the great white north


the great white north

For a while, yesterday afternoon, I thought we were in a different world. Instead of arriving in civil flakes, gently collecting in swirls and drifts, the snow arrived all at once. The sky turned dark mid-afternoon, then I saw a few flakes drifting past the window. Then the world turned white.

It’s not the best kind of weather to be driving in, but when the snow hit, everyone and their car headed for the roads, hurrying to get home before it got any worse. Ironically, it got better, afterwards, but how was anyone to know?

Then I discovered that my dad was at a mid-afternoon doctor’s appointment. His vision is not what it used to be, and he doesn’t have winter tires on his car. So we headed out to try and rescue him. We headed out in this, with the slipping cars and snarled traffic, where you could hardly see the edges of the road.

It turned out that my father had left just before we got there, and he did make it home safely, as did we. Fortunately, everyone knows about winter driving here. People drive slowly and carefully. And that van that started sliding down the hill toward us? We stopped and let him in — he ended up sliding right in front of us — and the line of cautious traffic continued on its way.

Photo taken on January 12, 2011

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16 thoughts on “the great white north

  1. WOW! That is some snow fall you got!! It’s nice that people are aware of how to drive in the snow where you live… people around here often forget! Everyone is in a hurry, and they certainly aren’t as willing to be courteous to another driver if they see that they need to cut in, or run a red light because the snow won’t allow them to stop quickly!

    • Yes, that was a snowfall all right, Holly!
      While many people seem to be quite competent driving in snow, there are white-knuckle drivers and over-confident drivers here as well. Even with experience and good winter tires, we went off the edge of the pavement at one point and slid sideways for a few feet on a hill. But it’s true that everyone does watch out for everyone else, because nobody wants to be run into!

      • Experience? What experience??? It was my first time driving in such conditions — and, I’ll bet, your first time having to coach a new driver every inch of the way to the hospital. The reason I “let” you drive us home again was, I was exhausted! ๐Ÿ˜€

      • But you do have experience…. now! You have your licence and you passed your Maritime equivalent of a “trial by fire” with flying colours. (But let’s hope it’s not necessary to drive in every snowstorm!)

  2. What a surprise that snowstorm was! Uncalled for, from what I understood. We were so thankful here, that we didn’t have to be anywhere but here. From our vantage point, all traffic just vanished. Glad both you and your father made it.

    • I remember looking at the forecast, and Saint John was definitely not part of the winter weather warning… apparently the forecast was updated at about 4 p.m., in the middle of a complete white-out. The storm did move through quickly, so I we can be thankful for that, although I’m guessing some school kids might be disappointed they didn’t get a snow day!

  3. We didn’t get any snow from that system… yet. It’s 2 degrees here as of 9 am Jan 13th. Go figure.

    Glad that everyone made it home safely. Thank goodness for cautious, defensive drivers.

  4. One of the great things about being retired is you don’t have to go out in this stuff, usually. Cancel any appointments, make a nice cup of cocoa and curl up on the sofa with a good book.

    • I know what you mean, Louise! Since I’m not working right now, I didn’t have to get up in the pre-dawn hours to shovel out the car this morning. And that’s a good thing!

  5. Wow! I can’t even imagine that. How amazing. Though I have to admit I’m glad I wasn’t there ๐Ÿ™‚ It was probably a bit cold for this sub-tropical man.

    • I know it looks cold, Andrew, but it was about zero degrees celcius when I took this photo — that’s why the snow was so thick, because it was wet and sticky. I’m sure you’d be ok! ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

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