Tuesday, February 10

In appreciation of diet coke, snow blowers & modern technology

This morning I woke up at 7:30, brushed my teeth, pulled on snow boots and a coat (over my pjs) grabbed a shovel and started shoveling snow. It's not many days when this is my morning routine but over the weekend I learned how the folks back east do it.

Last Friday morning two good friends and I drove up to a cabin in Big Bear. We brought plenty of craft supplies, chick flicks and a special "Girl's Weekend" playlist on the iPod. The worst part is always unloading the ridiculous amount of crap that we bring with us. The best part is never wearing makeup, staying up late, in sweat pants, and relaxing all weekend. What we do to that poor little cabin is amazing. It pretty much looks like a craft store exploded in there. We typically hole up in the cabin and make maybe one trip out to dinner. I SO needed a break like this. It was great!

All in all we had amazing luck. It was snowing in Big Bear last Friday when we departed but, just when the roads should have gotten very hairy for us, the clouds parted and the sun shone just long enough for us to get into town, go to the grocery store for supplies and get to the cabin. It literally clouded up and began snowing as we pulled into the driveway of the cabin. It then proceeded to snow, and snow, and snow. It was wonderful... until yesterday.

Yesterday we were supposed to come home. Around 10:30 am my friend's sis-in-law called to ask when we planned to leave. I told her a couple of hours. Now, this is not a worry wart sort of woman but she was concerned. She proceeded to tell me it was raining and hailing like mad at her house and it was headed our way. She thought we should wait it out. After several phone calls to family members with Internet service we discovered a snow plow had gone off the road and most roads to Big Bear were closed some due to avalanches. WTF? We figured if snow plows were sliding off the road and avalanches were occurring we didn't stand a chance. After much texting and dozens of calls back home we decided to stay an extra day. I'm so glad we did.

This is what the car looked like after being dug out of the snow yesterday morning. The snow kept coming and it got much worse. The snow on that top railing got up to about 18 inches.

Here is the view from the back door of the cabin as it snowed.

My friend's brother (the owner of the cabin) said he sat in front of a client's office in his car as the rain and wind rocked it back and forth and all he could think was "I hope those idiots don't try to leave today." My friend's other brother has always made a living as part either Search & Rescue or within the Sheriff's Dept. He is an incredibly nice guy who lives to help people. We spoke to him a lot and he didn't like the idea of us leaving either.

Here is a look at the fire I kept burning all weekend. All weekend until the wood pile got too covered with snow and the wood became too smoky from the moisture.

Today, however, was a beautiful day in Big Bear. The snow was so dry and powdery even I thought skiing might be fun. However, another storm is expected tomorrow so it was get out today or not for a long time. We managed to dig out the car and pack it by 9:30 am.

This was the view from the back door this morning. It was so gorgeous!

While shoveling snow we met our neighbor, Jim. Jim has a fabulous golden lab named Buck. Buck apparently has a touch of arthritis but it seems to disappear when snow arrives. I knew Buck must be a Big Bear native as I watched him bound up our deck stairs then very cautiously step down the stairs. I can relate to Buck. Buck and I have obviously biffed it down many a step in our lives. Jim was nice too:

Jim: I'm glad to see you. I was really worried.
Lucy: Oh, we're fine.
Jim: Ya know folks close up their houses in this weather and die of asphyxiation all the time around here. I worried all day yesterday. I was going to come over today to check on you so I'm so glad to see you're ok.
Lucy: You're very thoughtful but we just ran out of Diet Coke. That slows a girl down.

Later, after introducing us to Buck he said "Yeah, if anything ever happened to Buck I might have to go back to one of my ex-wives.

I liked Jim.

After cleaning and winterizing the cabin we left at 11:00 am. We had a four wheel drive vehicle with snow tires and carried chains (as required). What normally takes about 30 minutes to drive took 1 1/2 hours. We decided to go "the back way" since it's curves are more gentle. In other words, I don't get as car sick via that route. We drove about an hour and a half when suddenly all traffic stopped. People got out of their cars and started talking. Turns out a tanker truck had jack knifed about a 1/4 mile ahead of us on a bend and was blocking traffic both ways. We called my friend's brother to see if he knew if it had been reported and when it might be cleared. He said it hadn't even been reported yet. Damn! Our options were to either wait it out or try to turn around. We decided to wait ti out. We had good books and snacks and papers to grade so... whatever. My only vague concern was where would I go to the bathroom when that became necessary? While we waited we watched several idiots make it worse for everyone else. Some moron in an Audi thought he'd turn around. He just promptly slid into a snow drift blocking traffic that eventually made it up the road. He then decided to throw his door open just as a snow plow drove around him. What an imbecile! Meanwhile, his wife was slipping and sliding all over the road with a snow shovel some good samaritan gave them. It's a wonder she didn't slip under oncoming traffic. We just sat and shook ours heads. Thirty minutes later the road opened up to a one-way road then finally a two-way. We continued about a half mile then stopped again. This time there was a "minor" accident up ahead and nobody was directing traffic. Great. Apparently, some a-hole was so excited to be moving again that he overshot a bend and hit another car. Thanks a lot genius. We saw a lot of stupid behaviour. Like the guy with the bed of his truck filled with snow and spikes of icicles. I understand the novelty of dragging fresh snow down to your home but don't these people understand that weighing down the bed of a truck on unstable wheels while going DOWN hill may be a tad dangerous? I'm also not a fan of the people who leave the snow on top of their cars on the way downhill. Trouble is, the sun melts the snow and a minor tap to the brakes makes it all slide down on to the windshield eliminating all visibility. It sucks.

Aside from the sometimes inconvenient traffic, I had an absolutely wonderful weekend. I got lots of r&r and feel so much better. We had no cable so no news penetrated our little crafting bubble except for the weather reports received yesterday. For five beautiful days we didn't hear a thing about job losses, recession, missing children or the economy. One friend was deep in the Twilight series. She read book three and started book four while we were up there. The most stressful question was "Will Edward and Bella end up together?" My friend tried to get me to spill the beans on the series, she even texted her daughter with questions but her kid is a good one and wouldn't talk. Let me tell you, life is good when the Edward/Bella question is the most serious in the house.

It's back to work for me tomorrow but next weekend is another long one. I'm so grateful. I plan watch more chick flicks, read and make stuff. I hear it's supposed to rain. I really hope so. I know I'm strange but I love a good long, rainy weekend.


shandon said...

You're not strange at all -- unless we're *both* strange! A long, cold, rainy weekend filled with good movies, crafts and snacking sounds like heaven to me.

Trooperdog said...

That's my kind of weekend! Love the snow!!!

kb said...

Sounds like a wonderful weekend! I love the picture out the back porch. Beautiful! Nothing better than rainy or snowy days, sweats and thick granny socks, and good snacks.