By Sunday night, it had been snowing for almost two full days. Our bad weather made the news even. There was snow, snow and more snow until every road was impassible, every car stuck, every driveway covered. Snow drifts to our waists and piles over our heads.
Sunday night I had to get The Guy to drive me to work. He has a big honking truck with 4 wheel drive and a wheel base to envy. My little car had been stuck in the driveway for days, so I knew I wasn't getting to work with it. The plan was that The Guy would drop me off and then someone at the office would drive me as close to the house as they could get without getting stuck -- I would walk the rest of the way. The Guy had offered to come get me instead, but I wasn't going to be done until 2am and I knew he would be up the rest of day if I did that.
"As close to the house as they could get" ended up being 3 full streets away. I got out of the vehicle, slung my purse and lunch bag over one shoulder, and my computer over the other. Since my good boots the ones that rose to mid calf had ripped the sole open the week before, I was in hikers that left my ankles exposed. I had forgotten my toque and my scarf. But, I had my light mittens, so I set out.
A truck turned the corner onto the street just as I got settled into the grooves of the road. He didn't look in the mood to slow down, so I jumped to the side. Straight into a snow bank. I waited for him to pass (without a glance to see if I needed help) and carried on. I trudged through the snow, switching my computer from one arm to the other. Snow was in my shoes and my pant legs were soaked. With each step -- even in the grooves -- the snow went up to my knees. The wind was whipping by me and I could scarcely breath.
One block into my trail, there were two cars stuck in the snow. One was stuck up over his bumper. His back wheels weren't even touching the ground. The other in snow deep enough to cover over all four tires. It took me awhile to scout my way through. I kept trudging on. Then I fell down.
It took me a few minutes to get myself back up. I slid and slipped around the corner. The ground was slick, the snow deep, and for a minute I pictured myself back in time to the Laura Ingalls Wilder books where a stranger would trudge through the snow to the nearest landmark during a blizzard. It warmed me for a moment to imagine being in a bleak and desolate land just searching for the warmth of a hearth. However, it was then a gust of wind came and took the breath from me again, so the vision left me cold and panting.
I finally arrived at the mouth of our bay. The wind had blown the snow clear across so it was level with the snow banks on each side. I pushed through (wishing I had thought to bring snow shoes with me) and walked towards the lights of the house. The Guy always leaves the lights on for me and, that night more than any other, I was grateful. I slowly made my way to the drive way and around the side of the house.
I stopped cold. Pardon the pun. The wind had blown in the entire walk-way, steps and porch leading to the front door. It was almost waist deep. I stopped, gasped for breath, and tried not to cry. For a brief moment, I considered not going on. Just waiting there and being like those ridiculous people in movies who are slightly wounded and beg their friends to just go on without them. I steeled myself up and waded through. Like walking through thigh deep water, it was slow going one awkward step at a time.
But I made it to the door. I looked at my cell phone to see it had been over 15 minutes since I was dropped off a mere 3 blocks away. I set my computer and lunch bag down and I opened my purse.
It was then I realized I had forgotten my house key.