Song for a Winter's Night
I am living in a Winter Wonderland that is so not west coast! For the first time since moving to BC's lower mainland some 19 years ago, I actually possess snow tires, and not a moment too soon. I have been hearing for months about how cold and snowy the coming winter promises to be. Arriving on the non-coattails of Vancouver's 2010 Olympic celebration, this winter was purported to be blessed with an abundance of snow, something we were literally praying for last February. Instead, due largely to last year's El Nino, we had to import it via truck and helicopter from the interior's Manning Park. Apparently this was all part of the contingency plan! Today's snow was part of Mother Nature's response plan; El Nino must be followed by La Nina. Folk reports have been predicting that this paticular La Nina will be a doozer, perhaps Vancouver's worst winter in 50 years. All of these warnings were enough to shift my thinking sufficiently to consider snow tires for my Silver Palomino, or Mustang, as it were. For those who know me best, it will not be a surprise to hear that thinking and talking about something generally outweighs actually doing it about 10-1 in my day to day experience. This past week the snow forecasts continued to mount while I faced the necessity of driving into Burnaby, that dear city of hills, on the very evening of the first officially designated snow fall warning. In fairness to me, I had made an inquiry of sorts to the dealer where my husband had obtained my beloved 25thanniversary gift. Several years ago my dear soul mate seriously (I would type this word siriusly but many readers would think it a typo) surprised me with a silver Mustang in celebration of our 25 years of wedded bliss, but I digress. Neither my dealer contact nor I had moved to propel my plan, so yesterday afternoon, with snow due to begin falling that evening, I started to make calls. Our middle son, Ryan, lovingly named after the father he resembles in character and personality, informed me that his girlfriend had purchased snow tires but couldn't get anyone to mount them for her. This was not encouraging. When I called our closest Canadian Tire with my request, I was put on hold and subsequently disconnected. I then called back and was put on hold without being invited to make any sort of request. When I was then left on hold indefinitely, I decided to disconnect. Next I tried calling Discount Tire, repeatedly, but only ever got a busy signal. Finally, I called our local mechanic, thinking I would be laughed off of the phone line. Instead he had me distinguish the tire-number – I didn't know they had them – and then called me back saying not only had he found me tires, even though they were pricy, premium Good Years, but he could install them that afternoon. I drove away 4 hours later with new oil, 4 snow tires, and my nagging left-turn signal fixed. Thank you, Day-lite Automotive! The snow actually held off until I exited the freeway in Walnut Grove to retrieve our youngest daughter from her friend's house around 10 pm. But then I suddenly noticed the snow was softly falling. It obscured my visibility enough to make finding the house and street numbers difficult, but who could ever be angry at such beauty? As we drove the 30 minutes home, after stopping to buy cat food for Onslow and Daisy, Emma and I were utterly smitten with our white velvet surround. Because of my tires, we were in the midst of a big, fluffy security blanket instead of a threatening menace. This is how I need and want to live my life –be prepared, as my Girl Guide motto taught me. Okay, in this particular instance I was probably luckier than prepared (thank you again, Day-lite Automotive), but when we prepare on the inside, we can face the circumstances that greet us on the outside and see beyond their potential for destruction. We can see their beauty and their blessing. I felt like that worthy woman of Proverbs 31: "She is not afraid of the snow for her household, /For all her household are clothed with scarlet," with perhaps the substitution of, for all my wheels were ensconced in superior treads. I truly believe I knew exactly how she felt. I fell asleep smiling at the white lace trim on our balcony railing and woke up to a brighter world.