Our road crews worked overtime to keep the main thoroughfares passable, but with farm fields knee deep in powdery snow which was lifted and tossed ceaselessly by arctic winds for days on end, the drifts in some places were meters high. While the Real Canada laughed from afar at we wimpy west coasters, we, unused to the blasts of winter felt regularly by the rest of Canada dealt with it as best we could. Our temperatures reached shocking lows of -16 while Alberta had -45. While our children gloated on Facebook about their schools being closed all week, my sister's kids in Manitoba where it was -41 were miffed because their buses only stop running when the temperature dips to -47. Dressed in multiple layers and a scarf up to my eyes, I ventured out everyday as well, just to get some exercise and a few supplies from the dwindling shelves of the greengrocer. My kids spent at least part of every snow day outside, building forts and tunnels, and shovelling the driveway.
Amazingly, even though I had pots of water at the ready in case of a power outage, which I thought was inevitable, we never lost power nor did we lose internet access. The days were spent in relative contentment by all of us at home. I finished the archaeological adventure I was reading and started a murder mystery which I had been given for Christmas.
We watched movies, baked cookies, played a few board games, and caught up on our sleep. All in all, our snow-week was a gift, a chance to gear down and spend some time holed up together.
The weather had calmed considerably by Friday and many of the shops that had closed their doors for a few days were back in business. The grocery stores were restocked with milk and bread, but everyone was bracing themselves for the freezing rain that was promised. Saturday morning, we woke up to a world covered in several millimeters of ice. I went outside to capture some of the beauty on camera before the 'silver thaw', as my friend Sue called it, began in earnest.
Within half an hour, the sun was burning through the clouds and the delicate ice which coated everything in sight began to lose it's grip. Every motion of the wind sent a brittle shower onto the shell of ice-covered snow below. As the morning thaw continued nature provided a chorus of water music. The powerlines and the eaves on the houses dripped in constant percussion, and the hungry, noisy birds came out from their shelters deep within the cedar trees.
Sunday was a gloomier day. The lovely silver thaw had turned to a gritty brown melt. The rain dissolved the white crust to reveal the layers of sand and gravel poured on the snow and ice over the week by the road crews. I was beginning to be desperate for a run, so I went off to the local gym in search of a treadmill.
The week of being mainly housebound may have been good for my spirit, but it had done a number on my waistline.