Moving to the Oregon coast from New York and being neither a skier or snowboarder, I never imagined I’d see the day when I’d say I was glad to see snow on the ground.
Nevertheless it was joy I felt last Thursday after a couple of inches piled up.
After making myself a cup of coffee, I went outside with the dogs. The very old one, Rinaldo the blind Chihuahua, was having trouble, slip sliding around. Basil, the lame Lhasa Apso, was excited. He’s always been a fan of cold weather. Lucy, the miniature pinscher who was born here and is only two years old, was confused. I threw a ball for her, but she wasn’t sure if she was supposed to like snow or not.
I’m not going to lie. New York winters are rough enough to be scarring. They involve shovels and snowplows, and sometimes backhoes to move the piles of snow when they pile up too much. Our New York house had a long steep driveway. I fell down in it a lot. Some winters it snowed multiple times a week and since plowing is costly, if there was less than four inches we advised our plow guy not to plow, in which case we’d shovel it off ourselves. Great exercise for the quads and glutes, but still backbreaking work.
Still, there was a certain glory Thursday morning at the sight of snow on the beach and on the mountain. I don’t think I’ve ever seen Tillamook Head so frosted. While I was standing in my front yard near the Cove, soaking up the sun, a guy rode past on his bicycle dressed in a wet suit and carrying a surfboard.
Not a sight I’d be likely to see ever, not ever, in New York.
That made me smile.
There’s a saying that where there’s snow on the roof, there’s a fire in the belly, which is why I’ve been drinking Firebrew since the new year started. It’s a vinegar based immune booster. I work alone from home and frankly don’t expose myself to a lot of people. I’ve quit going to the gym. Instead I take solitary walks outdoors with only a dog for company. I don’t have kids in school to bring home viruses. I rarely take public transportation. Besides my regular attendance at the local coffee shops, the thing that exposes me most to other people is hanging out at WineKraft in Astoria where my husband’s jazz quartet plays once a month. At a boutique grocery store in Gearhart, I stumbled on a product called Fire Brew, purported to be an immune booster. This particular product is made in Portland. It’s a tonic said to strengthen the immune system naturally. Slug down a tablespoon or two once or twice a day, or add it to water, hot water, or your favorite beverage. The young man who sold me the flavor labeled citrus told me he pours his in Red Bull. The ingredients are organic apple cider vinegar, raw honey, horseradish, turmeric, ginger, onion, garlic, habanero peppers, apples, oranges, lemon, pineapple, rosemary, echinacea and rosehips. The first time I tried it, it was poured into a plastic shot glass, and I threw it back like a shot of alcohol. I’ve thrown back shots of whiskey and tequila that burned less.
I will report that after 72 hours of dosing myself with this potent mixture (chased by 6 ounces of water for every shot), a phlegmy cough that threatened to become something worse didn’t. I decided to quaff this brew every day for the duration of February, and if the ground hog is correct and there really is going to be six more weeks of winter, I’ll drink it for six weeks.
Standing in full sun in my bathrobe and tall rubber boots sipping a shot glass of Pomegranate Fire Brew last week, I thought that despite all the bad news — school shootings, the Russian investigation — I could still feel enchanted by a few inches of glittering snow.
Just not too often.