Thursday, March 6, 2008

Snow is a 4-Letter Word

E-nuff Already!

Yesterday was a snow day. No kidding. 25-30 cm of snow has a way of really grinding things to a halt. My day started with a 6:30 am call from the nanny who was staring down her 150 ft laneway at a wall of snow left by the highway snowploughs. I’m sure it was taller than she is. So, she was stranded with the car seats in her car…not that I could go anywhere because there was 5 feet of snow for me to plough myself.

The prospect of a snow day was ok. The kids were remarkably good. I asked them to help each other out and not get into any trouble as I pulled on my working coat and toque and mitts and stepped out into 30 cm of snow (in my little booties) and slogged my way to the barn, forced open the door because I didn’t think to bring the shovel from the back door and then went to get the power cord because, yep, I forgot that too.

Then I spent a good 5 minutes just trying to get the thing started. I did eventually realize that the key must be in the on position. (I don’t use this thing enough to actually get the hang of it.) Once it fired up in all its smoke-belching glory, I was flying down the lane way, across the ice and down on my ass…where I thanked the man (and I know it was a man) who decided that when your hands come off the throttle and the auger, the machine should stop moving in whichever direction it was going (which was backwards at the time). But I am stiff and sore even after going to physio.

The snow was powdery. Good for not working the machine too hard. Bad for the poor bugger working it (me) because I needed to pile the snow on the side of the driveway where the wind was coming from and a lot of it ended up back on me.

It only took me 40 minutes or so. Not too bad. The kids didn’t spill anything or empty the contents of the playroom (or the fridge) into the living room, and they were still wearing their clothes. Good times.

I knit, prodigiously while the girls played. Got the front of a cabled vest done. (I’ll take pictures later when I can bend over to get the camera bag off the floor without it hurting.) The kids played hard and were more than ready for bed and I (having knit myself out of wanting to knit anymore…mark your calendars) looked through some pattern books and thought about other things I might knit someday.

This morning, I discovered that the silent, stealth snowplough (the one that comes in the night when you are in a comma from digging out the day before) was by and filled in the walkway and driveway again.

So, pissed off at 7 am, I pulled on my clothes, brushed my hair and stuck on my toque and headed for the barn to do it all over again. This time, I did manage to grab the power cord on my way by.
However, the planets and stars of fate obviously moved during the night and even with the key in the on position, I wasn’t able to get the bastard to light up. Even when the starter caught on fire (a bit, briefly) I just kept on keeping on…to no avail.

Now, if I hadn’t pushed the friggin’ thing into the laneway before trying to start it, I wouldn’t have had to coerce it back into the barn. Yes, there is a pull-cord on it. Yes, I gave it a cursory tug. No, I am not strong enough to make the machine go in this manner. Even with the lawnmower, with which I have a slightly better relationship, I cannot pull that cord more than 3 times without slipping a disk. The snowblower is like a crusty big brother to the lawnmower. No luck. So, sweating already and having gotten nothing for it, I headed for one of my favourite tools: the shovel. I detest shovelling snow. So much do I hate it, I chipped out enough to get my car out of the laneway and left the postie to climb a mountain snow if she wanted to deliver my bills.
Then I carefully opened my car door, so as not to deposit a 2-foot chunk of snow on the car seat and started the car.

After finishing my ablutions inside and fare-thee-welling the kids, coffee in hand, I moved off to excavate the car from the pile of snow that had built up during the day yesterday. Yes, I should have cleaned it off when the snow blowing gods were with me, but I didn’t. So I cleared the hood and the windshield and as much of the roof as I could (it was heavy) and got in to hopefully reach speeds that would allow the rest of the icebergs resident on the car’s roof to calf and fall to their death. I find it’s an excellent way to keep tailgaters back. I looked back into my laneway and almost laughed at the cozy corral of snow I’d left behind where my car had been.

I want to know what happens to people's driving skills when snow falls. Can anyone tell me? Yes, sure, all the merging and right hand turn lanes that were their 2 days ago are gone, and we can’t see around corners very well, but you know damn well when you are not going to clear an intersection before the light turns red! So stop pulling out when you know you shouldn’t. And you, over there, the one who likes to break every time it looks like you’re going over a patch of ice. Quit giving me a freaking heart attack. It’s not the first time you’ve seen snow and there have been much worse days on the road. And while I’m rampaging about people's driving skills…the stop line at intersections, you know, if you stop at it, you can still see to turn left and let the poor bastard (me) who is trying to turn right actually see the cars that are coming before half of my car is in the active lane (where the cars are).

By the time I got to work, I was in such a mood I told people there were only foul words to describe how I felt.

And what did I learn today? Environment Canada has another winter storm warning out for the weekend. Between 30 and 50 cm of snow. Yesterday was a freaking joke compared to that!

When will it end?!

Hmm, seeing as blogging is free and therapy is not (by a long shot) I think I feel better now. Just don’t ask me how I feel on Sunday, OK?

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