Winter is Here

Noowong_Headshot By Anchitta Noowong

Winter is coming, winter is here. Are you feeling sad this winter? You’re not alone. Being born and raised in a hot tropical country, it was difficult for me to live in a place where it’s cold and dark half the year. I remember my first Portland winter, and it was brutal. I recalled that it rained all the time, there was no sunlight, and everything was just gross. I remember feeling depressed, sad, tired, and unmotivated. I figured that I couldn’t live like that, so I adapted and found ways that help me get through Pacific Northwest winter.

Looking for more information? Follow these links below:
SAD: https://ghr.nlm.nih.gov/condition/seasonal-affective-disorder
Endorphins: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/320839.php
PSU SHAC: https://www.pdx.edu/shac/aboutshac

It is a wonderful life

By: Sharon Jackson

I absolutely adore this time of year! See expression below.

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Bulky sweaters. Knitted socks. Hot holiday beverages. “I could go on forever baby!”

My dad and I used to pull out several boxes of tangled strings of large light bulbs from the attic and attempt to wrestle them into a straight line.

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After many hours and a few curse words, we would finally attach them ever so precisely to the outline of our home. I am certain we had the best looking house in the neighborhood.

For this reason I get a bit nostalgic on Peacock Lane: a block in Southeast Portland where each vintage Tudor home has been entirely decorated since 1920.

My mother and I would watch A Christmas Story every year [I seriously believe the movie is an accurate representation of her childhood holidays] and laugh hysterically at the leg lamp catastrophe and terrible gifts from distant relatives until we would cry.

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My first holiday in Portland, I started to feel a bit homesick.

For this reason I am always present at Portland’s Annual Tree Lighting ceremony in Pioneer Square : the official start to the holiday season with the lighting of the 75-foot Douglas fir and a sing-along of all the favorite holiday carols by a family of random strangers, even in the pouring rain!

Singin’ in the Rain

I’m sitting in the lobby of the Rec Center watching the rain pour down with a vengeance. People are running through the Urban Plaza in a futile attempt to stay dry. I sigh and go back to studying. It’s only 4 o’clock and already so dark. I squint to make out the words on the paper. It’s cold in here, so I slide my bag over and sit up on the window ledge directly on top of the radiator. My eyes are starting to feel heavy, which is absurd given that I’ve had at least three cups of coffee already today. I will myself to focus. I really need to study, but I’m just so sleepy.

Suddenly, I hear the strumming of an acoustic guitar coming from overhead near the street level entrance. I hear someone clear their throat and then: “I wanna make you smile whenever you are sad, carry you around when your arthritis is bad, all I wanna do is grow old with you,” a male voice croons. People start to cheer and sing along. I can’t see what’s happening, but I think someone is probably feeling very surprised right about now. I hear giggling and imagine that the recipient of the serenade is quite red in the face. The singer gains confidence and belts out the last few lines to his sweetheart, “Oh, I could be the man to grow old with you. I wanna grow old with you!” Wild applause and laughter fills the air. I smile to myself and go back to studying feeling a little lighter.