20 April, 2009

The Rest of the Blizzard story and My Ride Back After a Month's non-intended Hiatus

Ahhh, Old Man Winter's minions welcoming us (from our front door)...

Day 1, 17 April, the blizzard starts non-stop, 24/7. School isn't cancelled and I'm pissed because it takes me close to three hours to get home due to this inclimate weather pattern.

Day 2, 18 April.
We dug ourselves out temporarily (while it's still snowing). It took us 5 hours while the kids played in the snow and Addy ran up and down our driveway checking on the kids and us. The driveway's still a beast and no low profile car can get through, at least not until the sun starts melting this nonsense. I started the ATV with the plow and dug out an area where at least we could do a three-point turn near our house. As I write this, we’re out of electricity and water. Battery power on my laptop’s making this entry possible about today, Saturday, before I forget. I hope it’s only ‘til the end of today before we get our electricity back up. News reports on Melissa's iPhone say the restoration of power could be as late as Monday. How much of a pisser is that? While I’m digging out, Melissa’s boiling some water to make French press coffee this morning. How cool is that? Very. Yessir.
It was Melissa’s idea to try and punch out of our long, dirt driveway with the ATV. I would get the ATV to ramming speed until the snow a large volume of peeled snow would accumulate thus becoming a rather weighty obstacle in front of me. Melissa would then dig that obstacle out and I’d do it again. We did it about 4xs until I punched it out to Richmond Hill. Yea!!

Couple of things about being up here with no electricity and being snowed-in (not anymore though). Melissa brought up a good point about leaving a vehicle near the street just in case we need to go to the hospital for emergencies. Another thing is to have bathtub full of water because our pumps are kaput without electricity. At least we can pour water in the commode for flushing purposes. Cool huh? Melissa thought of the water thing Friday night when she came home early and we actually had electricity. I’da probably spaced it out. I did dig and plow and dig again out our driveway though. The only thing now is to connect our semi-circle parking area to the driveway so we don’t have to do tight, 3-point turns to get out. The surface of our asphalt section of our driveway's rather slick.
For lunch Melissa boiled water on the fireplace and we made ramen noodle soup with tofu. 5 stars considering no electricity was needed.

The snow's still not relenting and it's still below freezing when dinnertime rolls 'round. At the beginning of the week, the girls get an invite to spend the night at Grandpa's. We didn't think he'd be up to it because they're out of electricity too (he lives a stone's throw away from us). The girls insist and I talk to Grandpa and he still says they're good to go if they want to spend the night. For dinner, Melissa cooks up some pasta on the fireplace and we pour a pesto mix on it. For the pièce de résistance, Melissa quasi-bakes some vegetarian meatballs (on the fireplace of course). We also burn about nine candles of various sizes on our table as we eat. It's a very cool scene. Eating, talking, and enjoying each others' company as we eat some campfire-inspired food.

It's a pain to start the car and run the gauntlet of snow I pushed out to drive the girls to Grandpa's because the new snow's starting to pile up (ain't that a beeyatch?). So the girls with their spending-the-night-stuff in their backpacks flank me and we walk to Grandpa's in the snow holding hands. Talking about our summer vacation plans and general kid talk. About a week ago we talk about the mountain lion confrontation Grandpa had at his house. He and the mountain lion were about 15 feet apart and he fired his handgun to scare the lion away. He said it was a healthy sized creature. This was brought up again as we're walking. I said they have nothing to fear because mountain lions are generally nocturnal creatures and I begin to explain what nocturnal means (as opposed us being diurnal). After I drop the girls off, Maricel's worried that my solo walk home might entice a mountain lion to pounce on me. I tell her I'm perfectly safe and if I do see one I'll bark and growl like a wild animal and stick all my forelimbs out to make my (five foot, seven) self bigger.

When I've been home for several minutes, we get a phone call from Grandpa and it's Maricel wanting to know if I made it home okay and if I saw any mountain lions. What a sweet girl. Yeah, my kids rock. The beauty of not having electricity is that when the sun goes down, it's naptime for all. And if I'm not being a Dad or husband or cycling, the next thing I love next to eating is sleeping. Long live the ZZZZZZZs!
Pretty but what a pain it is to deal with

Day 3, April 19th.
Our twice snowed-over driveway

The weather is absolutely gorgeous. The snow has stopped and it's blue skies. The driveway still needs some plowing due to the wind and slow dwindling of the rest of the precipitation from the night before. I swear it seemed like the precipitation would never relent. My teammates scheme up a ride in Boulder for later during the day. I show up at Chip's and shower. The weather's absolutely gorgeous (have i mentioned that yet?) and the snow as we climb up South Saint Vrain makes it just a bit surreal-more like the Gavia than Boulder, Colorado.

It was painful for me because with all the snow we've been having, coupled with my super busy spring break, I've been effectively off the bike for close to a month. The ride we do today's about 55 miles long and of course I have to go hard on the climb. On the way back down, Chip and Chris are doing their best impersonation of a Diesel motor and oh so familiar cramps are a'knockin' due to a lack of fitness from my non-intentional cycling hiatus (have I mentioned that I haven't been riding in about a month?).

I hate that not-so-fresh feeling. Back at Chip's I get my stuff and boogie on down to my in-laws. We have dinner there and Grandpa calls to tell us we have power back at Conifer. Yea!!!! We have a grilled dinner and a salad that I made. Lovely it was. I shower and bathe Mason and Maura to start the week at Grandma's and all is well in the world when you and your family's clean with a full tummy.

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