Thursday, March 17, 2011
The Delivery Trucks' Blizzard
After a lifetime of "no known allergies", Laura has gotten a mysterious, full-body rash three times this winter. The most recent occurrence began last Tuesday and by Thursday was bad enough I planned to take her to the local clinic in Crosby the next morning, weather permitting. We'd had days and days of very nice weather and warm temperatures, but a tiny weather system was supposed to pull through Friday morning.
The weather forecasted a possibility of light freezing rain in the morning. I'm a little sensitive to freezing rain these days, so I planned to wait til later in the day to make sure the roads were still good. But in the morning when I woke up, I could hear the wind howling fiercely and I knew that freezing rain or not, the roads were going to drift too badly to make the trip. That was OK; Laura had a holiday from school and I had a new book that I'd just heisted from Noni's house...The Children's Blizzard.
What nobody knew, not even the weather people apparently, is that the light weather system was going to develop into a full-blown blizzard right over our heads, trapping scores of truck drivers out on the road. It was a little surreal trying to read my book about a sudden blizzard that killed hundreds of prairie school children, all the while a sudden blizzard raged outside my own door. It felt like I'd been transported through one of those mystical time-travel devices that happen with alarming frequency in movies. Evidently Laura caught a little of the same feeling, because when I went outside to take a few pictures I soon heard the faint sound of a spoon being vigorously banged against one of my pots. Someone has been watching a few too many pioneer movies.
The last blizzard we experienced had sprung up while I was in Westby, safely ensconced at my parents' house. By the time I got back to the house, the drifts were made and I parked my van on the other side of them. This time the van was right up next to the house. I thought about moving it mid-morning, but didn't want to go out in the storm. It was probably too late by then, anyway.
Towards late afternoon I could tell the storm was slackening somewhat. The wind wasn't quite as fast and there was slightly better visibility. The perfect time for a walk, of course. I still didn't take the chance of going outside my trees, not wanting to run the risk of being the next day's headline, but things were still plenty dramatic inside of our shelterbelt. I quickly discovered the grim truth that blizzards do nothing for my figure!
When we explored further down the driveway, we found that the drifts, again blocking the exposed road as they had multiple times this winter, were now the worst we'd ever seen them. Laura and I had to face the grim scenario of being snowed in. When I told her we'd have to eat the chubby ones first, she screeched, "That's not funny!" and hid the cat in her closet.
The next morning the rescue bus from Westby picked us up early so we could go to church. Jack and Noni came out in the Suburban, Jack blasting through all the drifts on the open road, and Noni squealing next to him. Or it could have been a dolphin, but I've read they rarely come so far north. The ride back in was less dramatic because he'd already broken through the drifts, but even he, in his four-wheel drive beast, didn't feel like tackling the drifts in my driveway!
Noni and Jack very kindly let me use the Suburban over the next day, since neither of them wanted to be my perpetual chauffeur. Sunday morning dawned bright, warm, and beautiful, the perfect day for sledding with my "royal" sled down the drifts across my driveway. Except for the dramatic snow deposits you'd never have been able to tell that two days before there'd been such a dramatic storm, but that is the way of blizzards, I guess.
THE GHOST DOG, ANIKA