“The snow did not even whisper its way to earth,
but seemed to salt the night with silence.” – Dean Koontz
Office Administrator Nearly Perishes on Daily Mail Run
The Weather Network has predicted a classic Canadian winter weather this year, a sharp contrast to the exceptionally mild winter season last year. So it shouldn’t have come as a surprise when an arctic vortex swept through yesterday morning. The day started with a mild -12 (-18C with wind chill), but by mid-morning, a heavy band of snow squalls whipped through the region. In addition to the new snowfall, winds were flying across the open fields surrounding the building at over 55 km/hr. This created a spectacular and blinding display of white from every window, and covered the parking lot laneways with deep snowdrifts. These photos were taken in the minutes leading up to one simple office administrator’s daring, near-death escapade in the frozen north.
Normally, Jenn hops out of the car at the red mailbox to collect the previous day’s mail and deposit the outgoing mail, first thing in the morning. But she had already braved the elements the previous day to collect the mail for the bookkeeper, who works every other Wednesday. The bookkeeper had been unable to attend on her regularly-scheduled day so the pile of bills was extensive. Wanting to drop the signed cheques in the mailbox before the mailman arrived, Jenn ventured out in the cold.
First Jenn had to use her full body weight to push the front doors of the building closed before turning her body against the wind so it could blow her to her car. Slick conditions on the pavement made it easy to skate her way there. “I held on to the car door but the force of the wind still nearly ripped my arms off at the shoulder,” said Jenn. Closing the car door presented an even greater challenge. “I literally grabbed the door handle with both hands and threw myself across the front seat to close it”.
The red community mailbox is located on the east side of the building, but was no longer visible from inside Jenn’s car. “It’s a 30 second walk to the mailbox but I decided to drive. I’m glad I did!” Jenn’s car slid down the driveway but got bogged down in the drifting snow. ” I was worried that if I got stuck, I would never make it back to the church on foot. No one knew I had gone out there so no would be looking for me”.
Fortunately, Jenn was able to stop next to the mailbox, and the building provided enough shelter that she was able to get to the mailbox and drop her envelopes in the slot. “I didn’t take the time to see if any mail had arrived,” she said with a laugh. Jenn safely made it around the church to the front doors, but nearly got stuck again on the last corner. An hour later, her boss did get stuck in the same snowdrift, but with the help of a local police officer who just happened to be on site, was able to dig his way out.
“After that harrowing experience, I was worried about getting home. I didn’t go back to the mailbox for any incoming mail – it’s not like it’s going anywhere.”
Environment Canada is predicting another 15-20cm over night Friday, changing to freezing rain Saturday afternoon. Happy Weekend!
This week, Jen Hooks challenged us to photography something vibrant “to wash the web with a rainbow of colors to keep the winter gloom at bay.”
“Even in winter an isolated patch of snow has a special quality.” – Andy Goldsworthy
“Snow provokes responses that reach right back to childhood.” – Andy Goldsworthy
To see more Vibrant photos, click here.
I just wanted to drop you a note to thank you for waking me at 1:00 o’clock in morning by shovelling your driveway. It made getting up the next day exceptionally pleasant. This seems to be your favourite time for this winter activity – I remember from the last winters…
In case you hadn’t noticed, nearly every window in every house on the block was dark at that time. That’s because we were asleep. I’m not sure if your wife (or daughter – I wasn’t wearing my glasses) sitting in your front window, noticed me gesturing to you by pointing to the imaginary watch on my forearm and waving my arms in the air in my agitated state. That’s why I took the additional step of turning on my bedroom light and standing prominently in the middle of the window. I apologize if she waved and I didn’t wave back.
Perhaps next snowfall, you could kindly look out the window from time to time during the day/evening. You see, t you failed to notice that it had been snowing all day and you could have shovelled earlier (like many of the folks on the street). In fact, you could have shoveled and scraped your way down to the bare pavement several times throughout the day/evening (like we did) and gained a real sense of achievement. I realize that by 1:00 a.m., there was quite a bit of snow on your driveway. I guess you didn’t noticed, it was still snowing, so all your attempts to scrape the last three snowflakes off your driveway were rather pointless, as well as noisy.
I also wanted to express my deep appreciation for the way you bellowed orders at your wife/daughter (or were you just carrying on a conversation through the glass window). It really encouraged our neighbour’s yappy dog to join in. I think the dog’s sharper voice carried better – your voice was more like the muffled teacher on Charlie Brown specials, only deeper. Though my ears were straining, I couldn’t quite make out the words.
We haven’t been properly introduced – we met only that one time I came over to ask you if you had a permit to
butcher trim the tree in your front yard, saving you both a fine and an unfortunate death [you were standing on the top step of a ladder that says “this is not a step” and sawing with a saw tied to a broom handle with string]). I was seriously contemplating coming over to do so, by 1:20 a.m. when you were still scraping snowflakes off the bare pavement, but at the time I was worried that you would misinterpret my death threat groggy ramblings and destroy any hope of becoming friends.
I trust this letter finds you well and I look forward to a peaceful sleep.
“The first fall of snow is not only an event, it is a magical event. You go to bed in one kind of a world and wake up in another quite different, and if this is not enchantment then where is it to be found?” – J.B. Priestly
“Nature is ever at work building and pulling down, creating and destroying, keeping everything whirling and flowing, allowing no rest but in rhythmical motion, chasing everything in endless song out of one beautiful form into another.” – from Our National Parks by John Muir (1901), last paragraph Chapter 3
To all the people who have been commenting on how “we’ve had a pretty good winter” and “we haven’t had much snow” – thanks! You jinxed it! I know, I confessed on Friday that I was a little excited to see snow falling on Thursday. I was…a little excited…and then I drove in it with all the other morons on the road and I got over it!
Last night they were predicting between 20-30 cm. This morning, well…I don’t want to know… The temperature, however, is hovering at -16C (with the wind chill it feels like -27C) and I have to take Little Guy to appointment this afternoon. It’s hardly “Snowmageddon” but I’m still complaining because it’s Monday, Little Guy doesn’t have school today, and I was woken by the sound of snow shovels before the sunrise.
However, thanks to my parents’ flying trip up (and back) on Saturday, we now have this!
Too bad I don’t know how to use it! Still – thanks Mom & Dad!
(They also brought some other treasures and helped me restore some order to my home, but that’s a story for another day)! Happy Monday!
It’s hard to believe but 6 months ago, we were just coming out of a massive ice storm. I was trying to pack my car without falling on my face so I could head to my parents for Christmas!
Yesterday I had clothes hanging on my clothesline to dry. Six months ago, the lilac tree was hanging on it instead.
My Solomon Seal was entombed in ice…and now its delicate bells serenade the warm temperature.
Even the Tim Horton’s patio was empty that day…
A lot can happen in 6 months! The grass is green and the flowers are blooming. Robins chuckle heartily and everyone is dressed in short sleeves…no winter boots in sight. But Maya Angelou wrote: “Nature has no mercy at all. Nature says, “I’m going to snow. If you have on a bikini and no snowshoes, that’s tough. I am going to snow anyway”. If given a choice, I almost think I’d take the snow over the bikini…I’m pretty certain the rest of the world would prefer I make that choice too! 🙂
Whinge: To complain persistently and in an annoying way.
Yesterday, it was -21C. The sun wasn’t shining but it was warm & humid!
If it keeps on, I may have to do more than whinge and complain. I may be forced to do something drastic…
Eat gluten-filled toast in the bathtub! I’m not suicidal…just whinging!
"Whatever you are not changing, you are choosing." —Laurie Buchanan
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