Saturday, January 28, 2012

Free Parking

Today it feels like I have landed on the Free Parking space in Monopoly, the one where you get a temporary reprieve from buying and selling, being taxed, and possibly going bankrupt. No rolls of the dice to see what your fate will be, no checking the backs of cards to calculate payments, no digging through a pile of colourful money to realize you don't even have enough to buy Baltic Avenue, never mind Boardwalk. Free Parking is Monopoly's version of a mini-vacation.

My alarm was set for 4:45 this morning. I turned it off and reluctantly moved from the warmth of my bed to the ice palace that is my bedroom. Then I looked outside. Not good. I was supposed to be driving 600 kilometres south to my mom's home in Spokane to help her with some things she needs to get done before she moves into a senior living residence next month. In a rare outbreak of accuracy the weather forecast had been spot on. We were in the middle of a blizzard.

I am a glass half-full kind of person (well, except for that awful day earlier this week). I looked out at the swirling snow and decided it would probably ease up by the time I got down the hill and out onto the Trans-Canada. I packed up the car and headed out.

I gripped the steering wheel and put the Subaru in low gear. Did I mention it is a steep hill? As I merged onto the Trans-Canada it was clear things weren't any better on the main highway. At that point I should have admitted defeat, turned around and gone back up the hill. Instead, I gripped the steering wheel even tighter and told myself it surely couldn't stay like this for long.

It turns out I was right, it didn't stay that way. It got worse. I felt like I was in some sort of nightmarish snow globe where the instructions were to "continue shaking until the car goes into the ditch." But I kept going. (This is the part where eternal optimism was beginning to border on delusion.) Right up until I went to use my windshield wiper fluid, which had been topped up yesterday in anticipation of the trip. Nothing. I tried again. Still nothing.

I will confess I had been a tiny bit nervous up to this point. Mild thoughts of turning around and going home might even have flitted through my mind. But no windshield washer fluid?! I skipped scared and moved directly to terrified. If a transport truck passed me and left a combination of muck and snow on my windshield I was going to be in serious trouble. I turned around and drove back to where I should never have left in the first place - home.

I will attempt the trip South of 49 again tomorrow. In the meantime the cup half-full part of me realizes I just landed on Free Parking. I have a whole day with nothing to do. Of course, I could never just do nothing. There will be some knitting, there will be some reading, and there has already been some baking.

Snowy Day Macaroons

20 comments:

  1. Glad to hear you're safe though!...and those Macaroons look good.

    I still haven't gone WF yet, and so I took advantage of my first free weekend all month and made Smitten Kitchen's Apple Sharlotka. I'll have to let you know how it is!

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    1. The macaroons are good, but very sweet. I don't think you would like them. I have been avoiding the Smitten Kitchen blog since going wheat-free. Eat an Apple Sharlotka for me. :-)

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  2. Have a lovely day... snowy outside and cosy inside are some of the best!

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    1. Thanks! I have been enjoying every moment of being snuggled up safe and sound here at home. It is hard to think about facing the drive again tomorrow.

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  3. Yikes! The malfuntioning windshield wiper fluid (were the nozzles iced over?) was the universe's way of telling you optimism wasn't enough to get through that mess. I'm glad you made it home okay--and I really like what you're doing with your free time. I can almost smell the macaroons.

    I just had a funny thought...your optimism and my stubbornness seem to leas us into similar situations. I hope this doesn't mean I'm secretly an optimist. =)

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    1. You are totally a closet optimist Rick! I think all your blog readers recognize that about you, even if you don't see it in yourself. :-)

      And I agree about the windshield wiper fluid not working. It certainly got my attention in a way the blizzard wasn't able to.

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  4. Brave soul to even attempt the drive! I knew it was probably snowing today, because I heard the snow plow in the early morning hours (about the time you were leaving!). Everything looked so beautiful, but all I could think was, "oh, good, I don't have to go anywhere this morning!". All the best on your trip tomorrow!! When are you back?

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    1. I always have that thought too when I see all the pretty snow and don't have to venture out my front door. I must say the same thoughts were not with me this morning! :-)

      If I am able to make it out tomorrow I will come back Wednesday. If the weather keeps me here until Monday I will stay until Thursday. But right now the forecast for tomorrow looks fairly promising.

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  5. And it's been fairly nice in Spokane today. I think this was just not the day. Macaroons sounds like a good reason to be home!

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    1. I am going to try again in the morning. I hope the system that hit us today isn't down your way tomorrow!

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  6. Phew! Glad you decided to turn around. The highway is a scary place when its snowing nevermind when you don't have any washer fluid!
    Next time STAY HOME!!!

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    1. Staying home in the first place would definitely have been the smart thing to do. I actually did have wiper fluid. I think the outlets for the fluid were frozen over. It turned out to be a good thing since it forced me to turn around!

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  7. Glad you got back home safely! Your macaroons look lovely. Did you see your blog has been nominated for an award? I posted a comment on your previous post. Take care.

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    1. Thank you so much for nominating me for the blog award. I have sent you a message on Ravelry about it. :-)

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  8. Ah Free Parking, I could do with a spot in that lot just now!

    Travel safe x

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    1. I think we all could use more Free Parking days! Hopefully one comes your way soon.

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  9. Wow, that sounds very scary! I've driven in a blizzard like that only once in my life, and I'll never forget it. I kept going off the road because I couldn't see the edge and nearly rear-ended the car in front of me when it stopped suddenly. I wish I'd had your sense and turned around to go home! I made it eventually, but it was definitely one of the scariest journeys of my life.

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    1. It only takes one time driving in bad winter conditions like you did to make you cautious for life!

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  10. YUM. Those macaroons look DELISH! Hopefully the weather is a bit more cooperative today and you get to your mother safely!

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    1. Thanks - they were good, but maybe a bit too sweet. I did end up driving down the next day. The weather was better, but the roads were not great.

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