February 25, 2011


This post comes to you from the romantic and high class environs of a totally random sports bar in SeaTac airport, where after having been foiled by weather yesterday, I'm finally heading home. 

For the record that's one finished sock and just a few rows of the next one.  Three days left in February, but it's a long way home. I've got a flight from here to Vancouver in a few hours, then an overnight home to Toronto.  This flight is necessary because of the terrible storm that threatened Port Ludlow and kept Tina and I from being able to safely drive to Seattle to catch my flight yesterday. The weather was so bad, so incredibly, stunningly, shockingly bad, that it was all people could talk about.  Let me tell you what happened.  First IT SNOWED A LITTLE. Then  IT FROZE FOR A WHILE. 

If you are from Canada and you wake up in the morning and see that there is some ice, and about an inch of snow- You get ready to go to the airport.  So when  your very sensible friend tells you, in all seriousness and with no drama that this means it is unsafe to go to the airport, then there is something you have to do very quickly, and that is shift your worldview. 
Warning. If you are Canadian you might want to take some deep breaths.  It is hard to believe the following statements are true, but I assure you they are.  Work with me, for these are things that Canadians have to work hard at understanding, and just be glad that you didn't have to make this shift at 6:15am on a Thursday morning, without a drop of caffeine in you.  (By the way, one of the reasons that I believed Tina was that although she lives in the Pacific Northwest, she lives up high and sometimes it snows at her house, so while she doesn't have Canadian standards- she's not completely SHOCKED by winter weather and doesn't get too loopy or high drama about it.)

1.Statement one. Snow is almost impossible to drive in.

For the record, I didn't learn this one from Tina, because she drives in snow sometimes. I learned it from the people driving away from the Inn while there was about a centimetre of snow in some spots, who had put CHAINS ON THEIR CAR.  (That shocked Tina too.) If there had actually been snow, then that would have been really, really bad.  I admit that when people suggest that because it is snowing they can not go places, I try to imagine how long we would have to go between grocery store visits in Toronto- and the climate there is mild compared to most of Canada.  Truth be told, snow is rare enough in these parts that really, there are no plows, no sanders, no salters (or at least not nearly enough) and nobody owns a car scraper or a shovel.  It doesn't take much snow to overwhelm the inexperienced and under-equipped.  It does mess you up pretty bad though, if you think this is a fairly snowy road that you should be careful on:

but you are hearing that this:

May be risky.  (Truth is, it was.  Go figure.)

2. It snowed, then sort of melted, then it got cold. This resulted in ICE. 

Second statement:  Ice is a very bad thing to have.  To understand this, I had to shift my worldview to a place where ice precludes driving.   I understand that all those previous statements about sand, salt, ice and experience, and I even understand what Tina meant when she said that she's not worried about her skills, but everyone else's and that even if she could do it, we could still get creamed by somebody struggling with a lack of ice experience. Still, as I stood there, looking at the ice, I had to work very hard to accept the idea that ice means no driving. At home, this would mean no driving for months on end... Tina reminded me that there are hills.  Slopes.  Dark and winding roads perilously covered in Ice.  I tried to go there, I respected her expertise and experience and greater knowledge of that part of the world, but the whole time I was just thinking about St. Johns, Newfoundland.

3. If the water freezes, that is shocking.

See that.  The top of that water was frozen.  As a matter of fact, it was frozen ALL DAY.  It was so cold in Port Ludlow, that the weather guys were warning people to take appropriate precautions and check on elderly neighbours.
It was 28F.  That's -2 C. 

I'm still working on shifting that one.

Posted by Stephanie at February 25, 2011 8:35 PM