Monday, March 2, 2009

Snow and more Snow

My last blog was all about a snow day and guess what; we got us another one. Only this one is pretty deserved, seeing as how the roads down here in the Carolinas are truly a mess. Cars, semis and even emergency crews have been having a tough time with icy roads. They just don't buy salt in bulk in NC, nor do they have the truck/man power to plough everything in sight. Heck, the kids and I can't even shovel the steps anymore. This morning we couldn't find proper gloves or boots either. We gave those up (not for lent, though the season is upon us) when we moved south. Were we being too cocky?

We just returned from Canada where we encountered plenty of snow, and the weekend previous, were up in the mountains skiing. Judging from our winter endeavors and travels, you would never know we actually left Toronto to get away from snow. This winter we've had three snow days, a weekend ski trip and then travelled north back to visit the Great White North. All this white stuff has me a little befuddled. "Where am I?" I ask myself when I awake to a frozen white car.

Now, the snow up in the mountains on our ski trip was pretty, but there was barely enough of it. Luckily, the resort up in Banner Elk has enough machines to pump the hills with enough snow to make the slopes do-able. However, they skipped the extra machine for the tubing hill and the result was a big slushy mess. Cyre and I gave up after a couple of hours and they folks in the office were kind enough to return our money, knowing full well that we would turn around and spend it on something else. And we did. Cyre went ice skating instead.

My brother and sister-in-law were kind enough to take our kids down the slopes, show them the ropes (literally) and give them a taste of the good life. Kevin and I stayed back at the chalet and stayed warm by the fire. I brought my computer and got caught up on work, while he caught up on some much needed sleep. Every now and then I would look outside the window, take in the beautiful landscape and smile. I did step outside and take a few shots of the mountains, just for posterity, in case anyone accused me of ignoring my surroundings. Later that day we took a drive into town, grabbed a tea, checked out a few shops and enjoyed some free time alone. That's my idea of a ski vacation!

Our trip north was a different story. Kevin had a series of concerts and gigs in Toronto. It was Cyre's birthday and she wanted to visit a few friends and relatives. I decided we would tag along since the cost of gas was going to be even less expensive than a return flight. So, it turned out to be more of a convenience than anything. Although my friends kept asking "why the h$*! are you coming here in the worst month of the year?", we decided it would be worth it just to see everyone again.

I admit it; I was extremely nervous about driving through the mountains of Virginia in the month of February. But, we gave ourselves two days to drive and promised we would pull off (to the side, not off the mountain) if things got too hairy. Well, we were lucky. The first two hours were a bit tricky as a few trucks fish-tailed and slid around on the roads. Our trusty, all-wheel drive got us through this stretch no problem. Plus, our experience driving in Canada help us with things like distance, breaking and general common sense. Now if only I could transfer that to my NC driver's licence test...but that will definitely be a whole other post!

The rest of the trip went smoothly. On the Saturday in Canada, we drove west to the town of St Jacobs, to meet with friends while Kev gigged in the next town over. That afternoon a snowstorm blew into the region, and we caught most of it. But, somehow snow up there felt appropriate. It made me just a little nostalgic for Canada. Snowstorms in NC feel weird and dangerous. And weird. I know they aren't all that dangerous, but they still shake me. I didn't have that same reaction at all in Canada.

Anyhow, I know the snow that's outside on my daffodils won't last, and their yellow beauty will bloom once more. I know we had better enjoy our silver white winter before it melts into spring. (shout out to Sound of Music). I know I shouldn't feel lonely for crappy, Canadian winters. But I do.

Maybe next week when I'm sitting outside on my porch again, I'll forget about being in Canada and embracing the warm, beautiful weather of North Carolina. I'm sure I'll forget all about the snow until next year.

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