Monday, December 14, 2009

At home... in bed.. lap top, well, in my lap sillys!

Winter hit, and it hit hard not too long after my job moved south and I had to start driving 40 minutes to work. This is nothing by some peoples standards but it has been a tough pill for me to swallow. Why? Because even though I do enjoy driving (as a rule) I hate driving in winter conditions. Winter is fine if the sun is out and the roads are clean. But cover them with snow and have a bunch of it blow around so I cannot see and mix that with some (insert bad words here) who think the roads are as safe as they are in the heat of summer, and I get physically ill on the drive. I fight to keep the contents of my stomach down. My heart races, my palms sweat. Sometimes, most recently this last Thursday on the drive home, I felt tears well up in my eyes. So by the time I get to work, I am already drained of all physical and creative energy. I am sure I will get used to it. Age makes that process much slower. But I am sure in time I will. Both the new drive and the winter conditions at the same time have been overwhelming. Combined with menopause... look out. Roger must really really love me.
Friday was an official snow day. Once I had decided I was not up to the drive and had left a message for my boss I found out the offices here and in Bracebridge were both closed.
Then reality hit. There was a ton of snow that had to be removed from the drive. Mountains of the fluffy, and as it turned out, heavy stuff, that went on forever.
I hate this driveway. It is on a steep (seems to me) incline and twists and turns to the parking space by the house. It is the slope that scares me during winter. The rest of the year I can hear it as my car switches gears to make the incline. She is groaning and saying "ohhh this hurts".
I can only imagine it’s worse for her when her wheels start to slip on the wet snow or the ice beneath. It’s a busy street at the bottom of this drive way and I slid out into traffic once. It scared the (insert another bad word here) out of me. It has coloured every trip I take up and down this drive in the winter. I expect the worst to happen.

But the snow needs to be removed so we can get our cars in and out during the cold winter months. Roger made it out in the early morning and an ample amount of snow had fallen since then. He had cleared only the minimum it took to get his tiny car out.
So shovel in hand I braved the blowing snow to make it as safe as I could for any and all to get in and out safely.
I was shortly joined by my son who worked alongside me until 1pm when we decided to take a break, warm up and eat something. An hour after that Rogers sister arrived home and pitched in when Liam and I went back out to finish the job. Between the three of us we managed to make some headway as far as getting the snow removed from the area cleared first thing in the morning. I was soaked through and aching and I know I was not the only one. We went inside.

We went  back out later to clear what fell while we were inside. Closer to Roger’s arrival time I sanded the drive to ensure he'd make it all the way up.
Saturday’s mission - To clear the snow that fell overnight and take back the banks to the best of our ability. Again. Minus Roger - the strongest one in this motley crew. He was out shoveling his father’s roof, and garage, and drive.
Taking back the banks is the hardest and heaviest work. The Snow blower has not worked yet this year, THAT being the reason why we had to do this ourselves. I was in the drive by 9:30. Roger’s sister was with me again. Both of us in our 50’s and anticipating the 'snow removal heart attack' which is common in the area under these conditions. We'd work and stop to catch our breath and allow the pounding in our chests to subside. As we made our way deeper into the banks the snow got thicker, harder and heavier and the banks got taller meaning every shovel full we tossed up resulted in at least half of it falling back down. Our shoulders by this time felt like they were made of Jello and devoid of all strength. We were growing frustrated and stopped to rest and vented further. It was during one of these ‘break and bitch fests’ that our neighbor strode up the drive... assessed our progress, shook his head and disappeared down the slope.
We were failing at our task miserably. I suspected he was ashamed for us. We started to shovel again laboring under the weight of this white curse.
Then….. through the blowing snow.... a sound... familiar. Almost forgotten.
It was getting louder. We stopped and listened, looking at each other, wondering if we were both hearing the same sound. There was something oddly comforting about it as it grew louder. We were unable to locate the direction in the now swirling wall of snow. We could barely see each other.
Then the snow parted like a curtain and our neighbor approached bathed in ethereal light, accompanied by the sound of angels singing. Snow blower and man functioning as one, removing the banks with seeming effortlessness.
Ok. There was no angels singing... no light...heck, the snow wasn't even falling at this point. But that’s what it felt like when he came up the drive.
Our knight in shining armor with his trusty steed.
Or more precisely, Tim in his grey coveralls and his Toro - Power Max Snow blower.
He glowed a bit…. and it shone.
No… Not really.
But I was ever so grateful
We worked alongside each other to finish the job. I’d chop the banks down that were especially tough and he’d blow them up and away.

It was dark as I made my way indoors. Everything hurt. I was shaking from being cold and wet for so long. I spent the night attempting to warm myself in bed drinking copious amounts of tea, and hot chocolate. I was cuddled up there wearing my flannel pajamas, socks and my house coat.

I had the fire turned up to high. Roger fed me two generous shots of rum and ibuprofen and as I watched the Polar Express I drifted off to sleep only to be woken by a wasp that stung my elbow.
That’s another story.
Yesterday I shook all day, still unable to keep warm, my joints aching.
Today my throat is sore and my nose is plugged and I am still cold. Drugs have dulled the ache in my joints and the throb in my head. Bed can be a boring place when you are all by yourself so I love the fact that I can be nestled in bed with my laptop, on my lap and can view and communicate with the world. Sometimes I can even work from here.
Final note. I love the LOOK of winter.

1 comment:

  1. A very sad story. I hope Santa brings you a snowblower for Christmas! And I hope you're feeling better!