Monday, November 27, 2006

Too Much of a Good Thing?

So Saturday's bit of snow didn't cause us to pause a bit. Sunday....well, we shovelled out the driveway, sent Jake outside to play, and then spent the day curled up in front of the fireplace.

This morning I woke up to more snow then I've seen on the coast of BC in years (in November, even!), with it continuing to fall and the wind whipping up clouds of frothy white. Brrr. The chickadees that normally sit on my fence all fluffed out had even sought warmer places to be. We aren't supposed to get snow like this. Usually we get a little and it melts the next day. All of BC has been hit and besides snow that has caused power outages, road closures and school closures, there are extreme temperatures as well. It's COLD. We almost NEVER get snow like this.

The last time we had a really big snow was December 1996, during the very weekend that we moved from Mainland BC to Vancouver Island. The trip normally takes about 3 hours, and includes an hour and a 1/2 on a large ferry. Packing the truck and moving in general was stressful enough, as was trying to catch the ferry and being the last people on it. What met us at the other end was far worse.

It had begun to snow. Not a lot, mind you. But by the time we got off the ferry, there was a good three inches. In our coastal habitat, snow makes people crazy. They don't know how to drive in it, they don't like it, they all freak out over a little snow. Cars aren't even equipped with snow tires most of the time. The snow is even different. It's heavy and wet. The roads aren't plowed and salted nearly as well, so you end up with sper slippery conditions. So you can imagine the chaos it creates. Some friends of ours were driving the large moving truck. Hubs had all the china in his truck, and I had Jake and a pile of bags and boxes in my van. We immediately lost each other in the blinding white. As we inched along, I passed car after car whose unfortunate driver had ended up in the ditch and every time, I hoped that it wasn't John.

Concentrate. You have to do this.

I kept thinking of Jake sleeping soundly in the back seat. He was fed, warm, and content, oblivious to the possible danger around him. Every time I hit the gas just a little and went over 30 km/hr, the van began to slide. With no where to pull over and no way to turn around, I had to keep going. There was no choice.

We inched along bit by bit, the normally hour and a half drive dragging into two, then three hours. It began to get dark and pretty soon the inky blackness, combined with the heavy snow, made it even harder to see. The road was a blur of white. Jake, sensing my fear, had begun to whimper and then to cry. Just when I finally had enough and was ready to pull over, when my eyes burned from concentrating on the road and my hands ached from gripping the steering wheel and, a miracle happened.

A snowplow with blinding lights appeared right in front of us out of nowhere, as if it had been sent to bring us safely to our destination. Like a mouse following the Pied Piper, I followed that truck right into the city limits before I bade it goodbye and heaved a sigh of relief. We made it-five long hours after we had left that ferry terminal.

This snow storm is so much easier. It's a teacher's day anyway, so there is already no school, meaning no work for me either. The grocery shopping is already done, and it's easy to just curl up near the fireplace and read or work on Christmas crafts. We have the candles, water, and flashlight from the last storm handy just in case. I think I just might be getting the hang of this storm thing after all.

Now if I could just get a good pair of boots.

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