The recent snows made me realize that living on a country road does have its drawbacks.
But after waking up last Friday to yet another round of powder all over the cars and sliding into town on the highway, the phrase “It’s all relative” came to mind.
While the recent snows and the blizzard two years ago were tough to deal with, they were nothing compared to what I survived 20 years ago in the Sierra of Northern California.
My parents were still alive then and wanted to come see their grandsons for Christmas.
“The only thing we’re worried about is getting snowed in out there,” I remember my mom saying.
“Don’t worry,” I assured her, thereby issuing a precipitation kiss of death.
My folks flew out and we had a great time that first week. To celebrate, we went out to dinner at our favorite restaurant on New Year’s Eve.
As we were eating, I looked out the window and saw this rare- for-the-Sierra ominous black cloud approaching over the ridge from the northwest.
It looked much like one of those Midwestern clouds that lets you know all hell is going to break loose, and soon.
It began snowing on the drive home and then it didn’t stop, for six days.
The first day cancelled my parents’ flight. About the third day, our small cabin began to close in on everybody and nerves were pretty frazzled.
Going to work was an adventure but at least I could relax there.
My mother and I loved each other dearly but we were too much alike in temperament to ever get along for more than a few days at a time.
She began blaming me for stranding her “In Hades” about the fourth day.
By the fifth day cursing was involved and my dad reverted to snoozing in the corner as my mom’s rants escalated.
If it wasn’t for having the little ones to attend to, it probably would have been a free-for-all by that sixth day. I can guarantee you the tone was not civil.
Finally, on the seventh day, the sun came out and we drove on ice to the Reno Airport as fast as we dared, my mother cursing me under her breath the whole way while my dad pretended to not hear and snore in the seat next to me.
I got them on the plane secure with the knowledge they would never come see me again in the winter.
By the time I got back home, it was snowing again. Suffice to say it snowed every few days into mid-March.
The snow got so deep, we had to get up on the roof and push it off. That made the piles so high you could barely see out the tops of the windows about mid-February.
When spring came, it was a slow thaw. There was still snow on the ground in April and the ground was like mush until May.
So as I was sliding into town last Friday, that snow nightmare I went through two decades ago popped into my head and reminded once again that indeed, it’s all relative.