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Tuesday, 12 January 2016

"Have a Safe Drive"

The snow started to get heavy at about 2:00 this afternoon. People at work started to look out the windows and mutter about driving home. By 3:00, people were checking weather stations and asking for others to "convoy" with them on the drive home. By 3:45 I was texting my son (who was on a school bus on his way home) to see if they were o.k., or if the bus driver had pulled into someone's laneway to wait it out.

My drive home is short. I like the scenery and it is a very pleasant way to wrap up the day. Today I was sitting very upright, leaning forward in fact, wipers on, emergency flashers flashing, high beams just to make myself even more visible. There was no seeing scenery. At one time I was using the hydro poles at the opposite side of the road as points of reference. There were little reprieves now and again where I could see a little bit ahead of me so I knew I wasn't going to run into someone (and they weren't going to run into me). There were other times when I felt like I was driving into a sea of white. I was extremely happy that there was some kind of agricultural forum type event at the community centre and  two lines of big four by four pick up trucks were parked, flanking the sides of the road, leading me into our little village. I just aimed down the middle.
This is a picture taken through the glass of our front door. Our neighbour's garage and house is about 85 yards away and you can barely see them.
This is taken through a different door looking out to our back porch. It is not as blustery in this picture.

When I pulled up to our house, I was the only one home. My husband wasn't home from work yet, and my son was still not off the school bus. Eventually everyone made it home, my husband actually accidentally timing his drive during a brief window of calm.

Today's weather was an example of snow squalls. They come off the waters of the Great Lakes and cause white out conditions, dumping a lot of snow. There are highways closed, which means that the police put up barriers letting people know that it is unsafe to travel that road. There is one stretch of highway to the east of us that has a permanent barrier ready to be used, rather than waiting for police to get there and bring barriers with them. Information about road closures is also on the internet, announced on radio stations, even shown on the weather channel on tv.

People from my work texted each other to announce their safe arrivals home. It is very common for people to wish each other a "safe drive home" as they part ways. I don't know if that is common in other areas or not. To make your way through a hideous snow storm is generally a rite of passage and everyone has a storm story to tell. People also have tales of being "storm stayed" which means that the weather was so bad that they were forced to spend the night at someone else's home (if lucky) or some other form of shelter.

One year, we had been invited to join friends of ours at a dance. It would have been about an hour and half drive away. The weather was not looking promising and by the time we were to head out we were doubtful. We started down the road and ended up turning back. On our way into our little village, we saw another vehicle barely inching along, and then pulling over. These were two people not from the area who had a ways to go. My husband put the window down and shouted to them that we just lived "over there" if they found themselves in trouble. Not too much longer after that, the couple did indeed end up at our door and they spent the night on our pull out couch. They were very nice and appreciative. I couldn't begin to remember their names, but she sent me a Christmas card that year.

I've just been interrupted by the cat pinging on the window screen to be let in , and the night is quite calm and clear right now. That's the way with snow squalls, it can be calm one moment and the inside of a snow globe the next. For now we are cozy in our home with a  fire in the woodstove.

5 comments:

  1. So glad you all made it home safely. Those blowing snows are so scary. I used to drive 25 miles to work one way...on these kinds of days it would seem like a 125 miles. LOL. Some white knuckle driving. Blessing, stay warm and safe. xoxo,Susie

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  2. This time of year I'm so grateful for a warm house! We had lots of snow come down yesterday although I've seen so much worse in my 50 years. I've got a few stories of driving in really bad winter weather but the worst was driving on icy roads in freezing rain. That was awful!

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  3. The farmer has just looked over my shoulder to read this and says that snow is forecast here overnight. After such a long wet and warm period it is going to be quite a shock to wake up to a white world, but after all, it is January. Keep safe and warm.

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  4. Love your cat header!
    I still get my grown children to let me know they got home safe...
    Lots of snow here as well...oh well...we knew we wouldn't escape it all winter!
    Enjoy the rest of your week Wendy!
    Cheers!
    Linda :o)

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  5. Not quite sure why I called you Wendy....oooops!
    I know your name is Jenn...sorry about that...won't happen again!

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