March is Playing Nice :)

I flew into PDX yesterday back from a business trip to California and what a gorgeous day it was! The views coming into the area were spectacular. There is something magical about the scenery surrounding the Metro Portland-Vancouver area. The mercury at my house got perilously close to 70° and matched it again today. March is indeed playing nice, for now. But we all know how fickle March is, don’t we?

I took this shot while the plane was over Downtown Weird, er, I mean Portland, and you can see Vancouver and the Washington Cascades in the distance. From this angle Mount Rainier appears to be on top of Mount St. Helens. It was so clear and beautiful yesterday, even the pilot of the airplane was rather taken with the clarity and beauty of the day.

I mentioned I was flying back from California and of course they get a great deal more of these sunny clear days but frankly one clear and crisp day in our area is worth twenty down south. It is just so gorgeous with our trees, and mountains and snow-capped Cascade volcanoes holy heavenly sights it is awesome.

Those plums quickly sprouted and the flowers are really starting to light up. Spring appears to be coming in hot, and if Old Man Winter decides to make a final stand, I think it will be short and wimpy. Ah at the risk of a Murphy style jinx, I do think spring is here.

Ah the ‘Couv’ Life; it is good!


Hello March are you gonna be Naughty or Nice?

March is a month often associated with spring, yet two-thirds of the month are technically winter. Yes friends the spring equinox doesn’t arrive until the 20th. Until then it is still officially winter. Sometimes the ‘old man’ is tired and just lets Miss Spring run the show, other years the grumpy ‘ole winter season clings to the last few weeks with a vigor. You never know what’ll happen next.

This week the weather is scheduled to be mild and wet for the most part, with highs playing in the 50s and lows in the upper 30s. No real threat from mean old winter there, methinks.

I have penned more than few words about the fickle nature of springtime here in America’s Vancouver.

graphic of "old man winter"But it is just so true. This is a month that we really start to think about spring but this year I’m not so sure. The plums haven’t flowered yet and in fact mine is just starting to show some buds. Plums are usually the first, followed by the cherries. No flowers yet so I wonder if the trees are onto something?

Nature often knows when the weather is gonna do something crazy. I wrote on my weather blog last week that this winter season (Nov 2017-Mar-2018) is tied for 6th snowiest since I have been keeping records to 2001. Yes both 06-07 and this season are at 10.7 inches of snow at my house in NE Vancouver. We just need a little itty bitty dusting to punch over the top in to sole possession. Ties are so boring, right?

If the trees are right we could still see some fluffy white precipitation, March is by no means a snowy month but I have recorded at least a light dusting of snow in 7 of the last 17 Marches. March snow when it does happen, doesn’t tend to stick around long so worry not you haters of winter precipitation.

man in convertible, in snowI do long for some nice warm sunshine, you know one of those sneaky 70s that pops up outta nowhere. Roll out the convertible! Sometimes I can’t wait though, like Saturday, this happened.  I was driving the car around in bright sun and maybe 45 degrees. I drove up towards Clark Rifles and encountered some snow that is still hanging around. Even got caught in a little flurry when I turned around at the bus turnout near the entrance to Forest Road 1400.

For those of you reading from outside the local area, there is no snow left on the ground in town, this was taken at about 1500 feet of elevation in the Cascade foothills.

Who’s ready for spring? I am! When I peg 10 inches or more of snow in a season I’ve had enough legit winter and welcome the spring parade of flowers, showers, and some warmer sunshine.

Ah the ‘Couv’ life; it is good.


The Stealthy Wealthy in the ‘Couv’

Several years ago I wrote this article about stealthy-wealthy in the ‘Couv’. Still applies, methinks.

Are there Butlers in the ‘Couv’? originally posted 11/18/2013 by Rod Sager

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East Vancouver Waterfront from BING maps

Our wonderful city is filled with interesting facts, a colorful history and a diversity of culture and lifestyle. I have pointed out over and over that Vancouver U.S.A. sits in the shadow of our larger southern neighbor in that other state, whatchamacallit… Oh yeah, Oregon. But hiding among the trees in this conveniently located suburbia lies many lesser known sub-cultures.

Portlanders tend to look at America’s Vancouver through the lens of a core Metropolitan city. We are just another suburb to them. They are not entirely wrong, let’s face it. 60,000 people drive across one of the two bridges into Portland everyday to work at jobs in the “city”. Most of those people live somewhere in Vancouver. But 300,000 people reside within the 14 postal zip codes assigned to the ‘Couv’. Despite what Portlandia thinks about us, we are not a community of 300,000 redneck commuters.

Most of our fair residents live here because of our lifestyle, not in spite of it. The ‘Couv’ offers better roads and schools than can be found south of the border. We have less traffic and crime as well. So we have more of the good and less of the bad, what’s not to like? With positive conditions like this we were bound to have a large collection of suburban dwellers. But this grand town has many faces and lurking within are cultures and neighborhoods not typically associated with us. Fortunately most of them are desirable elements.

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An older upscale neighborhood in the Heights

As some of you may know, I do not actually make a living writing on all these blogs. Actually I am a Realtor ® here in the ‘Couv’. As such I have access to the local MLS system. Did you know there are currently 24 homes for sale in Vancouver listed at more than one million dollars? Two of those listings are well in excess of three million dollars. Five of them offer more than 7000 square feet of living space. 7000 feet is a little tight, how ever do they manage 😉 These are just the listings for sale. How many of these palatial residences are there in total? Who knows? Just how big does a house need to be before it is obligatory to have house servants? The largest home I ever saw “listed” in Vancouver was a nearly 14,000 square footer on the shores of the Columbia. Are there butlers in the ‘Couv’? The answer with a little 18th century seafaring parlance is, “Aye, there be stewards here”.

America’s Vancouver doesn’t have a seedy underbelly but rather a hole and corner millionaires society. But why so secret? Is this a furtive situation or is my favorite city just a great place for the well-to-do to hang out un-bothered? It’s the latter I think that’s really it. Who would have thought?

Not surprisingly the bulk of our stately mansions lie along the shores of the mightiest river in the west. The old evergreen highway is narrow and seemingly poorly maintained. Some say the lack of maintenance is on purpose. How nice could this neighborhood be with crappy road like this? Yet nestled among the trees lie gorgeous estates with a dock for the yacht, a private white sand beach and spectacular views of our awesome river.

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A neighborhood along the Columbia in Vancouver, WA from BING maps.

As you drive around the city, you’ll notice those exotic cars. The Ferraris, Lamborghinis and other automobiles that cost more than most us paid for our house. Here in the ‘Couv’ mingling with us middle class families in the aisles of the neighborhood Fred Meyer are the quietly wealthy and the people who keep their houses in order. They live here in the ‘Couv’ with us. It is quite likely they share the some of the same reasons as we do.

Christensen Yacht from their website

Friendly, clean, light traffic on good roads and so close to the Christensen Yachts Shipyard. Well that last one might be a little more exclusive. America’s Vancouver is just a great place to live.

Ah The ‘Couv’ Life, it is good.