Thursday, February 24, 2011

Flew-Wa-Ditties and The Great White Beast

For several days, the weather-guessers have made dire predictions about a late-season freak snowstorm hitting our Valley area the end of the week.  We all knew not to hold our breath -- we've been lied to before about snow.  We live in the Pacific Northwest, which means that we don't see much snow.  The exception was a snowstorm two years ago that dumped massive amounts of snow and shut everything down for a couple weeks.
This was still early on in the snowstorm of 2008-9.
Snow can be bad here because we're not prepared, but what makes things really treacherous is the ice.  I think we'll have plenty of that tonight because our current snow is melting but the prediction is we'll be well below 20 degrees tonight.  Icky!

Last night I had to pull another long night in a series of long nights, staying up until 2AM to make a deadline for an editing job.  At 2AM we did not have snow.  When I got up at 6:30 this morning, this is the sight that greeted my tired eyes:

We live in a hilly area and it was icy enough this morning that today was officially a snow day.  Perhaps the rest of the country is sick of hearing that, but for me it was great -- a cancellation of meetings, a time to get caught up on work and maybe even get a nap on this first snow day of the year.

Nora and I both like the view from the front window.
This view is why we bought this house.

Nora is fascinated by snow.

As I sit and type, the snow is slowly melting because the sun is out.  It is beautiful.  And it does make me wonder if we will actually have more snow as predicted.

Yesterday I called my sister to bemoan the fact that every time I hear we may have snow I get my hopes up only to have them dashed.  The weather-guessers really have no idea what's going on, it seems.  This makes me miss my grandpa, Bumpy.  If there was one thing that he knew, it was weather.

Bumpy was a funny old man, always teasing, bringing donuts "for the kids," working long hours in his yard (until he was too old to continue that).  He had his own vocabulary -- whatchamacalits, flew-wa-ditties, doo-wa ditties, fahaberdauberfaber, weather-guessers, wingnuts and dingbats.  He also had his own turn of phrase, like "Believe it or else."  "Or else what, Bumpy?" "Or else don't believe it!"
 We called him Bumpy because one of my little sisters couldn't say his name or say "grandpa" when she was little; she called him Bumpy and it stuck.  It's hard to think of him as anyone else; as hard, in fact, as "putting rollerskates on a mosquito."

If we ever wondered about the weather, Bumpy would let us know what to expect.  He would explain the weather patterns -- sometimes, if we were good and nice and paying attention -- and he was never wrong.
Yesterday as I read countless weather reports I found myself wishing that my Bumpy was here because he would tell me if the weather-guessers were right.

Bumpy passed away eleven years ago.  Of course I've missed him over the years -- especially when a big storm threatens to roll into town and I want to know what will really happen -- but I find myself more nostalgic than usual right now.  This could have to do with my Grama's recent passing.  With the two of them gone, it's the end of an era.

And while they both were old and sick and had memory issues and we all knew it was time, our memories of them in their prime are still alive and well.  In our rough childhoods filled with many unpleasant (and downright unhappy) memories, Bumpy and Grama were the highlights of our young existence.  It is on days like today that I wish we could go see them, have a snowball fight in the backyard, and come inside to drink Ovaltine and have toast. (Hmmm, is this where I get my obsession with toast?)
Grama in the 80s 

Bumpy in the 80s (I think)

Bumpy and Grama, I miss you.


  1. What a sweet post. I am very sorry for your loss, but it is always nice to know they live on forever in our memories. Your Bumpy is my Papa - although he was into the Peanuts rather than the weather. :)

  2. My grandparents have played a similar role in my life. I am blessed to still have them. Thanks for this reminder. I am returning your follow. Thanks for linking to Thrifty Thursday. Blessings...

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  3. Awww...this was so precious. I was very very close with my grandfather, and miss him til this day. I do believe he is with me though everyday watching over. He taught me the greatest stuff!

  4. I really love that last picture! Beautiful! As for the weather guessers....well I'm going to guess they are about as good as ours.


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