Whidbey Island is a beautiful place. People come here to wander in our tall pine forests, wonder at views of the sea and mountains, and enjoy a mild climate without harsh winters or blistering summers.
Last weekend it started snowing. Now, I'm from Iowa and my Forrester has all wheel drive, so snowy weather doesn't phase me much personally. But this island is not built for snow. We don't have enough plows, don't sand or salt the roads, and a lot of buildings are inadequately heated or insulated to stay warm in sub-freezing temperatures. Schools have been closed more days than open, and many businesses are following suit.
When I was in Iowa, I used to say that the beauty of the snowy landscape made up for the difficulty it caused. That sentiment holds true: this winter wonderland is lovely, but we don't have the infrastructure to deal with snow on Whidbey like we did back in the Midwest, and it makes everything harder.
I've tried to use this time to stay hard at work in my studio ... but I've had a hard time fighting against the feeling of hibernation that's permeated the island. The parking lot of my apartment hasn't been plowed, and the heater in my old, high-ceilinged studio works hard just to keep my clay from freezing overnight. The first day, last Monday, I also took a snow day, but I quickly got bored. So, I'm going to the studio wearing 3-4 layers and heat my throwing water, but even this hearty Iowa girl is having a hard time keeping the chill at bay.