Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Sheesh! What a weekend.

Here it is Tuesday already and I am just now getting back to my laptop to do some writing. Yesterday was a lost day, but today will be better. Yes it will!!!!

I really don’t know where to begin to tell you about the weekend, so I guess I had better start at the beginning.

My sister Heather and her husband Brian were supposed to arrive Friday evening, but the weather was so nasty we thought they might have to cancel the trip up here altogether. Saturday morning dawned a bit clearer, so they braved the roads and set off bright and early. Yahoo! They arrived safe and sound just before lunch, and that still gave us lots of time to snowshoe, drink gallons of tea and catch up on all the news. Yes, we would still have a great time.

We just sat down to a steaming bowl of homemade soup for lunch when my sister got a phone call from her son. His first words were “I’m ok mom – but…” Those words always make a mother’s heart sink. My sister’s face went white as a sheet, and we all sat there with our hearts pounding as we listened to only her side of the conversation.

“Oh dear...but you are ok...don’t worry about the car, we are only concerned about you. You couldn’t see at all...where are you now?” The conversation went on like this for a while and ended with “Ok you drive carefully and call me as soon as you get home. Love you. Bye.”

After she hung up the phone, she flopped down in her chair and hung her head in her hands as she related the story to us. Her son had been driving home from school and was caught in a whiteout. He went off the road, hit a guardrail, broke a headlight and dented the fender, but got control again and was ok. He was shaken up and the car was dinged, but he was ok. The weather was still bad, but he was on his way home and should be there in about 20 minutes. He said he would call when he got there.

We waited anxiously for his call. An hour passed and we still hadn’t heard anything. You could tell my sister was getting more and more panicky with each passing minute and still no phone call to tell us he was home safely.

I made a cup of tea and we sat there, willing the phone to ring. The guys couldn’t sit still, so Brian took the dog out for a walk and AC went up to the bakery to pick up the apple pie we had ordered for dessert that night.

It had been snowing for the past hour or so, and it was a bitterly cold windy day. I heard reports that the wind chill in this area was –41. It was a bone chilling cold.

About twenty minutes later the call came to say Ben was safe at home, and wouldn’t be going out again that night. Heather and I relaxed and poured a second cup of tea, but I was starting to wonder where AC and Brian were. They had been gone a long time. It should only have taken AC about 10 minutes to get the pie, and Brian was out alone in this bitter cold weather. I walked to the window and looked up the lane and wondered out loud where they were. My sister said, “Oh Brian will go for a long walk with the dog and John is probably just taking the car for a bit of a run to warm it up on such a cold day.

“Hmm? Yes, that is probably it” I said, but I was getting anxious. We poured more tea and tried not to worry, but my imagination was getting the better of me. We just got Ben safely home and now the guys were both missing. Twenty more minutes went by and I was fighting not to get panicky. I was losing the battle though. They should both be back by now. It was –41 out there. Where were they?

Worry is like a rocking chair- it gives you something to do, but it doesn't get you anywhere. Dorothy Galyean

I was rocking like mad and definitely not getting anywhere at all!

About 10 minutes later we heard AC come in the back door, but I hadn’t seen the car drive in the lane. How in the world did he get to the door without me seeing the car? His face was bright red and he said, “We have a problem. I hit a slippery corner and went off the road and the car is now stuck in a huge snow drift in a ditch.”

“Did you walk all that way in this horrible wind?” I asked as I walked towards him.

“No, a guy on a snowmobile gave me a ride, and now I know why they wear helmets and face masks. That wind really bites the face! I need to get a shovel and go back to see if I can dig the car out”

My sister and AC gathered up what he needed, got in her van and drove back to the car while I stayed at the farm to make some phone calls to try to find someone with a truck to tow the car out if need be. I could call Honda emergency road service, but we would see if we could get out ourselves first. They were having such bad weather down East I couldn’t get through to the Honda emergency number anyway.

Meanwhile, Brian still wasn’t back from his walk and the weather was getting nastier by the minute. Where was he? Half-hour later my sister came back to the farm alone. She came in the back door saying, “I have good news and bad news. The good news is the apple pie is safe. The bad news is John is going to need a tow for the car.” Yes, the car was stuck but good. I needed to keep phoning around for help, and she would go back to check on John’s progress in twenty minutes.

I set to work calling more people and then pacing the floor while I waited for my calls to be returned. Rock! Rock! Rock! That old rocking chair was getting a good workout. Brian was still not back from his walk and now Heather was wondering about him too. She joined me on her rocking chair. Never a dull moment around here I tell you. Twenty minutes past, so Heather set off to check on AC while I continued to hold the fort here and wait for calls and Brian. Rock! Rock! Rock!

Shortly after she left I finally got a call from a local man who said he had a truck and a chain and he would go pull our car out of the ditch. Thank goodness. Within a few minutes of that call, Brian came home safley from his walk, rather cold and tired, but safe and sound. Heather returned shortly after that and 10 minutes later AC pulled into the drive with a snowy and only slightly damaged car.

It wasn’t until that moment that I started to breath normally again. I was exhausted from all the rocking. What an afternoon! The storm continued to howl outside so we snuggled down into the old farmhouse for the evening to finally start our visit. What a nice feeling to be together, safe and warm after such a tense afternoon. We all looked and felt rather shell shocked though as we sat talking for a long time about all the events of the day and what could have happened but didn’t. How fortunate we were. After the adrenalin rush of the afternoon, we were all drained, so we toddled off to bed early. Tomorrow was sure to be a better day.

The next day dawned bright and sunny and we were determined to make the best of it. Right after breakfast we went out to feed the birds, and my sister was thrilled to have them come and feed right out of her hand. After the little guys had consumed their fill of peanut butter we set off for a morning snowshoe walk along the frozen river. It was grand and glorious indeed and we all thanked the powers that be for this wonderful time together.

It was a bright, sunny day, but still very cold. We came back to the farmhouse with frosty noses, cold fingers and high spirits. Yesterday had been awful, but today was a fresh new day and we were going to enjoy it. After lunch Heather and I settled in the front room with huge mugs of tea, to visit the afternoon away, and Brian took the dog out for another walk. AC puttered around the farmhouse, keeping the wood-fires burning, and working on the computer. He was starting to feel the after effects of his accident on Saturday, and was struggling a bit. Every muscle seemed to hurt from all the digging he did trying to free the car, and he felt absolutely worn out emotionally.

It started to snow again and the temperature was dropping when Brian came in from his walk. What a shock when he informed us we had a flat tire. This was the straw that broke the camel’s back. It was getting dark, it was snowing, the temperature was dropping and now we had a flat tire. The guys went out to change it, but the cover on the spare tire was frozen shut and they couldn’t access the spare.

They came in to get some de-icer and both looked rather frazzled and cold. At this point I said, “We have paid for Honda emergency road service, so we will just call them and get some help. If they can’t come until tomorrow or the next day, so what? We are not stranded out on some cold windy roadside. We are safe and warm, so just take your coats off and we will deal with the flat tire later.” They both looked at me with great relief on their faces and gratefully took their coats off and slumped into easy chairs in the living room.

I tried to call Honda, but the lines were so busy I couldn't get through, so I didn’t even try again until the next morning. When I did call them on Monday, I was on hold for over an hour! Goodness, I sure was glad I wasn't trying to contact them from a cold snowy roadside, using a cell phone.

Anyway, I got through to them eventually and by noon the tow truck was here, the tire changed, and the flat one taken away for repair; to be picked up later.

We were both operating at low ebb yesterday so moved slowly through the day. We went for a walk after lunch, but the rest of the day I did a lot of reading, and AC just puttered away at this and that.

Sheesh! What a weekend indeed!

This is a rather long post, so I will end it here, but will share some of the wonderful joys about the weekend in my next post. Stay tuned.

Joys divided are increased. J.G. Holland

Sorrow shared is halved, but joy shared is doubled. Isn’t it amazing how that works? Try it. It really works. Talk to you all later.


Iona said...

Wow, jees! I can understand that must have been a very frustrating weekend, full of troubles and worries. I'm glad you're all okay and nothing really serious happened. I hope this weekend won't repeat itself anymore for you!

"Getting an inch of snow is like winning 10 cents in the lottery." (Bill Watterson, American author of the comic strip Calvin & Hobbes, b.1958)

I guess you all were millionaires... Take care!

Karla said...

Hi Cuppa

Oh my!. What a weekend indeed! Thank goodness everyone was ok. How uncanny that so many things go wrong all at once. Poor Anvilcloud. That’s not the first time this winter he has had problems with the car and slippery driving conditions!

I’ve been wondering about your pen name. I can google what an Anvilcloud is, but unfortunately, google doesn’t have any answers for what a Cuppa is. If I had to speculate, I would have to guess that it is short for cup of coffee, or cup of tea. You have mentioned on more than one occasion how the first cup of coffee in the morning is so yummy, and it sounds like you enjoy tea as well. Am I close?

I wanted to thank you for your comments on my blog about balance. I remember when I first started working after finishing school; I would put in insane amounts of hours with the mindset that only the hardest working ever makes it to the top. I did this for a couple of years (and thank goodness it was only a couple) before I realized that I really didn’t want a career, I just wanted a job. My family and personal life was much more important to me than the ranking I had on the company organizational charts or what my salary looked like.

I thought that new mindset and outlook on life would set me on the right track for slowing down and actually enjoying life more instead of watching it whiz on by…but somehow when it came to family planning, I couldn’t let go of my “task oriented” mindset or mental agenda of things I must accomplish. It took my husband and I much longer than we expected to conceive, and looking back, I can really see how being so hell bent on getting something done in a set amount of time can just eat away at your soul and suck the excitement right out of life.

I suppose some may look at that and say I am just a very driven and focused person, but I know I need to take a step back every once and while, enjoy what I have in front of me and (if I may quote your words) enjoy the gifts life has to offer us. All too often I catch myself not truly enjoying a moment that should be cherished and relished because my mind has already checked off that item on my “to do” list and is already starting to focus on the next item.

On New Years Eve, my husband and I were discussing our accomplishments for the year 2004, and trying to decide what’s next. Truthfully, my only goal this year is to concentrate on taking on my new role as a mom and learning to appreciate every moment of it, because I know my baby will grow up in the blink of an eye, and I want to have every opportunity to savour and delight in the wonders of parenthood.

Thank you for your words of wisdom Cuppa. They truly do inspire!

JV said...

Hi Cuppa,

Boy, this story reminds me of winter accidents we used to have as I was growing up in Northern Ontario. You can slide off the road so easily, but if you're lucky, there will be a nice soft snowbank to catch your vehicle gently. I also remember digging and towing other folks' cars out of ditches near our house. I guess it's all part of living in Canada, isn't it? I'm glad no one was hurt.