"We are more alike, my friends, than we are unalike." ~Maya Angelou

Sunday, March 2, 2014

A Winter's Tale


       What an interesting night and day I have had.  After almost a week of spring-like weather a snowy winter storm has swept across the plains to cover streets, trees and houses with slippery ice and a white blanket of snow.  Nature playing the trickster yet again.  No, I did not really think Dame Winter had left the stage so early, but I did think she might be distracted and in the midst of packing her bags for an uneventful exit. No such luck.
     I happened to be spending the night at Audra's because her husband was out of town. At three in the morning I was jerked out of ghastly, horrible war dreams to the realization that the temperatures had been forecast to be in the single digits and the heaters at the spice store had been turned off earlier in the evening. Ah, the old reliable subconscious mind, keeping track of things for me, as always.
     I quickly rose, dressed and began the slippery drive from north Edmond to the spice store on Western, south of I-44.  Thank goodness there were so few cars on the road! Those of us who were dumb enough to be out and driving were traveling at about 25 mph, gliding through intersections, regardless of the the light color, easing around corners and slowly edging our way toward our destinations.  Hwy 77 (Broadway extension) was closed due to more than one semi having flipped over on both sides of that multilane road so I gingerly exited and made my way west onto Hefner, hoping not to meet the train at the crossing. I could just see myself not being able to stop and sliding right into the thing. Not a pretty way to go. I happen to have known two people who died that way, so that picture haunts me, I'll be honest.
     Wouldn't you know it, the timing was perfect and the guardrails came down when I was about a block away.  I eased to a stop quite a ways back, leaving myself room to inch forward in case someone came up behind me and was unable to stop.  It happened, of course, so the planning was a good thing.  We both finally came to a stop and once the train was passed I found that I could not move forward at all. I was on an incline and whenever I tried to drive forward I only succeeded in sliding sideways or backward. Well, well....a pretty pickle indeed.
     A car managed to get passed me on the right and the car behind me wisely drove right as well and left the lane behind my car open.  I drove in reverse for fifty feet or so until I was on flat ground and was then able to move forward again without any problems. Thank goodness there were no other cars on that road at the time. I tell you, I have people watching over me.  It's very comforting.
     I arrived at the shop and sure enough, it was freezing cold inside AND the bench was sitting outside for some reason, so I cranked up the heat and set the faucets to dripping.  I thought I might just slide over to my apartment for the remainder of the night but decided, for various reasons, to head back north.  In an interesting turn of events, I found that the drive northward was much, much drier and more easily accomplished than coming the other way, for what ever reason.
     I slipped back into Audra's house and snuggled up in my warm bed for a few more hours of blissful sleep. Audie, the boys and I spent the morning together playing, dancing, learning about the letter T and watching the beautiful snow falling outside.  I thought for awhile that conditions might be worsening but when I ventured out to check the roads I found that they were far better than in the middle of the night, so I headed to the store at noon to man our own small ship of commerce.
      There is always work to be done at the spice shop since we do all our own packaging of product, and cleaning to be done as well. I did have a few customers stop by for things but mostly it was a catch up day, back stocking, price checking, taking inventory and the like.
     As a wonderful bonus to the day, we experienced some Thunder Sleet and Thunder Snow, something I had heard referred to but had never experienced. Thunder boomed and rolled followed by a storm of snow and sleet, clicking on the windows and bouncing off the tops of cars. There was even lightning one time, very strange, let me tell you.  I listened to oldies and sang along while filling jars with Greek Oregano and bags with Ginger, cleaning and rearranging the display tables or sweeping and mopping. I enjoyed the day and visiting with the few people who stopped by.
     At closing time Able and Kari stopped by and took me out to supper! Hooray and Alleluia, a happy surprise indeed. Many thanks to the both of them. The city is incredibly quiet under this snowy muffle, strange and quaintly surreal. We shall see what tomorrow brings as this chilly winter continues to growl and grumble its way across the prairie.
       I'm glad I refrained from planting anything last weekend, as it turns out. In great gardening news, however, my friend Ty, who works with me at the shop sometimes (another of my many 'adopted sons') brought me a couple pounds each of lovely Yukon Gold and Pontiac Red seed potatoes, my first gifts for the new gardening year.  What could possibly be better?  I can not wait to tuck some potato pieces into the good earth with pats and prayers.
     In other good news, I was sharing my plans for the new 'quiet place/meditation circle' (aka: out of the wind) in the garden with my dad and he volunteered his stack of used redwood boards for the building of the fence. Perfect on so many levels. I will order some posts and gather the work crew one weekend in the not too distant future. I can hardly wait to get this place pulled together so, when TBW is out and roaring, I can still have somewhere to be outside without being slapped around by the wind. I know, the sound will still be there, but it will be oh, so much better. At any rate, that is the hope.

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