Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Talking About the Weather

It is a well-known fact that us Manitobans are somewhat obsessed with the weather. We can actually carry out an entire conversation based solely on the weather and it is not just a way of making small talk. No, it is actually a significant factor in our day to day lives. It might sound lame to others who live in more predictable climates, but here the weather provides us with endless adventure and excitement and a wide range of emotional responses. Here is an example of what I am talking about.

It is March. The end of March, to be precise. We have been getting milder weather recently, which has been a blessed relief after the long, very cold and very snowy winter that we have been through. On Saturday night (or technically Sunday VERY early in the morning) we were struck with a thunderstorm. That's right, we're talking torrential downpours, non-stop lightning, house-rattling thunder and even a few rounds of hail. It poured from that time all the way until the end of Sunday and when it was finished, we had what looked like a skating rink under about 3 inches of water in the plowed part of our yard. The rest was still a deep, thick blanket of snow. It was bizarre. I have never seen a storm like that in March.

Then yesterday I was supposed to go out in the morning. Mike's school was cancelled because the roads in the community were washed out from flooding from the storm, so the buses could not pick up the kids. I was happy that he would be home, so I left Jamie with him, and Cody and I made our way precariously to the van, amid the extreme ice. We got in and I backed out of my parking space to face the driveway. Our driveway, by the way, is a winding path through the bush. It is narrow and in the summer it just looks like two worn tire tracks going into the trees. I looked at the driveway and said to Cody, "Here we go, I hope we make it!" We drove onto the driveway and immediately I felt the van sink. Uh oh. So I sped up a bit and I was being pulled all over the place. It was about four or five inches of slush and it was like the Indiana Jones ride at Disneyland. We were bouncing all over and whipping from side to side as I frantically turned the wheel violently back and forth to avoid slamming into trees on either side of me. Painstakingly, we made it to the gate, which is always open, but I was afraid we'd hit one side or the other. Somehow, we did not, but then the real challenge presented itself. How to get up the small slope onto the gravel road. I put on as much more speed as I dared without risking sliding into the ditch on either side and gave it my best effort. We got stuck just about four feet short of the road. Oh boy. I tried backing up, and the tires just spun. I tried going forward...same thing. I had to call Mike from my cell phone and get him to walk down the driveway and come and rescue us. Jamie was in bed so, he was fine in the house alone during that time.

Mike had wrecked his knee last week, so I asked him when he got there which one of us was supposed to push? The pregnant lady, or the gimpy man? He said it was a good question. In the end, we both had turns pushing, including once together with the van in neutral. His knee only gave out once, and I did not have any contractions, so I figured we were doing quite well. After 15 minutes stuck in my own driveway I was finally liberated.

These are the types of adventures that are typical, if not frequent, for us Manitobans. A blizzard was forecast for today, but it looks like we will only be getting a little bit of snow after all. I have a doctor's appointment scheduled for this afternoon, and I am very nervous about how I am going to get out of our driveway. Mike is not home today, so if I get stuck it means I will have to leave the van there and walk back in deep slush and ice carrying a 24 pound one year old and holding Cody's hand. I am nervous.

Anyway, that was our adventure-filled weekend. The morning the storm hit I heard Cody saying, "Okay! Okay!" in his high-pitched, excited, talking-to-Radar voice. I opened blurry eyes and looked out my bedroom door and there was Radar at the end of the hall! Radar is NOT allowed out of the kitchen. I love my dog, but I can't stand the smell of dog, so in our house the rule is that he is allowed on linoleum only. That way the smell does not absorb into our furniture and our carpet. Cody took the liberty of inviting and coaxing Radar into his bedroom with him, and also for a game of chase around the coffee table in the living room. Great. I caught him at it again this morning. I can't do anything about it either, because if the dog is outside, Cody just takes the liberty of letting him in whenever he feels like it. One of these days I'll get up and find Radar sleeping on Cody's bed with him. Cute, but not a habit I want to allow.

Well, I think this is more than long enough and I need to end it here. Hopefully I will not need to update after my doctor's appointment. No news is good news. Bye for now.

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