The wind swept my driveway clean, but my neighbours didn’t do so well in the super storm that reminded us that winter still exists, as eight-foot drifts stranded nearly everyone in the small community of Great Whale River. The night before, we tuned into the radio bingo game and wondered how anyone could get through with their winning cards. Then the announcer gave in and told anyone who had the good fortune of winning to stay home and come by the following day.
After a while, my neighbour decided to reappear when the wind died down to a mere 50 mph and visibility cleared to a quarter mile. Facebook posts produced some humour and amazement. A small aircraft was stranded, stuck out on the runway and could only be rescued by snowmobile. Thankfully, no one was hurt but I’m sure the pilot must have regretted the zero visibility and extreme blizzard conditions. Heck, even the ravens stayed put in their swaying nests. But I dared to venture out in all-wheel-drive deep winter traction style.
Slowly weaving around drifts formed just seconds after the snow plow had passed, we crawled along at a steady pace. Two small forms appeared in the middle of the road, kids playing street hockey. As a joke, I asked for directions, but no one heard me through the screaming winds. Ahhh, a lost opportunity for a great joke, I thought, and forged on, about 200 metres from home base. A dark tunnel formed in front of me, then, the flashing lights of the snow plow, again. This time, there are half a dozen trucks, supposedly four-wheel drives, stranded in the middle of town, door deep in snow.
I turned back to try the other route and discovered it hadn’t been plowed for at least a half hour. Charging ahead in low drive, we plunged through drift after drift, with only the momentum carrying us to the other side, my windshield wipers whipping uselessly back and forth. We hit a clear patch on the road then giggled like silly girls on steroids. Wow, the wildest 100-metre run I’ve done this year!
In all, it took about 15 minutes to do what would normally take me a minute on a good day. Happily, I discover I could still get back in my driveway and in my warm-heated home. Whew, all that for bingo cards – something to write home about for sure or at least chronicle. The worst thing was that we still had another kilometre to go and I’m sure that we would have only been found in the spring hanging on to my ice scraper and bingo winnings.
Luckily, we had a fireplace and a large-screen TV to make up for not winning the pot of gold. Snuggling and munching hot popcorn hits the spot in this type of weather. Who needs Cialis when you got super blizzards to inspire you?
Then reality steps in, the shovels come out and neighbours emerge to greet the fleeting sunshine and last of the dark clouds contrasts the wild whiteness. Suddenly, a flock of ptarmigan swoop by, landing everywhere. Slowly a grin forms on nearly every hunter’s face in town as the delectable little winter fowl turn up on supper tables everywhere. Yep, it’s hunting time again. Thoughts of the storm fade away and Christmas is on everyone’s mind. I’m pretty sure that online shopping might just become the way to do it this year. Hopefully, everyone has a safe holiday this year and don’t forget to carry a shovel, just in case. Merry Christmas!