I feel a little wimpy complaining about winter weather in Portland, especially after having spent fifteen years living in and around Boston, MA, where winters are beyond intense. The year after we moved to Boston, we experienced the Blizzard of '78 (1978, that is; I'm old, but not THAT old). A nor'easter dropped 24 inches of snow on the city in 12 hours, and high winds took out a bunch of transformers near the harbor. We were without power for 36 hours. We lived in a basement apartment at the time, with no windows other than two, tiny windows at street level that were much too small to let in any light at all. But we had flashlights and candles, and Frank (who later became my second husband) fought his way to Boylston Street and snagged the very last transistor radio in the drugstore (which, we discovered when the lights came back on, looked just like a hand grenade) so we were able to stay on top of what was happening outside.
When we emerged from our dark cocoon, the snow drifts in the Back Bay were astounding, higher than anything I'd ever seen before. We walked to a local grocery store to get a few things (we lost everything in the refrigerator, of course) and saw a snowplow take out an MG that had been completely covered in snow - the CRUNCH of smooshed metal and breaking glass was awful to hear.
But, of course, we lived through the storm, and the week following, when all streets were closed to traffic, which meant having to walk about a mile and a half from the Red Line to our apartment to get to and from work every day. Eventually things got back to normal (and our next apartment was a 4th floor walk-up -- no more living underground, thankyouverymuch!
I thought about that winter as I was scraping the frost from my car windows early this morning, wanting to get to the supermarket before things got too crowded there. I do have a new, warm jacket (something I didn't need in the Bay Area) and gloves, so I wasn't at all cold, and there was only a thin layer of frost on the car windows, which was really easy to scrape off. So when I started that internal bitching session, complaining about having to take the time to clean off the car, I stopped myself and thought about the Blizzard of '78 -- and stopped internal complaining as well.
Yeah, it's cold here (25 degrees when I went outside) and yeah, it took five extra minutes to get the windows cleared off. BFD, as they say.