Thursday, December 18, 2008

Snowed in

Yeah, I live in SoCal, but at an altitude of about 5,000 feet, so I've got snow. This was my deck yesterday afternoon. More has fallen since then. It's just one two foot mess, that's all I can say.

I went up to San Mateo on Sunday (which feels like forever ago now) for meetings and our holiday party on Wednesday. I heard that snow was on the way, so I left the toilet seats up in case the cats needed emergency water if Tara couldn't make it over, and I made sure they had tons of food. On Monday night we heard from Tara that she was completely snowed in and unable to get out, and her road hadn't been plowed. So we started panicking, and thinking about driving home. We live closer to a main road, so in a worst case scenario, we could drive up, park and then walk to the house.

Everyone was telling us we should wait and leave early Wednesday morning, but we just really felt in our "gut" that we needed to get home sooner, so I went to some of my meetings on Tuesday, and then cut out by 3, and we headed home. LOTS of rain through the central valley, and snow through the grapevine, which is only 4000 feet at its highest point. We stopped for gas in Pasadena, and the Girl Scout in me thought to get some groceries in case things were bad at the top of the mountain. I got a chicken, carrots and celery to make soup, potatoes, green beans, eggs, milk, J's favorite saltines, a loaf of bread, some gouda cheese, and some Christmas cookies. I managed to fit it all in one canvas bag, except for the saltines, and when I explained to the bag guy that I wanted to bag it myself as I needed it all to fit in one bag because I might have to carry it a mile in snow, he looked at me like I was crazy. We also bought cat litter because we had no idea what the litter situation would be like after so long.

The drive up the mountain was spooky. No one was on the road, and we couldn't see because of the cloud cover. Everything was pitch black. We kept scanning the road to see where the snow started, but couldn't tell. It was kind of frigntening. Like we were driving into this world of the unknown. When we got to the top, J put the chains on the tires, and we were happy to see that our road had been plowed, so we were able to drive right to the bottom of our stairs. J started shoveling the driveway so we could park, and I took the groceries, my computer bag, and my purse upstairs and began reassuring the cats that we did not hate them, beg for their forgiveness, and clean up their - erm - "statements" around the house. It wasn't that bad, actually. They were definitely clingy, though, and I can tell they missed us.

We went to sleep happy to be home, but thinking that perhaps we had overreacted a bit since everything was ok. Then it started snowing overnight and by the end of Wednesday we had another foot on the ground, the 5 is closed through the grapevine, and all of our mountain roads are closed. So we would have been well and truly screwed if we had waited to leave until Wednesday. As it is, we're quite happy, all the electric is working, the cats are happy, the dish works now that it's stopped snowing and we could clear it off so we can watch tv, we're warm, and eating all of our lovely groceries. Last night we had roasted chicken, garlic mashed potatoes and garlic green beans. Tonight we had chicken croquettes. And the stock is boiling on the stove for soup tomorrow.

I'm hoping I can get out by Saturday or Sunday, though. I still have Christmas shopping to do, and I'm getting a bit cabin-fevery just hanging out at home all day looking out at the imposing pile of white stuff that's going to need to be shoveled. The snow plow came today and the road has a semblance of being clear, but it's really going to take some warm weather to melt this stuff, and who knows when that's going to come? Plus it's supposed to rain on Monday and Tuesday. And if that would freeze - ugh - that would be bad. So I guess we'll start to shovel tomorrow.

It sure is nice to be so warm and have the snow outside for the holidays, though. J's parents are coming for Christmas, and I'm hoping that it still looks pretty for them, and not just all gross and dirty.

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