Far too many things on my mind, at least some of which are useless distractions that I’m trying to reduce, and some things just slip my mind.

    • annamadeit says:

      Thanks Evan, and no worries whatsoever. I didn’t even submit either GBBD or FF this month. Too many other priorities piled up around those days. Meant to do it later, but now it feels as if too much time has passed. It would have been mostly snowy photos anyway. 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s