The four-letter S-word: Snow. Yep, that’s an expletive around here.
Growing up on the Canadian prairies, snow and bitter winter cold were simple facts of life. We dressed appropriately and respected the danger; but unless the temperature sank to -40 we carried on.
When I was in my twenties I moved to Calgary, Alberta, and I thought I’d died and gone to heaven. There was still cold winter weather, but it was regularly punctuated with chinook thaws where the temperature rose above freezing.
Years ago my dad and step-mom used to spend the winter in Victoria, BC. I visited them frequently, and it never snowed.
Later, Hubby and I came to central Vancouver Island once or twice a year for ten years or so. We visited in all the “winter” months, and it never snowed. (Okay, once we saw about an inch, but it melted the next day.)
So after thirty years in Calgary we decided to move to Vancouver Island where ‘it never snows’.
Yeah, right. We got suckered.
Last winter was the coldest and snowiest on record. We had about two feet of snow on our yard, and it stayed for a couple of months.
But, hey, that was an anomaly, right?
Guess what happened last week?
Yep, about ten inches of sh-… I mean, snow.
Vancouver Island doesn’t deal well with snow, and often the power goes out when the weather is bad.
Fortunately, we knew this. We’ve wired our house so we can switch over to generator power if necessary. And it was necessary: we lost power four times, for several hours each time.
When I was a teenager, our prairie farm was hit by a three-day-long blizzard. The power went off the first day and was finally restored five days later. The roads were impassable. If we hadn’t been prepared, everything in our house would have frozen, including us.
So last week when the snow came down and the lights went out, my brain flipped into DEFCON 1: “AWOOGA! AWOOGA! EXTREME HAZARD! ALL HANDS ON DECK!”
I scurried around lighting candles, dragging out my big goose down duvet, and helping Hubby get the generator deployed; all the while knowing that WE WILL DIE IF THE GENERATOR QUITS! What if we run out of gas? We don’t have our wood-burning backup furnace installed yet, OMIGOD WE’RE GONNA DIE!
The temperature was barely below freezing. There was no wind. And even if the roads had been impassable and we had no heat source at all, our neighbours’ place is less than a quarter-mile away. If we had actually managed to die, it would have been from sheer stupidity.
So maybe eventually I’ll get over my knee-jerk panic over winter power outages; but that sh-… um, snow… is still sticking around. And it’s barely November.
We’ve been had.
P.S. To be considered a true Islander I have to complain about the snow, but I’m secretly enjoying the pretty white sparkles. This is the best of both worlds: I can enjoy the snowscape in my yard, and if I need a break I can drive ten minutes to the coast where the grass is (usually) green and the ocean waves keep rolling in. Paradise! 🙂
P.P.S Just because I needed a bit more stress in my life, my web host has gone belly-up, taking all my websites and email addresses with it. If you’ve tried to email me, I apologize – your email has probably vanished into cyberspace. I hope to be back in action with a new host by tomorrow. Watch this space for updates…
Update: I think (hope) everything’s working again… *fingers crossed*