I have a post up at Parenting today about our experiences being snowed in for Christmas. I submitted the post a couple of days before the 25th so it does not include our experience of waking up Christmas morning to a cold house with no power. Luckily Dan had wired our generator into the house electrical system a couple of weeks previous so he was able to get the heater and fridge running and the tree lit within a matter of minutes and we carried on with Christmas without any real inconvenience. The only way you could tell that anything had happened was by the smug look of satisfaction on Dan’s face at his amazing manly handiwork. Like the Kung Fu Panda, he asserts that “There is no charge for awesomeness.”
There may not be a charge for it but there’s certainly a payoff. I note down all awesomeness in my special Book of Awesomeness and it will all be rewarded most generously.
So, the snow. The snow is deep and bounteous. We live in a suburb of Seattle, a suburb that is apparently a vortex of weather magnification. If Seattle gets 3 inches, we get 10. If Seattle has a lot of rain, we get a flood. I don’t even want to know what happens to us when Seattle eventually gets its earthquake. Perhaps we’ll get the fast elevator down to the core of the earth where Jules Verne and all the cave people live. Perhaps I’ll be made a queen there.
Our city is really hilly and I think the county has 1.5 working snow plows which refuse to come down our street because it’s too steep. USPS, UPS and FedEx all agree as does Waste Management. We’re going on our third week with no trash pickup and it’s been over a week since any mail was delivered. Today I walked the kids to a play date through snow that was well above my knees in places. Yes. They cried. Many of tears. After about 2 hours of work on the second or third day of snow, we were able to get one of our cars to the top of our hill but have been too scared to drive anywhere. Apparently the tire chains we’ve so proudly carried with us on winter mountain journeys for the last several years do not fit either of our cars. At all. We sort of assumed they were one size fits all. They are not.
The major road that connects us with the shops and services in town has been closed for several days so when I went to town on Tuesday to pick up some groceries and mail some Ebay packages that just happened to sell right in the middle of the biggest snow event we’ve had in the past 6 years, I had to get creative. Stephanie and I loaded our packages in the laundry basket my kids had been using as a sled, hooked up a bungee cord and pulled them the half mile down the hill into town. About halfway down we met up with some teenagers snowboarding who suggested that we take the packages out of the basket and ride down.
Who am I to say no to a bunch of hooligans with blurred-out faces snowboarding down a major automotive throughway?
After the post office, we had lunch at a favorite little Thai restaurant. The owner asked us if we’d been in before and when we said we had, she squinted up her eyes, crossed her arms and said, “Hmph. I never see you before…” Apparently she had her doubts but she made us some yummy food that I did not have to cook within the ever shrinking 4 walls of my snow fortress, so I forgave her for the suspicious interrogation.
At lunch I told Stephanie that there was something kind of fun in all the cold and cabin fever and lack of Christmas packages arriving. I told her about how my sisters and I would pretend we were Laura Ingalls Wilder and her posse and that we were freezing in the wilderness. It wasn’t hard since I grew up in Canada and all winter long we were one tragic misstep away from actually freezing in the wilderness. We called the game Freezing in the Wilderness due to its aforementioned subject matter. Stephanie shook her head and laughed at me just a bit. Apparently she did not engage in that type of play.
We stopped at the grocery store for rations, loaded up our laundry basket sled and headed home. About halfway up the steep hill, we noticed a large burly man walking directly towards us. He was well over 6-feet tall with a bushy mustache and wasn’t veering to the side. Neither were we. It was strange, this chicken-like approach in the snowy deserted street. After a few moments a truck drove by, heading down the hill, having bypassed the Road Closure signs. The large man stopped walking a few feet in front of Stephanie and me with a perturbed look on his face.
“Great!” he exclaimed, “That truck just ruined my Laura Ingalls Wilder moment. Here I was walking through this peaceful snowy landscape and that guy has to drive by.”
I just stared at him as he continued on. So it’s not just little Canadian girls who play that game in their bunk beds on winter nights. Good to know I’m not alone.