Friday, December 26, 2008

And still it snows!

I am hoping we are getting all of winter's worst weather in a short period of time, and the weather gods and goddesses will look favourably upon us for the remainder of the winter. I have to keep reminding myself that in just eight more weeks I should be able to write about crocuses and daffodils and cherry blossoms emerging. That sure beats the winters in the north - when I lived in the Northwest Territories, I remember someone referring to February as "that four month period between January and March."

Late Christmas Eve our road was plowed and sanded, and my neighbour came and cleared out the driveway once again. Around midday Christmas Day, guilty thoughts of my ninety year old mother not having family with her for what might end up being her last Christmas drove me to make the run out to her place and bring her back here for a modified Christmas Dinner (my free range, organic turkey was still sitting in my butcher's fridge since I could not get out to pick it up before Christmas!), and a pleasant evening of gift giving and gabbing. Because my place is not equipped for her needs, I booked her into the handicapped suite at the Best Western down the bottom of the hill for the night.

This morning, daughter was just packing up to go home, and I had just driven down the hill to pick up mom for brunch before taking her back to her seniors' residence, when Winter Storm Number - what, 5? 6? 7? - hit southwestern BC.

Daughter got stuck trying to get up the relatively slight but curved incline of my driveway, and by the time we got her out, and the neighbour again plowed out the drive, reports of deteriorating road conditions to the west were coming in.

Chatting with several people, including the tow truck driver, I made the call - I have excellent, top of the line winter tires and a four wheel drive, so decided I could get mom home to White Rock as long as I left right away.

My guardian angel must have been with me, because we were half way there when the storm hit with full force, and we were left driving in white-out conditions on snowy roads. I called home to my daughter and was relieved to hear she had decided to stay put at my place, other than moving her rental car (equipped only with poor quality all season tires) to the neighbour's flat driveway in anticipation that she "might" be able to leave tomorrow without having to call a tow truck to get her out of my driveway again. Smart kid. Nice neighbour.

Mom safely home, I began the treacherous drive back - my vehicle handled it well, though many others were sliding off into the ditches and blocking the hills. In fact, the hills up to my place were all either blocked by cars with spinning tires or were completely closed off, so I ended up having to drive east and zig zag my way up through country roads to make it back to my place.

And so now daughter and I, both used to our own space, and with very different preferences and personalities - she a big city kid and me a country bumpkin - are hoping we will make it through another day without throttling each other. Rain is predicted for tomorrow, but that could just as easily be another mountain of snow up here.

The pigs are stuck in the barn, as the door cannot be opened against three feet of snow, but as long as they get their food and water and a bit of company every day they seem quite content to stay put. It is I who fusses about them not getting fresh air and exercise and mental stimulation.

Martin the alpaca is sticking very close to his stable, though did wander part way down the pasture today, snow up to his belly and more. The dogs are restless, needing a good run and their own spaces back - we had to move some dog beds and crates to accomodate our visitors.

And we will all be grateful when order is restored and life returns to normal.


Black Jack's Carol said...

Jean, you write in such a painterly manner, I witness each scene as though I were there. I smiled at your comments about extra snowed-in time together. Something about the frustration of winter travel that brings out the best in all of us:)

Having lived in New Brunswick for two years, and Nova Scotia for three, I travelled winter roads for many Christmases in Quebec. Driving in white-out conditions is exhausting, but I am so glad that you were able to have your mother with you and your daughter for Christmas day.

Thanks for yet another very entertaining read.

Anonymous said...

Jean, am hoping for clear roads so everyone can get back to their own home, and you and the dogs can get back to your regular routine!