This morning we woke up to about a foot and a half of new snow and some interesting drifts around our house and garage from the slight wind. For those of you who prefer using cm's I will let you consult your comparison charts to see how much snow we received in metric measure. Today all this snow and drifting has left me feeling as elderly as the Imperial System itself so I am using it as an emblem of my present condition.
It is still pitch black at our Sunday leaving time of 8am here, one day after the shortest day of the year, winter solstice, so while we realized there had been a fair amount of snow we couldn't actually see the depth of the new drifts behind our garage. Oh my goodness, we had to shovel for about 15 minutes before we had a long enough path dug out to get the car from the garage to the alley way right beside it. We were wet and exhausted and chilled before we even started the 60km (there, is that better?) drive to our other church.
It took us over an hour to get there, snow drift "bustin'" the entire way. Underneath the drifts was an unrelieved coating of thick ice that only appeared a couple of days ago. I can't remember the last time we had to plough through that many drifts on a secondary highway in such a short amount of time. It was terrifying, as the pit of my stomach let me know for that whole hour.
When we finally got to the other town there were quite a few cars stuck in the middle of the main street but we were able to slither past them. Everyone was shoveling snow out from around the tires and pulling snow out from under their vehicles quite happily and no elderly among them so we carried on up the street to our church. My husband was able to find a place to park sufficiently away from the centre of the road to not have to worry too much about being hit by passing cars. We walked in the door of the church less then 3 minutes before the service was supposed to start. Generally we would be at least 30 minutes early.
Fortunately it was a special day at the church today; instead of a sermon and a full blown Eucharist we did a shortened version and then headed down into the church hall for the annual children's programme. The Sunday School teacher brings his video camera starting in October and the kids make all the props, sets, puppets and pop can choirs required to tell the Christmas story on film. Every year it is different, hilarious, You Tube worthy. We start looking forward to seeing it weeks before production is complete. We were finished church well ahead of schedule and what a relief as we wondered what the trip home would be like.
The plough had been out on our side of the road for the trip back and we were congratulating ourselves on making the trip back much more quickly. However, the wind had swirled heavy amounts of snow back across the very place behind the garage at home that we dug out before leaving 3 hours earlier. Sigh....... Of course we managed to high centre the car about 7 feet from the garage door. It was our turn to dig out our vehicle. So glad we hadn't had to dig anyone else out first because by the time we proudly drove the car into our garage we were worn out. It took Dell most of the second service to wind down. He really needs to learn how to shovel more slowly!
There wasn't anything particularly unusual about our experience. It is a typical prairie winter experience, but we are finding our sense of adventure somewhat lacking these days and didn't enjoy the challenge as much as we might have a few years ago.
Tomorrow we have a drift over 4 feet high to dig out of the 30 foot long sidewalk that runs from our front door out to the street. Hopefully the public sidewalk that runs another 30 feet across the front of our property has drifts slightly less high and thick. We do have to be well enough afterward to do another trip tomorrow evening to the other church to do the first Christmas Eve service early in the evening, with an even shorter amount of time provided to be back home here for Christmas Eve service number 2.
Perhaps we should return tomorrow afternoon to the home of the parishioner we braved the snow and bad roads in town to go and visit after lunch this afternoon. He gave us a drink so laced with alcohol we barely felt able to drive the few blocks back home afterward. WOW, we are RELAXED!!!! Maybe if we go back to his place tomorrow for a repeat performance we could leave for the first Christmas Eve service without worrying, or even caring, if we end up in the ditch or high centered in the middle of the highway. Hmmmm......maybe a plan..........NOT!
This is prairie winter at its finest: huge snowfalls, big winds, icy roads and drifts too high to drive through. Waiting for the plough is home grown entertainment here. Over the decades we have experienced many snowfalls and storms like this one. It is nothing new.
But today I feel a little like Charlie Brown: I caaaaaaan't staaaaaaaand it!!
Poop on old age and exhaustion that strips the fun out of adventure days like this one.