The forecast in yesterday's paper called for "snow flurries." As I write this there's about eight inches of snow on the ground and the temperature is in the single digits. Sub-zero temperatures are predicted tonight, and more snow is expected on the weekend.
There's been a big PR effort to promote Bend as a swell place to retire. A couple of magazines even got conned into putting it on their "Best Places to Retire" lists a few years ago.
Take it from your friend Blackdog: If you're considering retiring in Bend, or Central Oregon -- DON'T.
Do you want to be shoveling snow and falling on your ass on the ice and busting your hip when you're 70 or 80? No, you want to be out on the golf course or out on a boat fishing or sitting by the pool with a drink in your hand.
Besides, our winter weather makes travel "over the passes" to Portland and the Willamette Valley even more difficult (sometimes impossible), heightening the sense of isolation that comes from living in the ass end of nowhere.
Bend also does the shittiest job of snow removal of anyplace I've ever lived. The main arterials get plowed and sanded, more or less, but the residential streets -- fuhgeddaboudit.
The only people who should even THINK about retiring here are the fortunate few who can afford a second home in a warmer place to flee to during Bend's frigid season -- that's October through May.
FOOTNOTE: Here's some medical evidence why Bend is a sucky place to retire:
"We heart surgeons have long known that there are many more heart attacks in the winter -- in fact, a whopping 50% more. When you go outside in the freezing cold, your blood gets thicker and your blood pressure rises, which creates the perfect storm for a heart attack. Plunging suddenly into freezing cold water can cause this to happen, but just being outside when it's cold can increase your risk if you are unprotected. Cold air also causes tiny cracks in lining of the bronchial tubing in your lungs which then swell and produce fluid. The expression "come inside and put a coat on before you catch a cold!" was referring to this process -- there weren't more cold viruses out in the snow that your grandmother was referring to, your poor lungs were just having a heck of a time with cold dry air. Flu viruses thrive in cold temperatures also, and we have an entire season named for the flu as a result."