Wednesday, April 13, 2011
Oh April, I just finished saying such nice things about you last week.
As March went away I'd hoped that April would be better, weather-wise.
I was very, very wrong.
Due to the deluge during the entire month of March baseball and softball teams have been desperate to schedule games.
I have completely lost track of who's supposed to be playing whom where and when after March.
So we get to April and things should improve, right? Wrong.
On Tuesday the HRV and Milwaukie softball teams started out the first few minutes of their game under clear skies. Then it got windy. Then cloudy. Then rainy. And then it started snowing.
Umpire Joe Wampler gathered the coaches together as snow flurries swirled around the players on the field. Determined to get in a full game, the teams played on.
Once the game became official after the top of the fifth, Wampler gathered the coaches again. Again, they decided to keep playing.
With puddles on the infield, the skies growing ever darker in the background, players trying desperately to keep their hands from freezing and a snow drift mounting near the pitchers circle - only kidding about that last part, but just barely - they played on.
That is how desperate teams have become to play an actual game at this point in the season.
Last year when the Eagles were in the Mt. Hood Conference, the Portland-based schools would switch the game location for games earlier in the season and bring their team to Hood River to beat an approaching storm.
Sometimes it worked, and other times the team drove an hour for no reason.
There has not been much driving and turning around for non-league games this season - mainly because the weather has been so bad there has been no point to even starting the bus.
That has made things incredibly tough for teams like the Eagles. While the Eagles are still scrambling for non-league games, many schools are already in league season.
The nightmare scenario that so many were expecting during the basketball season has come to pass - a few months later.
The Eagles are trying to find games wherever they can. The Milwaukie game was not on the softball team's original schedule and neither was a game Monday for the HRV baseball team against Union of Vancouver.
However, at this point, when your teams can barely manage to get on the field you take whatever you can get.
So the Eagles played on through snow, sleet, rain and hail Wednesday afternoon, and in this wet and wild spring season, that's just going to have to be the way things go.
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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"
Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See www.co.hood-river.or.us to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge