So, Holy Mother of . . . Snowstorms . . . did I get dumped on last night! And how! The prediction was for an inch of snow an hour, and that wasn’t far off the mark. In (usually fairly snowless, at least in years past) November, Swamp River Ridge has already gotten more than it’s gotten some winters, in TOTAL!! (Go figure that it would be my first year on my own – ha!)
Last night was The Peanut’s 3rd birthday party (next year, her birthday will fall ON Thanksgiving, I’ve realized!), and the snow hadn’t started when I arrived to house about 6:30. It was about 60 minutes later when her daddy looked out the window and exclaimed, “Holy Cow! It’s comin’ DOWN!” Most weather forecasts of snowstorms being extremely overrated, I think we all thought he was joking . . . kinda. So, I didn’t go to the window. But, as more and more of the crew did . . . and reiterated what he’d said . . . I looked. Oh . . . my. I went downstairs to look outside and take an evaluation. “Uhhh, I think I’ll give myself half an hour,” I said, returning upstairs. My drive home to the very east end of the county would take an hour and 15 minutes . . . in normal weather.
After just 15 more minutes of keeping one eye out the window, I said, “Ugh. I’m gonna have to get going.” I soooooooo didn’t want to, and I was immediately invited to stay the night (waking up with my most favorite 3-year old in the world snuggling up next to me on Thanksgiving morning would be the whipped cream on the pumpkin pie!). But, I was driving the Yaris, and the plow truck was here at home. So, in order to get back OUT, I had to get home! Amidst “we love you!”s and “call when you get home!”, I bundled up and stepped out into it. In that SHORT period of time (75 minutes?), there was already 3” of snow on the ground, and it was coming down FAST.
When I stopped in town to get gas, I spoke to a father and son who had just come up the shore from the nearest big city: normally a 2-hour drive. It had taken them FIVE. Fortunately, they were trying to get to family up on the Rez for Turkey Day, so they only had 20 more miles to get through. And, having already made it that far from MICHIGAN (!), they were determined. With well wishes and cautions to drive safely, I headed back onto the road, stopping for a quick second at my folks. After a “what time will you call us by and then what time should Dad head out if we don’t hear from you” discussion, I left them, too . . . the car packed with $103 worth of groceries, a bottle of whiskey from the liquor store, four new audio books that had arrived in the mail, a full tank of gas, and two fuzzy dogs. (And my extra winter gear and a shovel.) I was prepared for anything! ;)
Meanwhile, once I’d seen the road conditions, I’d been trying to get ahold of My Girl, my adopted daughter. She was modeling at the art colony for their Life Drawing class, and then a friend was going to drive her 20 miles east to her sister’s for Thanksgiving (her car’s been in the garage). I was really worried about that drive AND her starting it SOONER rather than later. I was a few miles on my way out of town by the time we connected, and I pulled my “this is your mother putting her foot down!” card to say that she needed to cut the art class short (n-o-w!) and there was NO way her friend was going to get to her in order to drive her to her family. After some back and forth on the phone and calls to this person and that person, I was turned around and heading back into town to pick her up . . . her sister’s house being in MY direction.
The drive to her sister’s was not fun. It paralleled the big lake for the majority of the way, and the wind was HOWLING against us from it, throwing lots and lots of snow into my field of vision. I’ll bet my mileage topped out at 30 mph, and, even at that, there were a couple of times when I was slipping . . . heading in a 45 degree angle into the oncoming lane. Fortunately, there was hardly ANY traffic.
From My Girl’s sister’s, I called my folks to report that I was heading out on the 30 minute drive to Swamp River Ridge. In an hour, at 11:00, they would start to worry and Dad would start to suit up.
I thought the main road was bad . . . until I turned onto my 4 ½ mile winter driveway and realized that the snow on the main road (with old tracks to follow only ½ the way) had been PEANUTS. Peanuts, I say! As soon as I was a couple hundred yards into this last section, I knew I was in trouble. As in, don’t stop, or you’re not gonna get started again. And, I knew I couldn’t walk in the remaining 4+ miles to home and the phone before Dad would head out . . . and I certainly didn’t want him to have to do that with me being SO close to Swamp River Ridge! Some people would say that it was the strength of prayer that got me home, but I’m an atheist (actually, probably more an agnostic, as I age, and realized that I DON’T “know”). Anyway, I think it was thanks to sheer will, determination, and grit.
I made it home at 10:57 . . . three minutes to spare. I was plowing – with the low-slung Yaris - the whole way. Three times, I had to stop and make umpteen “runs” at either particularly deep snow or hills. When I called Mama Pea, Mom said, “Oh, good, your father can have a beer and relax now!” :)
Now that I have all of that out of my system (sharing it here with you), I am ready to brush my teeth and HIT IT! I won’t get in to my folks’ to celebrate this special day until much later than hoped, but the snow has stopped while I’ve been writing, and I see BLUE SKY in the southwest: whoo-hoo!
I tried to take some pictures last night, but, since then, my camera has disappeared. It must be in the car somewhere. I’ll send this post to you just as soon as I get in from my “snow evaluation” out there . . . including cleaning off the Internet satellite so I have some reception. Then, maybe later today, I’ll get some pictures up . . . and tell you about the rest of my night and explain why I didn’t get to bed until 3:30 this morning. ;)
I hope you and yours have an absolutely Currier & Ives holiday today!