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It's winter--snow foolin'
Old Man Winter finally arrived on South Whidbey Saturday afternoon.
Warm weather kicked him out Sunday morning, but he came back undaunted on Tuesday morning to stay -- for about half the day.
The season's first two major snowfalls on the island were perfect. They were beautiful, not too dangerous, and didn't stay around long enough to force anyone to shovel.
Tuesday's snowfall was the most significant, dumping two to three inches of the white stuff. Traffic was light most of the morning, and those who braved the roads were cautious and driving at slower than normal speeds.
South Whidbey schools opened on time with normal bus routes. However, the district's superintendent, Dr. Martin Laster, was out checking the bus routes by 10 a.m. in anticipation of an early dismissal if the snow continued. The students didn't get one.
Kerry Fauth, 12, and her family had just returned from a two-week vacation in Hawaii. Her dad, Phil Fauth, drove her to Langley Middle School.
"This is a big change from Hawaii," Fauth said. "It's cold. I was hoping for a snow day."
There were some bus cancellations, though not in the school district. Island Transit canceled Route 8 at Scatchet Head and Route 3, east of Oak Harbor, until the roads improved.
In Langley, city workers sanded the main roads by noon and then began on the city's minor streets. But before that work was done, Langley resident Matt Anderson and his springer spaniel, Sofie, enjoyed a walk on empty streets.
"Sofie really enjoys walking in the snow, and so do I." Anderson said.
The Freeland Cafe was open and welcoming of its regular customers in spite of the weather. Connie Steadman, owner of Whidbey Financial Services in Freeland, wasn't slowed down by the weather at all. She stopped for her morning coffee at the restaurant before reporting for work.
Steadman said her commute from her home in Greenbank wasn't too bad. "There wasn't much traffic, so it was fairly easy driving in spite of the snow."
Mike Nichols and Lowell Dishman also stopped for a coffee break.
"Driving in the snow doesn't worry me," Nichols said. "It's a chance to actually use the four-wheel drive on my pickup."