Dispatch from the Tundra

So. Nice weather we've been having.

It snowed on Monday. Which was neat. And then it all melted on Tuesday. Which was okay. And it's been cold, and blah blah blah.

But they've been predicting more snow. And last night it hit. And it made me stupid.

See, all day I'd been thinking, "I should go to Tesco, just in case, and get some things." But it was cold, and I was lazy, and our Tesco is always a nightmare; it seems to be some sort of vortex, wherein people are drawn to stop still in the middle of the aisles and push their carts at an angle across them, and stare at the ceiling with their mouths open. Perhaps they're receiving celestial messages of some kind? Or there are things written up there, which only English people can see? I don't know. What I do know is they clot the aisles like horse manure on a country road; couple that with the Tesco employees who are constantly stocking the shelves--usually whatever it is I need, they've positioned their big forklift-esque shelving units in front of--and it's just a huge pain.

So last night, around 9:30, hubs went outside for a smoke and called me out to see. It was snowing.

"Hmm," said I. "Maybe I should go to Tesco after all."

We debated it. We weren't sure the snow was going to stick. We gave it a few minutes.

And around ten to ten I decided the snow was in fact starting to stick, and I should go ahead and go.

Oh, dear.

At first I thought perhaps it was salt or something making the street in fron of my glow a little. No. It was snow starting to collect. This happened FAST, guys; it started at 9:30 and at this point, twenty minutes later, I was rolling over white patches on the road.

Then the guy in front of me hit his brakes too hard and spun out into the roundabout.

I decided at that point just to go back home. But to get there I had to go essentially around the town, on hilly, dark, winding roads. It was freaking terrifying.

There is something about driving in heavy snow like that, with no streetlights, that makes you feel totally and completely alone. I am a great driver. Seriously. And I love to drive. And I've driven in snow before; I learned to drive in snow. Butthat was in the suburbs and the city, not in a rural area; that was in a place with plenty of traffic, with signs of life everywhere. There were no signs of life anywhere least night; the snow was thich enough that I couldn't even see lights from the few homes in that area.

I was shaking, literally shaking, as I made my way home through the darkness. The lanes are narrow; the lines unreflective. With snow obscuring everything I could only use the bushes on the side of the road as guides; I was at the top of a hill, unable to see anything on the other side of the bushes. I pictured tapping the brakes and hitting ice; I pictured sliding off the road into a ditch, or worse, down the side of the hill. I pictured myself trying in vain to find a place to seek shelter. I pictured calling the hubs on my cell and wondering how in the world someone would be able to come rescue me.

This is how bad it was: I turned the radio off.

This is how bad it was: by the time I got back into town, almost an inch of snow covered the street.

I got home at ten past ten. Twenty minutes, was all I'd been gone.

Truly terrifying. I got home and checked the news online--the snow knowcked out our satellite tv--and found that the M5, which is only a few miles away from us, had been closed, as had several other, smaller roads near us. Closed. Because of the snow.


So that was my evening. But the snow is melting today and the roads are clear, and in an hour or so I'm going to head out to the store and get those things after all. Sigh.


Mishel said…
Wow, sounds like a scary adventure. Glad you made it back okay. And talking about the store was hilarious. People are like that anywhere you go sadly.

Hope your visit goes as smoothly as possible. (=
Nicole Peeler said…
My friends mum sent us pictures of their house outside London and it's COVERED in snow. I couldn't believe it. We didn't have snow stick ONCE in Edinburgh, the whole six years I was there! And I can only imagine the driving. Oy gevalt!
Krystal32 said…
Just wanted to drop in and say Hello......I can relate tot he bad weather. I woke up Wednesday morning to about a foot of snow on the ground(WV).I'm ready for temps in the 70's myself.
Rottie_mom said…
OMG how scary. Good to hear you made it home in one piece!
December/Stacia said…
Thanks everyone!

Lol, Nicole, I have to admit it's kind of nice. One of the reasons we came here was we were tired of endless summer, and while we weren't expecting endless winter in exchange, we're glad to see snow at least once more before we leave. It snowed once a few weeks after we moved here, and this last April we had a freak snowstorm for about half an hour, but that's been it.

Luckily we haven't lost power the way a lot of people have.
synde said…
Jesus Stace...glad you made it back home ok..Driving in rural snow is so much more difficult then add night it's a nightmare.Hopefully it won't last long.
Daun Ann said…
Glad you made it back in one piece.
Nicole said…
Ah, Stacia, I feel your pain. My normal 45 minute commute up the A1 and A14 took me three hours this morning as we all slid around on the snow covered roads. I've had a full cover of snow in my garden since Monday. Definitely the worst snow I've seen in the decade I've been over here. And my husband doesn't remember it being like this before, but then he grew up on the south coast.

And I bet you'll miss Tesco when you've gone. ;)
December/Stacia said…
It was really scary, Synde! Like I said I've driven in snow before and never really had a very hard time, but this...it was so dark, and it was just me, you know? *shudder* Three years and I still can't get to used rural living.

Thanks Daun Ann!

Lol, Nicole, I will miss a few things about Tesco, yes. I'll miss the dessert selection--especially their Tiramisu, which is omgdelicious--and the "southern fried" chicken steaks they do, although those aren't as good as they used to be. They're smaller and they changed the coating a bit, sigh. Those "southern fried" chicken balls are my Faerie's favorite food, too. And I'll miss Petit Filous, those are good. And Jaffa cake bars. You can get Jaffa cakes in the States but I like the bars better. And bourbon cream and custard cream biscuits. So there will be some things I'll miss, yeah.
Estella said…
I am so glad I live where it seldom snows!
Toni L. Chapman said…

Sounds like what we went through in the winter when we lived in Iowa. Sometimes the snow would come so fast and it was scary getting around. Glad that you got home safely.

Nicole Peeler said…
I miss tesco individual microwave sticky toffee puddings. Dear sweet mother of goodness.
Anita said…
We have the exact opposite problem here. It's going to hit 45C here and this morning dawned to the smell of fires and a pall of smoke over the city. So, either way it's not much fun to get out of the house - either too hot or too cold!
Taylor-Marie said…
I'd love for it to snow here!
Sunny Queensland SUCKS! ):
Hagelrat said…
Yup, everyone was trapped in the village on Thursday so the pub stayed open all afternoon. Life was good.
Gareth said…
LOL, you want scary Stacia try driving along fell roads in the lake district in snow on a one car track that has a big drop the other side. That was scary and something thats petrified me ever since.

Not something I will ever do again if I can help it. As to your missing goodies you might want to have friends send you packages over, yes you won't get your SF Chicken but you will still get your Jaffa Cake bars.
alanajoli said…
You have such nightmare driving stories! Yowza.

That said, I hope the snow was, on some level, an enjoyable novelty. We've had a heavy snow winter here on Shoreline Connecticut, and it's the first time in awhile I've really enjoyed the snow--mostly because the novelty factor of a lasting snow has returned (unlike my experience everywhere else I've lived...)

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