The last 48 hours have been... interesting.
Thursday afternoon - I have an optometrist appointment in Saskatoon (followup for my laser surgery), so Kristen, Mari, Kolbjorn and I pile into the van and head out. The roads are awful. I mean, highway 219 isn't exactly the finest highway in the world to begin with, and when you add freezing rain the night before and a heavy snowfall that morning, things happen. About 10 minutes from Saskatoon, we're meeting oncoming traffic, have to pull over a bit because the other guy is hugging the center line, right wheel starts digging into snowdrift, and we find ourselves heading into the ditch at around 50 or 60 kph.
The ditch is full of snow - probably two to three feet. I have a very distinct memory, as a wave of snow went over the windshield, of thinking "Wow, this is very reminiscent of a scene in The Empire Strikes Back, where Luke's X-Wing crashes on Dagobah and the water goes over his cockpit." Once a geek, always a geek, I guess.
The good thing about hitting the ditch with that much snow is that it's a surprisingly gentle experience. The bad thing about hitting the ditch with that much snow is that when you finally stop, there are still at least 6 inches of snow between the tires and the ground, which is a non-optimal situation as far as traction is concerned.
Calling Kia roadside assistance is an experience to be cherished. When asking for the location, the operator asked where the nearest major exit is. I just about laughed out loud at her, but seeing as she was my only hope of getting out of the ditch, I said we were a couple miles north of Beaver Creek. I have no idea if Beaver Creek has ever been referred to as a major exit before, or if it will be ever again.
The tow truck arrived about 25 minutes after I got off the phone with roadside assistance, got us out of the ditch in about 10 minutes, and we arrived at the optometrist about 45 minutes late. Fortunately, they were very understanding about the delay (I suspect especially since I called them as soon as I was done calling roadside assistance), and my appointment went just fine (20/20, optometrist says it's "perfect").
The highways on the way home that evening were even worse (average speed for most of the trip home was around 70kph), but we made it home without major incident. We stopped and lent our cell to someone who had just bought a van with a broken gas gauge - they were stuck pretty much in the middle of nowhere (although that seems to describe most of highway 219), and they only had a Rogers cell (which has pretty much zero coverage on the 219). When I pulled over to help them, I managed to get stuck in deep snow and had to get them to help push us out. Guess that makes it a fair trade.
We finally got home to Outlook, and I declared that we would all go to bed at a decent time because we were all tired and needed sleep. Surprisingly enough, we did all get to bed at a decent time. However, at about 1:30am, Mari came into our room and announced that she had thrown up all over the bed. Mari had also consumed some brightly coloured candy popcorn that evening, so it was a very Technicolor experience. Poor kid continued to puke about every hour or two for the rest of the night and into mid-morning before she started feeling better. Nobody got any decent sleep last night.
I got into work this morning to discover a small storm had begun brewing about 15 minutes after I had left for Saskatoon yesterday, with 20 e-mails and a couple voice mail messages, so most of my day was spent dealing with that.
Mari is feeling like herself today. We've got a good supply of ginger ale, Arrowroot cookies, and Pepto-Bismol now, and our washing machine has been pretty busy since 2am. Things at work are pretty much under control again. We had a pajama party with the whole family after supper tonight - we all crawled into our bed, put "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang" into the VCR, and relaxed.
Life is good, even when it gets a little too "interesting".