The weather took our neat plans for Christmas Eve and ripped them to shreds. We were to meet in New Westminster, and travel in a 4-car convoy, in case of trouble. Supper would be around 5:00, in Chilliwack.
Early on, a tow-truck slipped and rammed my grand-daughter's car, leaving it non-operational. I was closest; I arranged to pick her up. ("At least," I said to myself, "I'll have someone to help with the digging if I get stuck.")
I heard on the news that the highway was closed. But we decided to go ahead; it would probably be fine by the time we got there.
Then another grand-daughter needed to be picked up in English Bay. Fine. Can do.
#1 g-d needed to be on the road earlier, though; she arranged for family coming through from the ferry to pick her up, delaying them by an hour. So supper would be late, but we'd cope.
#2, Auj, phoned to ask to be collected downtown; the buses weren't running, nor were taxis available. OK. Another delay; we split the convoy; my son in New West would wait for Auj and me, the first car would go on ahead.
My car was under a foot of new snow. I paid a kid to shovel it out for me, but I still had to shovel a bit when I left an hour later.
Then it took the better part of an hour just to go a few blocks downtown. It was raining, now, on top of the snow; instead of the usual roar of traffic, I was hearing spinning tires and revving motors. There were few cars actually moving, but fewer cleared streets. Around English Bay, where Auj had to pick up her presents (another delay), most streets had two deep ruts in the snow, no more. I made several runs at one hill, and finally had to back down, and around the corner into a snow bank. On another street, a neighbour had to drop his shovel and push me over a traffic bump.
I told my son that I didn't think I'd make it; I would drop Auj with him, and the "convoy" would be one car only.
Laurie said maybe we could put Auj on the SkyTrain; it would be quicker. But while I waited for her, I heard the news that a tree had fallen on the SkyTrain tracks; it was "temporarily not in service".
It was well past 5 when we got to New West. It was snowing again. The kids had been eating peanut butter sandwiches; they gave Auj a gingerbread cookie. (And Auj remembered that her dessert was still in her fridge. I wasn't about to go back for it.)
I came back home, after over 4 hours spinning the steering wheel. And had to dig myself back into my parking spot through a two-foot retaining wall of hard-packed snow, a contribution from the side-walk shovellers. I fried up a sausage for Christmas dinner. I was too tired to do veggies.
My son's car load arrived in Chilliwack a bit before 8. He said the last hour was "white-knuckle" driving.
I phoned to see if everyone was safe; my son-in-law told me everything was fine, if chaotic. "It's good chaos, though," he said.
How fortunate we are! Even getting to the party is an adventure! Even when we don't make it! Getting home in one piece is an accomplishment to be proud of! Yay, winter!