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One thing about living in a retirement/resort town is that there is a flow of people with the weather. Back in a university town like Berkeley, the flow was with the academic schedule, and in Lake Tahoe where I spent the second week of September twenty-seven times the flow was driven by people leaving their summer vacation homes and returning to work.

Bend is in a temperate zone but the winters can get down to zero degrees Fahrenheit and the snow can get to be a problem. This last winter was a relatively harsh one with the snow piling up and making even the plowed streets slightly difficult. The snow plows can get down to the pavement but when there is a lot of snow, as there was this winter, the piled berms of snow creep in and the street parking gets squeezed into the normal driving lanes. I did buy a Subaru 4-wheel drive two years ago to cope with the winter snow and it did make a difference on several occasions. All the same, this difficult winter wasn’t much of a problem. That is, until the unusual wind storm, which all the old-timers said was the worst they had seen, blew five big trees down within striking distance of my house. Only one hit us, and the damage was minimal considering a ponderosa was lying on our roof. But, the damage was in the twenty thousand range and the insurance didn’t cover all the repairs. But that was just numbers.

For me the disaster was unexpected. I didn’t like even very friendly, helpful people traipsing around and in my house for the last six weeks. I think that has more or less ended, and yet everything is still in chaos. Furniture was moved repeatedly inside, and outside it seems every square foot of everything has had some sort of knocked about change, which even after the cleanups is still a mess. After big equipment had driven around in your yard for a while, the ground is a far deeper mess than just raking up will correct. Of course, we could just have some gardeners come in and make everything beautiful again, but that would cost money, probably lots of money, and we would have people running around all over our place again.

The snowbirds didn’t experience any of this, having fled to Florida, Southern California, Arizona, Mexico and extended tours of Europe. It was reported by one of my pals that Barcelona is a much better place to live than Venice. A couple of my friends have had too much weather and are moving to San Louis Obispo, California.

Basically, things are returning to great here in Bend, but I need a few days of calm.

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