" SpiritofSaltSpring:BC:Canada:GulfIslands:SaltSpring:Salt Spring:

December 15, 2008

Snow Diary

Got up this morning a little early in preparation for my journey into town. Put on men's wool work socks over black socks over brown leotards under my black dress pants.

I pulled on my snow pants that I bought last year for snowshoeing. Was that only last year? Amazing! The price tag is still attached on the inside. I lace up my hiking boots. I pack the thermos and the stew and the Japanese oranges and a flashlight. Put on the gloves and the dorky black felt touque.

Put the birdseed in a tin and leave it outside and head out onto the tundra of the great white island muttering something about being lied to. It DOES snow on Salt Spring, Virginia! And by the way, no Virginia, there is no stupid Santa Claus.

Got down the driveway just in time for my legs to go out from under me. I end up on my butt at the bottom of the drive as if someone had just tossed me from a passing car in a gangster movie. Laughing, I roll over like a Pillsbury dough girl, drag myself back up and gingerly pick my way across the ice on the road as if I'm stalking a deer on the other side. I reach the other side with relief. If I'm going to be hit, I at least want to see what hits me.

Face oncoming traffic when walking on the side of the road I can hear my Dad bark at us whenever we walked anywhere with him as children. He couldn't help himself. Five years in the army leaves one a little tightly wound shall we say and old habits die hard. Apparently, we were his platoon.

It's cold but it's gorgeous. The sun is glinting off the snow like wet sugar.
I get to the bottom of the road and I see a guy with a white van. He's a delivery guy. I walk over to him. Hey, are you going into town I ask?

Well, ya, but first I have a few stops to make.

That's okay, I say, I don't have to get to work 'til 10:00 am.

Sure, he says, hop in. You're lucky. I usually have my little dog with me but I left him at home today he says as he wipes off the passenger seat.

He tells me his name. I instantly forget it. The van reeks of pot. He tells a story about the guy he just delivered to. He had to lift it he says. I have the dolly but he insisted on lifting it. And, he's an old guy, he says with emphasis on the word old. He almost put his back out lifting it. Managed to get it onto his shoulder. Then, only a few steps and sure enough, he's down. I urge him to let me help him. Nope. No. Oh No! He's got it. He can do it. Jeez. Some people he says. I mean, what the *&^%$? I have a dolly. But, no, he'd rather give himself a *&%$# hernia.

I hope it wasn't a flat screen TV, I say laughing.

We pull into the parking lot of some local utility. He jumps out. I'm staring at the dash and looking at his wallet thinking, Man if this was Vancouver that thing would be gone.

He gets back in the car and I say to him, You know, I'm a really honest person so you don't have to worry but if you left your wallet sitting out like that in plain view in Vancouver, it'd be gone!

Never lost anything he said. But, then again, I ain't got no ^%$#&@ money! Let them have it.

We pull into the golf course parking lot.
Probably nobody in there I say.
Don't kid yourself he says. You know how they are. They gotta golf. They got these long pink tees 'specially made for this kind of weather. They got the special flourescent pink balls. They'll be peeved if the course isn't open. Even if it is covered in $#@^% snow up to their knees. They love that shit. It's just more of a challenge. I laugh listening to him. I'm really enjoying his company. He's really very funny.

We stop off at Pharmasave and he dumps off 14 boxes. Every time he marks one off a computerized sound plays. We're just about to leave and the guy from the store knocks on the window. I only count 13, he says. Delivery man jumps out. He's gone a few minutes. The door re-opens, he slams it, and mutters idiot. Can't count! We're off again.

We drive into town. He stops to let me out and says, if you're on the road tommorrow at 9:00 am and I drive by I'll pick you up! Okay. Thanks, I say. Did you say your name was Mike? No, that's my brother's name. My name's Kevin.

About a half hour before work ends for the day, Pauline drops in and invites me to dinner. I get dropped off after work and I conduct interviews over the phone for my feature on our beginner band for this weekend's paper while she's busy preparing turkey and stuffing, yams and turnip. We talk and talk and feast.

She's such a great cook and her house is so decorated it's like meeting the surrogate Mrs. Claus. There are bobbles and white lights. Small trees with little hearts and angels made by a real live nun. There are shiny gold balls on ribbons hanging on the trees outside and a tree outside the living room window, a real live tree, is fully decorated with strings of gold balls and white lights. There are wiry, halo-like golden stars that fit into the area under the skylight. There are angels blowing french horns hanging across the bay window.

We drink wine and listen to christmas carols and afterwards she drives me home but only to the bottom of the hill so she doesn't get stuck.

I get out of the car. I turn on the flashlight. I thank her, wave goodbye and trudge, in the dark, up the icey slope in the pitch black scanning the horizon for drunk drivers, deers, cougars, imaginary bears and by the time I make it all the way up our driveway, the cold air, mixes with the cold in my nose, my lungs hurt and I am extremely happy!

I'm home!

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