I grew up in Minnesota where cold and snowy winters are typical and people talk about storms they have weathered with pride. The largest one I can remember was on Halloween in 1992, when 30 inches of snow dumped in one day, just two months before I moved to Phoenix, Arizona for a year and a half. I had had enough of winter. But, I learned while in Arizona that I could not stand to have the sun shine everyday and to not have any seasons to look forward to. I moved back to Minnesota briefly before heading off to Florida for one winter, which really woke me up to the fact that I am from the North and that I love winter. After a few more moves around the Northern US and Canada, I now live in the Canadian Rockies. I love everything about it, well, almost everything...
...everything except winter driving. I used to be good at winter driving. I had nerves of steel and I felt immortal. I didn't know any different. I remember that after that Halloween storm I drove an hour from my house to see a friend. I was the only compact car on the road with a bunch of seasoned truckers. I was young, I was kid free... in fact, the most winter driving I ever did was when I lived in Maine and my future husband lived in Ottawa, Ontario. I drove a 12 hour round trip to see him for 3 years. It was 6 hours on a good day or night. In a winter storm it could be an 8 - 9 hour white knuckled journey through a white out. It started with two lane windy mountain roads, then two lane highways through tiny Quebec towns, then finally a highway. I was in love. I was trying to insure offspring. NOW? You can't get me out the door and into my car if it is snowing.
Silly? Yes! I hate to admit it. With all of my experience I should only gotten better at it. But, I remember every time I have slid into a snow bank, done a 360 degree turn, and narrowly missed accidents. Our family was in a bad one when I was in the second grade. Now my nerves are shot. My family laughs at me. My friends laugh at me. My husband, with his big four wheel drive truck, laughs at me (partially because I am kind of cute when I am throwing a tantrum). He manages a ski hill that just happens to be at the top of seven switch backs on a narrow, crazy road, that only last year had guard rails put in. I do realize that if I would only get over it, it would be better. I am a huge advocate of the phrase "Be Brave". I love the idea of being "Fearless". I pretty much am in every other aspect of my life. I have traveled the world (and I don't mean luxury travel), moved from place to place, started businesses, immigrated to a new country, had a baby in my own home... I know that worrying about something is useless until there is something to worry about. And that if you don't resolve something that you will be faced with it again and again. Hence the reason I must have wound up in the Rockies, why I have to drive my daughter to French preschool in a town that is 30 minutes away three times a week, and why when I am not doing that I am driving her to a ski hill at the top of seven switchbacks. I should really get a grip.
It is the trek to preschool today that started this rant. I usually look out the window when my husband wakes me up, but today I didn't. I just got up and ready and it was only after he had put both kids in my car that I looked out the window and saw the snow. I only had the same amount of time I have on a good day to get to school but for some reason, I was feeling brave. And for the most part, things went well (when 18 wheelers weren't passing me and turning the drifting snow into zero visibility). We made it to preschool, almost on time! And after dropping Quin off, Emmanuelle and I were treated to these elk, up on a hill, enjoying the snow. I am not a wildlife photographer but I am in awe EVERY TIME is see wildlife (which is pretty much everyday) and I wanted to share it with you.
Around here it can be one thing to get where you are going but another thing to get home. The snow continued to fall for two and a half hours before we headed back. The drive went faster than I expected, Emmanuelle fell asleep, Quin & I had a nice lunch, and two packages from Amazon were waiting! If you know me, you know I am a book worm. I am just as happy with used books as with new ones and I rarely splurge but when I get holiday money I do. I have been waiting for these books and it was such a nice reward to have made it through a stressful morning to be able to find these lovelies waiting for me. I will share my opinions on these books soon... off to read!