Posts tagged snow

Shelter

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It was just barely a year ago that Kelly and I moved out of our apartment in Salt Lake.¬†We were using a POD to move so that we wouldn’t have to drive a U-Haul truck across the Cascade mountains in the middle of the winter (which ended up being a great choice: it was hard enough getting the little Honda over those mountains while they were covered in thick snow). We’d already fixed the schedule for the POD, so we had to scramble (and go without sleep) to get everything packed in time, but we made it (barely).

We spent our last night in our basement-sweet-basement the same way that we would spend our first nights in our apartment here in Seattle: on a blow up mattress in an otherwise empty apartment.

The next day we cleaned the apartment and packed up the car to go. We had some things that we weren’t taking with us, either extra boxes that we needed to recycle or things that we needed to donate. We had other errands to run before we drove out of town (both moving and Christmas preparations) so we split up to get it all done.

Among the things that we were donating was a pair of pillows. I don’t know if we thought that the DI wouldn’t take them or if we had some other reasons, but for some reason we thought that it would be better to give the pillows to the homeless instead. That was on my errand route, along with the recycling (which I would have been just as happy to throw away, but you know Kelly). So I hunted around for a recycle bin big enough to hold cardboard boxes, and then headed over to the homeless shelter. (I had contemplated offering the boxes to the homeless, too, but it just seemed a little too much like rubbing it in, so I stuck with the pillows.)

It was late by the time I got to the shelter, and the street was empty (unlike other times when I’d been running past there and the street was full of homeless people). At first I was a little confused about which building it was; for some reason I’d always thought that it was on the opposite side of the road. It didn’t help that the sign said something generic, like “community center”. There was another sign on the building, though, saying that I could drive around back with the donations, honk, and someone would come out to get them. But there were hours for the donation drop-off, and I was there too late. I felt stupid, and I almost turned around and drove away.

(Have you ever sat outside of a business and been indecisive about whether you should go inside or not? Maybe you’re thinking of getting some gift and you’re not sure if it’s right, or maybe you’re at some office building without an appointment and you’re afraid of being laughed to scorn for just walking in uninvited. Maybe it’s just me, but it’s a familiar feeling.)

As I was sitting there getting in and out of my car, a homeless man walked by. He had been looking in a garbage can down the street and was now moving on to another one. As he walked past, he asked me if I knew what time it was. I told him, and he walked on. There wasn’t anything more to the exchange than that, but for some reason that did it for me.

I walked up to the main doors with my pillows, still feeling stupid, convinced that they’d just tell me that I should have read the sign outside and known to come during donation hours. The doors were locked, but the lady at the front desk saw me and buzzed me in.

Inside the air smelled like urine. It wasn’t the sadly subtle kind of smell that a nursing home has. It reeked of it. It was almost over-powering.

“Front desk” might be the wrong word for where the lady that had let me in was sitting. It was just a folding table (like from a cultural hall event) with a clipboard where she had been letting people sign in. She asked what I was there for, and I sheepishly told her I had these pillows and thought someone might like them. She didn’t seem phased at all, and just sent me down the hall to (what I think was) the nurses’ station to give them the pillows.

When I got to the end of the hallway I saw the scene that makes me still think of this event. There were probably 40 people there, lying on the floor, fully clothed and covered in blankets. I don’t know what the rooms looked like, but I assume they were full if all of these people were out here on the hallway floor.

I gave the man at the nurses’ station the pillows. He offered a receipt for tax purposes, which obviously I didn’t need for my measly donation. And that was it. No further exchange. I left and drove away.

It was such a small moment in my life. The whole thing probably only lasted 10 minutes. It’s funny how sometimes small moments have big memories.

Snowmoboard

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Thanksgiving report:

  1. Ate dinner with Dad’s in-laws. It’s kind of weird to spend time with those people, not because they’re weird, but just because I barely know them and we still act like we’re family. The nice thing about your own family is that they love you despite the fact that they know you so well.
  2. Bunked up at Snowbird with the Jackman’s and the Dubois’s. I have multiple surrogate families now. That’s kind of neat. And these ones even know how big of a jerk I am, and they still like me.
  3. The snow this weekend was so good. Based on the amount of snow that I had to dig my car out from under (literally: I used a shovel), I’d say we got about 3 feet over the weekend. Saturday while we were skiing it was snowing so much that we’d do a run and then by the time we got back to the top the same run had fresh powder again. I think that’s what heaven’s going to be like.

A Hope for Normal Conditions

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We went to lunch early today, and its a good thing that we did, because it started melteding pretty hard as soon as we got back. I think its worked its way into frozening. I hope it at leasts normals in the mountains, but it would be fun if we got some normal here, too.
Brighton opens tomorrow. Are they the first? Well, I’m excited. I’m torn about what to do with my money this season, though. I really liked the Brighton night pass that I had last year; that worked out pretty well. It costs $250. I think the rumor about Sundance puts a mid-week pass at $130 or something like that, which is much more in my price range, but then there’s no night skiing and probably no Ben, which for sure would slow down my improvement rate. A real pass (even for students) to Brighton is about $500. I need to sell a Web site or something.

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