Monday, November 22, 2010

Victoria Snow Day! Bus accidents and Linda blown home

Snow Day! The AVERAGE temperature for this day over the last 30 years is 8 degrees C (50’s), but it is blowing snow hard, accidents abound, it is with wind, a temp of –17 C., and the library as well as most offices have closed early. It is an official ‘snow day’ and not the kind of NICE snow days I remember as a kid.
I remember snow days where lots of snow fell and the snow plows couldn’t plow all the roads so school was cancelled. I don't remember THIS kind, where the roads were snowed over in an hour, then frozen by the wind while the wind blew light cars and trucks into the oncoming lanes and traffic.

Here is a Victoria Transit Bus which slid backwards downhill causing a 12 car pileup (weather network: you think I wheeled out to verify?).This is one of the hazards of working in Transit, that regardless of weather, you don’t show up for work, you don’t get paid AND you get a mark on your record. But then, since Victoria is essentially a mountain top which sticks out of the sea, almost all routes have hills, and some very severe hill slopes (particularly near the university). On an icy road, it is impossible, particularly with a double decker bus to make it up the top of the hill, regardless that the number 14 and number 11 are the two most common bus routes. A crash is a suspension as is flipping over a bus (which happened last time it snowed like this here, I saw the bus).

Linda and I had planned to go to the library as I wanted to go wheeling. Linda told me when giving me my pills that there was no point, as it was snowing and she went at 2:00. So here is Victoria a month ago, and the 'good sun days', while here is poor Linda by the time she got towards the library: the major road she was on had disappeared under the white. And while there the library announced it was closing due to snow. Since to get to the library I have to go up and then down a hill, wheeling there is a worry. Going up is not the worry (if possible) so much as the short and steep hill near home, as little skinny wheels can make a great sled downhill, with just about as much control and yelling as I had when flying toward the road on a sled as a kid.

I was up late today due to a 3.5 hour nap to try and make up for the lack of sleep on the weekend when I did postcards. I had tried to ‘push’ my body by shaving hours of sleep and working mostly through the night. It seems that the pain may be under control but not my health as what I could do previous, I cannot do now: I had a seizure and was paralyzed for a while and had to sleep and try again in the morning. But we did get 71 postcards done, and with the 39 done last week that makes for 110 postcards in two weeks.Postcards in winter are a good thing (summer for those down under).

This weekend was all postcards, but last weekend we had gone to the Award Winning carver of soap, often written up in newspapers, as she has a two weekend Xmas sale. She had her usual lemons, pears and Asian pears but also some Xmas tangerines as well. Plus she sells bars of her all-natural soap in blackberry, kiwi-lime and a host of other delightful scents (the blackberry sells out quickly while the kiwi-lime is very addictive, Linda got us both). She carves the clams and seashells of the seashore we are used to seeing, as both soap carvings and right into her bars of soap. And because she lets me come early, so I avoid blocking the whole Xmas house she has made, I was able to get one of the carved vellum books, with a seashell in the cover, all carved from soap. I am a bibliophile, even when it is soap, all things books related make me hum. I also got one of her ‘mini fruit’ samplers, which have a mini pear, lemon and tangerine all in one as they smell lush and look great.The soap sampler makes a great Xmas present for putting by the bathroom. I estimated that the sampler and the carved vellum books (of which there were only four) would go quickly, and not be seen until next year (not that I am a 'hoarder' or the like). I have done most of my shopping for Xmas presents, I just need to be able to arrange to mail them out now.

I can see why many Canadians go south for the winter, particularly if this very atypical weather continues. While many would blame global warming, I prefer to use the ‘buzz phrase’ from 10 or 15 years ago and blame ‘El Nino’ which, if flowers turned out smaller or the plums were lopsided, everyone would go, “El Nino!” which made no sense to me then or now. Global Warming makes more sense to me, but since it involves several hundred million people dying, I prefer to live in a fantasy about that; though with wheeling, and my cycling and running before that, I actually clean the air by sucking all that smog into my lungs and breathing out clean carbon dioxide. If I could stick a tree in the backpack of my wheelchair, I think we would have an oxygen balance….if I could ever wheel anywhere with a tree attached to my wheelchair.

Good day for staying inside and watching the snowwhile holding some mulled wine, going to use that mulled wine mix we picked up in Chatto’s in Pasadena (Linda made us a cup of red mulled wine last night with it and it was Yum!). And hopefully it will soon return to the 'kind and feathery' snow that is associated with 'white Xmas', cat girls and Robert Frost poems as opposed to 'The Cremation of Sam MeGee' style snow, which is blowing in our window cracks now.


Raccoon said...

I remember the "Blizzard of 78" in Massachusetts. I was 12 at the time. It was the first time I was allowed out snow plowing by myself. My father even left the bottle of Blackberry Brandy in the truck for me.


No thank you! Wheelchairs and internal thermostat problems and snow are not really fun together.

Someone sent me one of the carved soap books last year. It still looks fantastic -- I have in my library.

cheryl g said...

Brrrrrrrr! We are being hammered by the same storm over here in Port Angeles and it is the snow of my eastern Wyoming childhood with lots of wind and snow falling sideways because of it. Getting to and from work is an adventure and not the good kind of adventure.

Stay safe and warm!

tinarussell said...

I guess the best memory I have of snow was when Sonic Heroes came out in January 2004. The game was already a day late coming into my local game shop because all of Portland (lovely, glorious Portland, I miss you so badly!) was snowed over. But today, the buses were just starting to run, sort of, just very slowly and sporadically. There were no real schedules and I just had to stand at the bus stop for an hour before a bus came. (Maybe it was half an hour... I don’t remember.)

Anyway, since there were plenty of people waiting with me it felt like a certain camaraderie had formed, if only in my head. Also, I build a miniature snowman, which impressed everybody.

At the end I felt frozen solid and my boots were filled with snow. I had to take the bus to the mall, pick up my game, and then take the bus home, and then trudge through the thick snow and freezing wind on the way from the bus stop to my house. But! It was worth it, because I felt like I had managed to prove that I am indeed the world’s biggest fan of Sonic The Hedgehog, having braved the treacherous, icy weather and returned home with the latest Sonic game in hand.

Then, the next year, Shadow The Hedgehog came out, and the game shop was a day late with my game because... DHL was slow. Whaaaatt?!

Elizabeth McClung said...

Raccoon: cool, the only thing I remember from the blizzard of 99 was shovelling an entire block because it annoyed me that there was no clear pedestrian path - then my back hated me. Your story sounds way better.

Cool, she does less and less of the difficult and intense carvings like the books, which she does under a giant magnifying glass then they are sort of 'baked' to stabilize them and the color. It is an intricate process.

Cheryl: Considering you live on the ascending slope of giant mountain all I can say is....I'm so glad you don't work up at Hurricane Ridge and please, don't wipe out Wendy's in a giant SUV sledding accident.

Tina: You truely are a Sonic die hard fan, I think you should get some sort of award for that - I have learned how to play on the PSP - I am doing a game called (appropriately) 'Wipeout' - where you bounce off walls and stuff, after much practice I have come in third on the 'warm up' course - and have yet to get higher than 5the other 4 'too easy for real racer courses' - while it does little for my esteem, I figure it must be helping my neuropathy somewhat.

Do you still play Sonic the Hedgehog?

Lorna, Bob and Liam said...

Up island here in Nanaimo, same stuff, although we didn't get the major shut-down that Victoria did. Liam, my 11-year-old, was ecstatic and spent considerable time sledding down our front yard (the one with a big house at the bottom, otherwise known as "Sudden-Stopville) and our driveway (the one with a concrete pad at the bottom, otherwise known as "Mom's Heart-Attackville").

Lovely soaps. Lovely Linda. Lovely postcards.

All good!




-17 , thoought it was cold here when we woke up to inch thick frost ,frozen water pipes, and -5. oh and the car wouldn't start till lunchtime snow though.

Lene Andersen said...

holy crap! this weather is crazy. You're not supposed to have that kind of snow, but Toronto is and yet, here you are buried in the stuff and yesterday, I didn't need to wear socks. Climate change is crazy.

I love your pictures of the fancy soaps. I wouldn't be able to buy any of it - damn asthma goes nutty any time I'm near anything scented - but I love looking at the pictures. And those ocean postcards are breathtaking.

tinarussell said...

Of course I still play Sonic games, silly! I’m Sonic’s #1 fan. In fact, the newest game, Sonic Colors, just came out, and it has a rainbow theme to it and I like to think it’s the gayest Sonic game ever made (it is). I’m so excited to play it... so excited that I gave it to my brother for safekeeping until the school term is over. (Otherwise, I wouldn’t get any work done...) I plan to stock up on Cherry Coke (Sonic’s favorite drink, according to a really old ad campaign that snared me as a kid) and make chili dogs (Sonic’s favorite food, according to the comics, the old cartoons, and recent games) for when I finish the term and can finally play the glorious, fabulous Sonic Colors. (I actually first found out about Sonic Colors at, which made me extremely happy.)

And, by the way, I make _awesome_ chili dogs. You might say they’re _way past cool._ :D

SharonMV said...

Dear Beth,
I'm glad you didn't go out face any steep hills in your "sled". It's wintry down here in the south too - colder then usual.

The soaps are beautiful. The carved lemons & other fruits - it's as if you can smell them just looking at the pictures. I love the shell carvings. I'm glad you were able to get a book & with a beautiful shell carving on the cover.

Kudos again on doing so many postcards in only 2 weeks. Mine arrived - thank you! I sent you an e-mail about it.

Hope you are getting soft, cat-girl snow. Or a sunny post-snow day.


Kate J said...

Hope you're OK -or as Ok as you can be... it's a week since your last post.
I don't know if you've still got the snow there - we've snow over here (UK) now with a vengeance! Beautiful here, the coldest November night on record (-14C in my village) and a sparkling sunny day, you need your sunglasses to go out in it!
Enjoy the soaps! I've still got some I bought in Saltspring Market, summer before last.
Love & peace

Particia said...

hope everything's fine...