Sunday, February 12, 2017

Family Day Weekend

After three solid weeks of feeling less energetic than usual and two weeks of extreme winter weather - things took a turn for the better at 5 on Friday.

The view from my office looked promising.
The storm clouds were moving on, and clear skies were being uncovered.
Plus, my cough was becoming less annoying.

I picked up groceries for my mom, took out the garbage, emptied the dishwasher, and checked on the basement (Drew and Dani are moving back in this weekend). With the driveway and sidewalks cleared, and the porch was tidied, and I felt OK about going away for a night or two. No one had been out to check on the cabin and Chilliwack had received 30" of snow last week... It was the responsible thing to do.

So at 8:30 I packed up two back packs, my laptop, some notebooks, a crate of food, some books, my camera and I headed east toward the full moon. The skies were clear and sparkly. The roads were dry and empty. And I felt so free. 2017 has been a bit rough so far. Nothing big, just a Cold From Hell, Blizzards, Storms and Snow, and Uncertainties re: housing.

But on Friday night, I felt peace.

I stopped in at Nestor's to get some milk and eggs. I stood in the 12 Items Or Less line, behind a 20-something year old guy who was buying a bunch of vegies and a steak.
Him: I'm so excited to get home. I'm having steak tonight.
Her (clerk): Uh huh.
Him: And I'm making my own salsa. With lots of cilantro. I love it.
Her: Apparently, some people hate it.
Him: I heard that. Like, it's a genetic thing or something.
Her: Yeah.
Him: Well, I love it. And I make it with .... (and he starts listing all the groceries he's buying.) This is what I love about being an adult. I can eat whatever I want. It. Is. So. Awesome.
Her: Adulting. It's just the best.
Him: It really is.

Haha. I took a pic of him with my phone, because I thought, while this conversation was happening, that I'd blog about it and having a photo to go along with it would be nice. Better than a wall of text. But then.
That's just creepy.
And chances are someone might know him.
Too awkward.

Anyway, I was invited to move over to the CheckStand 4 because Flirty Clerk was taking forever to get that order rung up. I paid and left and they were still discussing the advantages of being an adult. ("Wine! I'm going to have a glass of wine with my steak...")

I got on the freeway with half a tank of gas, and decided I'd stop to fill up at Whatcom Road because a) gas is cheap there and b) there's always a lot of Pokemon there.
(Yes, I still catch them. And there's a Valentine's special on right now. DOUBLE CANDY and all the pink Pokemon would be out in force.)

I pulled into an empty Petrocan station at 9:30. While I filled up, I had my phone out and was in the midst of catching a couple Lickatungs when I heard two cars pull in. Their mufflers had been tampered with, and they were revving the heck outa their engines. One million decibels of sound broke the silence I had been experiencing. Before filling their tanks, they revved their engines a few more times, for good measure.

I didn't look up; I had some pink Pokemon to catch.
"Our cars are pretty annoying, eh?"
I looked over my shoulder to see if he was talking to me.
He was.
I shrugged and went back to my phone.
"Like, they're really loud, right?"
He was probably in his early 20's.
"Uh, no. Not annoying. I've got three sons. I'm used to noise."
"But do your sons have cars like these?" he wondered.
"No, not really. But my one son did have a couple drifting cars."
"What? Drifting?"
He turned to his buddy. "That's way cooler than us."

After that, he went back to filling up his car. And I caught a Jigglypuff.

The temperature was 5 degrees, so the roads were not frozen.
The stars were super bright and other than the snow on the fields and in the median, it could have been a summer night. I mean, if you're driving at night, with the heated seat keeping you warm, seasons don't really make a difference.

Until you try to enter a yard that hasn't been cleared and there's 12 - 20 inches of snow....

My truck has been completely reliable this winter. I have not slipped, nor gotten stuck on any road or lane I've driven on. I've got good tires and a 4WD, and it's a truck, so it sits a lil higher than a car. I had it serviced in December so I have been confident that it can handle whatever I encounter.

Except 12 - 20" of packed snow.

I entered our neighbourhood at lil after 10 and it was dead quiet. Whoever was up for the weekend, was all tucked into bed for the night. I drove slowly down the lane, checking driveways to see who was around, then drove into our yard and got stuck. The snow was so deep it came up over my bumper. My truck pushed snow forward for a second, then my backwheels just started to spin. There was nothing to get traction on. Just snow and snow and more snow. So I put it in reverse and backed it out. And took a running stab at it again. But I just sunk into more deep snow.

Totally new experience for me.

So I broke The Number One Rule of Cultus Lake and parked on the road.
I slung my backpacks over my shoulders and pulled the crate of food out of the back seat. I took a couple steps towards the house and sank. It was so deep it came up over the top of my boots. I trudged toward the house, where the snow had drifted up the stairs and made my way to the porch. I repeated this three times because I pack like an idiot and had brought a million things to do.

I'm really quite done with snow.

Three things I'm thankful for:

1. I just started and finished this book today. I suppose you watch Fixer Upper?  So you totally know who Chip and Joanna are. Well I haven't had cable in, like 4 years, so I am not acquainted with their awesomeness. But they sure have inspiring lives, eh?

After reading it, I sent them both a thank you message for sharing their story. Then I made a detailed To Do list that has 1,559 items on it. They accomplish SO MUCH, and have fun doing it. With 4 kids.

2. I'm thankful for winter and cozy places and bathtubs with no sliding glass doors and complete silence and fresh cold water and solitude and books and lists and stories and peace. 

3. I am thankful for long weekends and Family Day and families in general and my family specifically. I am thankful for boys, sons, young men, dads. I am grateful for conversations and online chats and text messages and kids. I am so glad I have friends and a sister and a brother and some cousins and a mom. God knew what He was doing when He made us to be community-minded. We need each other to be better people. 


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