So, anyone out there hear that we got a little snow in Wisconsin and the surrounding states this week? 20 inches in old Janesville to be exact. I am definitely ready for a visit from the Heat Miser again. His brother the Snow guy is a real dick.
My oldest son turned 18 over the weekend, accompanied by some 18-itis drama that has leveled out as the week has gone on. When the hell did I get so old and why don't I feel like it?
Tuesday evening the snow started. I ended up on the night shift AGAIN covering call ins (WTF! Am I the only nurse who works there??). I took with me a lot of caffeinated items and enough base layer and wool socks to be able to manage the 1.8 mile walk home in the snow if my clown car wasn't up to the job in the morning in the throes of a major snowstorm. Thankfully I made it home in the Matrix after a very very tiring night, and the snow was flying hardcore still. There were several inches on the ground already, with many many more to come. School was cancelled. I got my car stuck in the snow in the driveway trying to pull into the garage and needed a push from behind. I finally crawled into bed about 0730. At about 0815 or so, I awoke to the sound of the neighbor on his 4-wheeler. After briefly thinking I must have been dreaming and putting my head back on the pillow, I heard it again. Yep. Since there was so much snow that the plows were on a "main streets only" mission (I live on a 1 block long cul de sac, not exactly a traffic hub....) he had decided that he would work on plowing our street himself on his ATV with the plow mount. Which he did. ALL. FREAKING. DAY. I laid there listening to him until about 10, when I finally realized sleeping was something that would not happen. I decided I would get up and just go to bed super early that night. I got up and looked outside. Holy Snowdrifts Batman. I opened the french door to let the dogs out, only to be met by a hip-high drift across the back yard ending at the door. Daisy gave me a "yeah right ma" look and turned around to head for the living room. Maddy bounded out of the house like her pants were on fire. The snow was over her head, so pretty much all you saw was a dog hopping up from out of the snow looking like Tigger in figure-8 hot laps around the yard. So yeah, I guess the first order of business was to dig the dogs a potty tunnel.
Nick had ordered a pizza delivery and after 2 hours of waiting for Pizza Hut to arrive, they called back and said that just wasn't gonna happen. You can pick it up though. Nick picked up the keys to the Cavalier and said "watch me laugh at them when I can get through and they couldn't." I watched out the back window for him to go up the road, and never did see him. Curious, I went to the front window to find out where he went and there he was, stuck with snow over the wheel wells, spinning his tires in the ice and snow and getting stucker by the moment. I think he made it about 5 feet out of the driveway.... so I guess he really showed them. While Lucas and I put on our boots and coats, the neighbors helped him push his car back into the driveway. I went the door and see Nick made it into the driveway. Backwards. And was now spinning his wheels at the end of the driveway trying to gun it for the house on a patch of ice. We dug for a while then the Beefy brothers and several neighbors got us pushed back further inthe driveway where we were stuck again. Although mostly sideways and definietly still backwards, at least we were far enough back that the plow wouldn't hit the nose of the car on the slim chance it passed. We gave up and decided to atack it later.
Deciding to wait out the snow a bit longer, we went inside. I picked up, mopped, vacuumed, etc for a couple hours then we headed back out to attack the car. It was still falling fast but we had to do something. We quick blew and shoveled from the back of the car to the garage, salted under the wheels and back to the house. I threw her in reverse and the boys pushed. We finally got her back inside the garage. We blew the driveway out. I went out back and attacked making a poop tunnel for the dogs to use. Before long Lucas comes to the back door and hands me the phone. It was work.
"So you're gonna be here at 6 right?"
"Didn't (boss) call you? She said you were supposed to come in. Nellie NOC Nurse lives in the country and they just closed her road. She can't get in."
(I am not sure when I became the only person capable of working something other than my regular schedule, but apparently I am. And I guess now I don't even get asked, I get told, in this case not even told, this time I was to know by TELEPATHY. Nice. Lord knows I AM known for my telepathic powers. )
So, in my clown car, on terrible roads, with no sleep, and having shoveled all flipping day, I headed off for the NOC shift. AGAIN! (That is I think 6 in 2 weeks if anyone is counting by the way. ) A perfect end to Super Gay Wednesday.
One of the day nurses came in at 4 when her hubby got home from work. When I got done kissing and hugging her for saving my sleepy ass, I gave report and headed home to crawl into the nest to sleep. I pull in at 4AM to find Mikes snowmobile in the spot where his car should be. Apparently he couldn't drive home.
Of course, Mike was snowmobiling during all of this. I guess he thinks it's super fair for every one in the house to pitch in and do their fair share of dealing with the plethora of work that needs to be done when we get that much snow. Everyone except him that is. He owns a snowmobile, which gives him the right to play on it whenever he wants to, especially when there is hard work to be done around the house. Man work. The kind he left his wife to do.
As we - the boys and I - were clearing the car earlier for our last run at righting her from the snowbank one of the said "this would be a perfect example fo teamwork, except one of our teammates is absent." Yeah, couldn't have said that better myself.
Today, I got up about 1100, ate a little something and headed outside again to finish up. The snow had finally stopped. The final damage..... 20-21 inches of fresh powder in 24 hours, nearly breaking the record set in 1984. Since we are surrounded by farm fields, we had a lot of big drifts to knock down too, some of them waist high or better. I blew off the big cement porch out back so my doggies can pee. I dug out the exhaust pipe for the furnace. I dug out the dryer vent so I can dry clothes. I shoveled a path to the front door. I blew out the driveway a total of 3 times today. I cleared the approach to the mailbox so the mailman will stop. I dug a path from the street to the fire hydrant and dug a circle all around it to the grass so we are incompliance with code. All in all, I spent the bulk of my day freezing my big fat ass off either with a shovel in my hand or trying to wrangle a snowblower that is too big for me to manage without throwing my whole body into it and using every ounce of energy I have. Hours later, when it was all done I came in the house and crumbled into a broken down heap on the couch.
The phone rings.
"Uh hi, I'm going snowbiling after work."
I hung up.
Of course he is. Why would anyone think maybe he might come home and give his family a hand with the hard work, or at least have offerred? What a giant tool.
So here is the short list of the things I have learned this winter, especially today:
- to operate the snowblower: It's physically hard. It's too big for me. But I can get it started and I can do it. Like a single woman.
- to get a stuck car out of the snow. Not just once, but three -count em- three times. Without a husband in sight. Just like a single woman.
- to manage to work an ungodly amount of sucky hours while simultaneously making sure the kids and dogs are adequately accomodated. All by myself. Like a single mom.
- to fix things that go wrong around the house. All.by.myself. Like a single woman.
- to keep myself entertained, during endless hours that I am left alone while the other people that live here find better things to do. I can entertain myself rather well, just like a single woman.
I'm thinking the take home message here is I get better and better at being single every snowy day. Maybe before long I will be. I sure hope riding that bitch Polly Polaris is just that wonderful. And worth it.