It is 9am on Sunday. Right now we should be in church in our other town getting ready to start the service. However, my husband is actually in the garage setting up heaters and drip pans under our car.
Travel was not recommended this morning on our local highways after a bit of a snow 'n' blow last evening. The roads are not usually quite as bad as the road report maps show, but this morning they actually were.
We were about 10km into our 60 km journey when a semi hauling 2 flatbeds passed us on the icy road. He skidded sideways into a high drift of snow across the road about a half a kilometre ahead of us and pushed a huge pile of snow into the centre of our lane. The drift was at the top of a rise in the road and although my husband slowed considerably upon seeing the drift, we couldn't see the exact height of the snow ridge, nor the fact that it was a good city block long.
Into the drift we ploughed, forcing mounds of snow and ice up around the motor and the fan, the alternator and the rad hose. We found a side road to pull over onto and my husband opened the hood to check the damage. Fortunately there didn't appear to be any damage, but the fan of course was lugging badly. My husband got his hands in there and scooped out as much as he could, we called a fellow from the church congregation to take the service for us and we crawled home, back through that miserable drift. So grateful to God that we made it.
The car is warming in the garage now until my husband can jam enough snow out of and away from the fan to get it to the car wash and wash out the rest of the icy disaster.
The good part of him missing work this morning is that everyone else in the congregation is "from here" and will not be surprised nor alarmed nor upset in any way that he wasn't able to be there. The same scenario has happened to them as well over the years, probably any number of times.
Today's highways are worthy of news reports in other provinces, but here in good old Saskatchewan it is kind of amazing that there is even a "travel not recommended" alert. Highways in other provinces are completely closed down that are in better conditon than the drifted, icy mess we tried to travel on this morning.
There is new snow coming down again now and the wind is getting up. Even if we had made it to our other church the snow under the hood would have melted from the heat of the motor only to refreeze and possibly blow a radiator hose or break the fan, leaving us stranded there until at least tomorrow. I am so relieved that we avoided attempting a drive home through what is setting up to be afternoon whiteout conditions, with the added stress of not knowing if the car would break down at some point along the way.
Sundays on the prairies are not the time to be stranded in the snow on a secondary road. When travel is not recommended you have no guarantee that the towing companies you can call on your cell phone through the CAA will be allowed to come and tow you, or if they are going to wait for better road conditions themselves.
There is no better feeling during a prairie winter excursion than to know you have "dodged a bullet" when it comes to icy roads and blowing snow.
Perhaps my husband will get a couple of extra hours off today since our church here had its service for this week last evening, but knowing him he will take advantage of the time to catch up on other work related issues, emails, parish letters and what have you. He feels so badly that he had to miss his work this morning that he will probably do twice as much other work instead of resting when he has this unexpected chance to do so.
We are so grateful that our guest speaker this morning is a capable and willing leader, able to do the entire service willingly without any time to prepare. God bless you Cliff!!