I woke up this morning to a phone call from kids. They'll be here tomorrow y'know. And my house is clearly the messiest house on the planet at the moment. It's never far from that, but it's long, long gone past an Oscar for Messiest House at the moment. My living room alone looks like a paper bomb went off in there. And walking? Nah, it's more like running an obstacle course to get from one end of the house to the other. So, clearly, today I needed to work cleaning and decluttering ALLLLLL day.
Did I do that? No, of course not. I piddled around on line. Took photos and sent them to people who didn't really need to see them. Dawdled and diddled and then started a fire because even though it'd stopped snowing, it was still cloudy and cold.
And then I decided I needed to treat myself for that one simple task - which did involve snow boots and walking out in very slushy snow to the woodpile and getting my hands all charcoal-y and even getting the ash bin and filling it before starting the fire because it was accumulating too high - so it was simple and yet I did a VERY GOOD JOB OF IT. Obviously I needed a treat. A Starbucks treat.
So I put on my very pretty pink suede not-really-snowboots snowboots. And my Elements hoodie that is warm without being bulky like a coat, and my hat with all the fluttery pom poms on it. I grabbed up my keys and purse and went out the door, got down the steps, across the walkway and down the steps in the retaining wall and..... met up with a very large body of water. Snow, when it meets up with temperatures above 32 degrees, such as today, has a tendency to turn to water. And this water was banked in very nicely by a large, very tall snowplowed berm.
Last year, during THE BIG STORM, the city decided that for some safety reason or something, they would break with the tradition of plowing the berm into the center of the roads, and instead plowed the berms to the sides. This is where, if you can get your car far enough up off the road, one parks their car. And if you have a garage that is used for cars instead of storage (I've heard some people actually do this), or even a driveway, then you still have to drive your car through the edge of the road to get to the road. So, imagine giant snow berms being shoved in front of your house (and car and driveway and garage) every time it snowed. People DID NOT LIKE IT. They did not like it to the point where I seriously thought the townspeople would band together with torches and pitchforks and chase the snow plows out of town. Except, we kinda needed our roads plowed. Which was probably the only thing that saved those poor snow plow guys, who were just doing their jobs yanno, lives. As it was, the neighbors on our street did band together one afternoon, with our snow shovels in hand, when the guy tried to plow back down our street right after we'd dug ourselves out for the second time that day. We all stood out in the shoveled spaces and glared him down, and won that round. Just a couple of weeks ago they had a town meeting to decide whether to continue to plow the streets to the sides or to the middle. It was very big news. Made the front page of the paper. Yesterday was the first big storm of the season, and we have berms on the sides once more, so obviously those stupid legal point people won. But, I digress.
So there I was this afternoon, with a moat around my house. Clearly my pink, suede boots, adorable as they might be, would not work. I went back inside and changed into serious snow boots. I came back out, grabbed the snow shovel, LEAPT across the moat and.... okay, back up. It didn't quite go like that. I came back out, grabbed the snow shovel, ATTEMPTED to leap across the moat, and discovered that snow boots aren't really meant for wading in water HIGHER then the boot top itself.
I started to dig out the car.... I attempted to start to dig out the car. the snow in the moat was wet, half frozen, half melted, and VERY VERY VERY HEAVY. I went and got a real shovel. And started hacking at the moat. After about five minutes of this, barely having made a dent in front of one wheel (and I don't know about yours, but mine has FOUR wheels), I realize the insanity of my venture. By this time I'd justified my trip by deciding to also go to Walmart for another gift and Safeway for some lunch foods for everyone when the arrive. But still, I didn't HAVE to do this today. I could go back inside like a sane person would, and start cleaning.
But nooooooo. I decided that I couldn't really shovel my car out, but I could make little channels that hopefully would allow the water to escape and run down the street (which is at a slight downward slant, and our house is on the very top of the slant). I was jumping back and forth - completely soaked from the knees down by then, and had made two very successful channels (although the curb is lower then the street and so I can't get all the water to come out and besides, the surrounding snow is melting into it as fast as it's draining out.)
And, did I mention, it had started to rain.
A kid about William's age is going by on his bike. He stops and says "You need any help?" (you might be wondering where William is and why he isn't helping me. He was down at a local hill with his buddies, snowboard, and snowboard ramp, getting equally wet, but doing it in a way that's considered fun) Really? You'll get all wet? Nah, he says. He has boots on. I say, Great, I'll pay you!" And here's the amazing part. He got off his bike, grabbed one of my shovels and while he starts to shovel says "Nah, You don't have to pay me."
BE STILL MY HEART!!!!
The work was complicated by the fact that it's illegal to dump the snow BACK in the road, so we had to haul it somewhere, that somewhere being the river running down my gutter behind the car. Also, this is the winter-useless car with no traction, no snow tires, nothing. After about fifteen minutes of us both working, I said I'd give it a try, and if didn't work, I'd just give it up. I handed him a couple dollars - all I had - insisted he take it. He said he'd just wait and make sure I got it out because otherwise he'd shovel some more for me.
WHO'S CHILD IS THIS?! IS HE THIS SAINTLY AT HOME?! CAN I ADOPT THIS BOY?
Fortunately the car shot out, spraying slush everywhere, and off I went.
I bought some more gifts at Walmart. I wanted to buy Elf, the movie. With Will Farrell. Everyone know what I'm talking about? Good, because I asked the lady in electronics and she walked me over to this holiday movie display and showed me a really lame movie called The Happy Elf, with a very retro looking cartoon elf on the front of the cover. Uhm, no.
I went to Safeway and bought all sorts of deli stuff so that people can just fix themselves something to eat whenever and I don't have to spend all day cooking for everyone.
I went to Starbucks and bought myself a VENTI vanilla latte and a blueberry scone.
I went to Taco Bell and got burritos for William. Didn't discover until it was too late that their drive-thru driveway had also turned into a moat. Thought my car was gonna stall in the water.
Finally drove back home, the roads were wet and pretty soon they'll turn icy. I knew when I left that there was no way I could repark my car in the spot I took it out from, because most of the snow we dug out we dumped behind the car. So there was no way to pull back into the spot unless I wanted to attempt to back into it. And it was still pretty full of snow, now all chunky and lumpy, not to mention I roared up and over the berm in front. I decided that the Subie could handle that spot, and I would take a good fast start and try to go up and over the berm and into the front parking space where the Subaru had been parked this morning (now off with Jeff at work). I kept my foot off the brake, I went up and over, and between the berm on one side and the snow in the flower bed up against the retaining wall, it kept me sliding forward and straight. I had managed to get in, off the road, legally out of the way of the snowplow. YAH!
My feet were very cold from having been wet for almost an hour. I was more then ready to get back inside the nice warm house, woodstove keeping things toasty. Opened the door and ..... back up. I ATTEMPTED to open the door.
Oh, silly me! Oh, what bear of little brains am I! What a complete and utter brainless human being! I'd slid the car tight in between the now ICE berm, and snow covered retaining wall. I couldn't get out of the frickin' car!!! I was trapped.
And that's where I would have stayed. You would have found me there in the spring, dead after the Taco Bell and deli foods eventually ran out. Except, I was saved by modern technology. I had my cell phone. On which I called William and asked him to come out and dig me out.
He was not happy. He refused to put on boots to show how not happy he was. So his only shoes are now soaked. He thought he could scoop the door away with his bare hands. No mittens. He had to jump..... attempt to jump back over the moat to get the shovel. He hacked away, while I sat inside the car smiling at his scowling face and red hands and munched on a 7-layer burrito. Which he thought was his and he got really mad that I was eating HIS food while he was slaving away. Boy, did he feel bad when I handed out THREE burritos AND a Crispy Wrap Supreme all for him!
I suppose if my feet weren't wet, I would have remembered that I could have just rolled down the window and climbed out. Except then how would I get the window rolled back UP again? My feet got even wetter because it took me three loads to get everything unloaded from the car.
But, it was worth it. I'm happily sipping on my venti vanilla latte.
Except, I guess I still have to clean the house.