end of winter

With the intention of sorting out his affairs, E’s Dad wanted to transfer ownership of his mini van to E. He was living with us at the time, in palliative care, ticking items off his list one task at a time. But now it was December 24th of 2008 and there was a huge snowstorm in the lower mainland. Snow or no snow, E and our youngest son ventured out to the mall on Christmas Eve to submit the transfer papers for his Dad and while they were at it, pick up some last minute items from London Drugs. You can picture the scene. Christmas crowds in the village parking lot with very few of the shoppers capable of driving in the blizzard like conditions. After a lifetime driving treacherous roads to ski hills, E likes driving in the snow. it would pose no problem.

His experience is very different than mine. I got my drivers license when I was 21, never skied and never drove in the snow again after I slid my Mustang sideways down the Dunbar hill when I was 22.

Snow is expected tomorrow. We have had three days of below zero temperatures. Although cold outside, it finally isn’t raining and E has been able to work up at the greenhouse construction site. I am in charge of keeping the house warm. This task mostly involves reading gardening magazines and adding the occasional log to the fire. It is an important job. E needs to come down to a warm house when he is done working.

Our new method of preventing the pipes from freezing is working beautifully. Hot water is heated for free in the range boiler by the wood stove. It then drips out the deck hot water tap into a hose which is strung under the deck and fed into our rain catchment tank. When the tank fills to 350 gallons it automatically pumps back up to our reserve tanks. No water loss. Warm water flowing through the pipes for days on end. Brilliant.

We stole the idea of having a hot water tap outside on the deck from E’s Dad as he put one at the island family home. His was originally for outdoor showering but we use ours for washing muddy dogs and now, apparently, to keep our pipes from freezing. So far so good. Where was I?

Right, so E and our son were in the mall traffic jam on Christmas Eve 2008, driving E’s Dad’s car which E has owned for less than an hour. He is at a dead stand still waiting to turn right out of the parking lot in the storm when a snow plow backed into him and totaled the window at the back of the van. He had wrecked his Dad’s car in less than an hour.

So tomorrow we will have snow here but there will be no driving anywhere by either of us. By Sunday there will be no more below zero temps predicted for at least for the next two weeks. Then it’s March which means sunshine, daffodils and the

end of winter.

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