Monday, November 22, 2010

Winter Wonderland & other wonders

Finally, I got to enjoy this view from the porchlight last night! And let me tell you, it was hard earned. It was just supposed to be a simple snow day right? Let me begin at the beginning...

See we rarely get snow on the island because well it's an island water usually adds an element of warmth to the air and so the freezing that tends to happen to most places where it snows doesn't really tak place. And I should probably qualify it to say that it almost rarely snows because it seems to be more frequent in the past couple years. But while the temps had been freezing in the past week, the weather men in the area were only calling for light flurries. So Monday morning I made my way to work as usual, but desperately wishing that I had my Isotoners with me.

No sooner had the 8:30 crew joined the office did the skys open up dispensing the cold, white snow and it did it plentifully. At first we weren't to concerned, because usually when it does snow, it takes a while to stick. But not this time. The ground was primed and freezing, which only compounded the anxiety of when we would be allowed to leave work. Where I work just happens to be at the bottom of 2 hills and I don't have 4WD either; none of us that were allowed to leave early did. Eventually, probably around 11 we were allowed to leave, but the damage was already done. The initial hill that I tried to climb had me sliding back down it. Thankfully the second hill I tried had a better success rate because it had been diven on all morning, but had it not been my friend & fellow church member Tom was on speed dial to come & get me out of a jam. However, once I reached the HWY it wasn't much better. All we could do was inch along the HWY and a normal 10 minute drive turned into a half an hour drive, for my co-horts it took an extra 30 minutes into Oak Harbor. It was treacherous on 20, there were at least 5 spin outs and the big rigs had to pull over to chain up. Now spin outs are never fun, but on an island...surrounded by water...that just adds another element of fun, right? Nothing like a water hazard to add to the excitement of inclement weather travel.

So I finally made it to the house that I am staying at, house sitting for actually, and here was the side yard/street view at abt. 11:45. It's Probably abt. 4" at this point.

Now the previous evening, not knowing about the gift that the Lord had in store for us, had decided to wait until the afternoon "after I got off of work", to go back to my place to get the ingredients in order to make the pie for tonights pie fellowship at church. At this point, after the initial hill debacle I had just decided to pack it in for the day...except that my wonter boots were also home and those I NEEDED. My tennis shoes were not holding up well. So I called my friend just to let her know about the snow and without asking her anything, she told me to use her van to drive in the snow. Her van is much heavier than my car and holds up well in the snow. PTL! so now I had a way into town, but I knew it would be another 30 minute drive. I go again...scrapping down the van...heating it up...and off I got into the crawl.

It's weird how when the snow comes it makes everything so still that when your crawling on the road at 25mph it can feel like you're flying. I know of at least one other person that shares that senitment, anyone else out there?

Well I made it to my apartment almost without incident. However, I failed to remember that one does not stop at the top of an icy hill, stop sign or not, when trying to navigate a snow covered terain. Thankfully, again, a passerby saw my plight and took pity on the situation and gave me a push up the hill. He seemed kinda irritated, so I guess chivalry only died a little within his heart. O well, at least I made it up the hill.

Still hangin' with me? OK, got my stuff and made it back to the house unpacked and now I'm ready to bake! Right? You'd think.

If that had been true I would have started right away. Instead my friend called again and reminded me about the fact that the hose needed to be unhooked from the spicket so that the pipes didn't freeze. OK, no biggie...NOT! I was able to find an allen wrench in a drawer and set to it. All to no avail. The thing was already frozen solid! YIKES!!!

Remember people, righty tighty...lefty loosey (the wisdom dispensed to me by my mech friends from my Navy days).

So now what??? I tried to call anyone I knew who had lived in a cold climate (remember people I'm an original California girl). First, I called my friend to see what she wanted me to do. After all this hasn't been the easiest house sitting job, last week we had a major wind storm that toppled over one of her sheds! But alas all I got was her voice mail. Second I called my Dad. He's from Pittsburgh, PA and he'll know what to do, right? Answering machine. Really?! (if I couldn't laugh I'd cry. Not to ironic that Sunday evenings message at church was about how not to worry.) So what's my 3rd option? Think, think, think. Ahhh HA, Tim & Katie! They're from the frozen tundra, a.k.a. Minnesota. They'll totally know what to do. So I rang them up. Katie was home & her advice, a blowdryer and extension chord. That way if I can't get the hose unstuck at least it doesn't re-freeze with warm water on it. At this point I'd try anything!

Blowdryer? Check. Extension chord, well naturally the extra long one that I needed was in the shed that was still standing, but it was all tangled up since it had originally been in the one that toppled over. I tried and tried, in the dark and the below freezing temp last evening to work out the kinks and tangles, all to no avail.

*Sidebar* I hope my friends that know me are enjoying the mental picture of this struggle.
OK, time to regroup. So in the end all I could find was a bunch of smaller extension chords that I attatched together.
But that endedup not working so well. Finally, my friend called me back and told me to just go ahead and use the hot water idea, and if I couldn't get it off then we'd just pray that it wouldn't freeze. Well that's fine, but really I just couldn't deal with it if I had to contain another disaster, especially busted pipes. So again, here I go. But finally...Ta-Da!!! I am smarter than a frozen water spicket! YES! I was super relieved that the hose came loose. And my tools that worked? HOT water and an Allen wrench. Definitely have to remember that for "next time".

This one I took just for fun

YAY, for snow boots!

Finally, after all was said and done, I got to start & finish my Oatmeal Pie (click the link for the recipe, I got it from another blog). And those that chose to partake in it tonight found it YUMMY!
My evening day may not have been ideal, but I learned a couple things:
1) Why worry when you can pray?
2) Oatmeal Pie is YUMMY
3) That God's plan will always cause a person to wonder. Why? Because in the prevailing thought that stayed with me throughout the evening and that I expressed to my friends is that, I just had to wonder what the Lord was preparing me for. Because it just seemed to be one thing after another. It's definitely gonna be something, but what only He knows in the end. Whatever it is I wonder if I'll be trudging through snow doing it. If so I'm definitely more prepared than I used to be.

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