Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Followed by February Blizzard!

What little I knew, or even thought I knew, about North Dakota before moving here, I gleaned from the books I'd read through the years. Not to give the impression that I was studying up on the subject; I really didn't give this noble state much brain space at all until the last year, but in a lifetime of reading, a few literary references crept in.

One of the most popular and oft-repeated concepts (coming in a close second to 'And Then Came the Locusts') was the deceptively warm weather that lulled winter-weary pioneers into starting on long journeys in nothing but their skivvies, only to find that a malevolent blizzard lurked just over the horizon. What I'd assumed to be a literary device seems to be a pretty common weather pattern up here.

After days and days of unseasonably warm weather, the weather forecast predicted a snow storm. No problemo, we've had plenty of those. When I poked my head outside Thursday morning, it didn't even seem that bad. Snowing, blowing, cold, but no worse than usual. I headed off to work as an aide at my mom's and Laura went off to school.

But over the course of the morning it became clear this was a little worse than usual. Something about having to walk up the driveway with our eyes closed because the snow was blowing so hard. Now I know how all those pioneers got lost. They had their eyes shut! The dogs were let out to roam free for their potty breaks and came back looking like abominable snowdogs. Noni has nice pictures of the blizzard here:, but I was smart enough to stay inside until it got better. At least that's what I keep telling myself. Secretly, I am consumed with jealousy over her blizzard photos.

The school in Grenora waited all morning and into the afternoon before deciding not to run the buses. Laura doesn't have a 'home away from home'--as they call it here--a place where she can stay in the event of a blizzard, so I was stuck going down to get her. Thankfully, by the time I found that out, the blizzard was almost spent. There were some pretty impressive drifts on the road, but I made it through, and by the time we headed back home the sun was out.

When we got back to my driveway, it was to see that once again it was drifted shut, this time worse than ever. We spent the next four days, until my neighbor dug us out with his tractor, parking part way down the driveway and hiking in. No problem, but glad to be able to park by the door again! I'm making him cinnamon rolls this morning to say thank you.

Now the snow walls surrounding my house are pushed even higher. If you've ever seen "Ice Age: The Meltdown", that's kind of what I feel like. They're fun to play on now, but I'm a little worried about when they melt. Guess I'd better get all my under-the-house work done before then!

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