For at least the past three weeks the weather forecasters have been telling us that sunny, springlike weather is just five days away. I am still clinging to the belief that one of these days it will actually happen. Our winter accumulation of snow is slowly going down, even on cloudy days when the temperature doesn’t quite get up to zero Celsius.
The official beginning of spring, March 20, brought us a two day blizzard that heaped huge, hard-packed drifts over our highways. The morning of the 22nd, the Department of Highways called on our son-in-law to help clear the highway that runs through our local area. Two men and two front end loaders spent a day and a half cutting through snow drifts that were four to six feet deep in places and moving the snow back off the shoulders. We didn’t get that much snow, but there were already high snowbanks along the highways from previous snowfalls and road clearing and those places filled in and were packed hard from the high winds.
The local rail lines, used by long trains of bulk grain cars, also had huge drifts in many places. Last Wednesday, two weeks after the blizzard began, we watched as someone with a small tractor and a snow blower spent six hours clearing the mile of railroad southwest of our home. That must have been the last blockage as the trains began running the next day.
Last Sunday morning we decided to visit a congregation 275 km north of us. It had snowed in the night and was still snowing, but the roads were not bad at first and we kept on going. An hour from home we hit snow packed highways and drove on that for most of the rest of the way. We heard an inspiring message from a visiting minister from California, had dinner with old friends and by the time we returned home the snow had mostly melted off the roads.
The wind came up again Wednesday afternoon and snow began to drift and accumulate on the highways. Snow fell during the night and by morning there were reports of serious traffic accidents from various places. Just before 8:00 am, there was a two vehicle collision not far from our closest small town. Three ambulances were called out to taken seven of the passengers to the closest hospital and a helicopter ambulance to transport a boy to a Saskatoon hospital.
Much of that fresh snow has melted. Yesterday, the weather forecast spoke of sunshine and warm weather beginning on Tuesday. This morning, that has been pushed up to Wednesday, still five days away. And there is more snow coming tomorrow and maybe Sunday.
Three years ago, in late summer, we were experiencing an overabundance of rain. One elderly gentleman said it was all the farmers’ fault: “They are mostly God-fearing people and when it was so dry after seeding they all prayed for rain. But they forgot to say how much.”
There was a lot of concern earlier this spring that if the snow we received last winter would melt too fast we would have flooding. Maybe by now we could stop praying for a slow melt and just take what comes?
As you may have noted, I am not doing so well at taking things as they have come this spring so far. Our cats are equally frustrated. They have cabin fever, wanting to go out and explore the yard but finding it mostly buried in snow. We are having a major cat hair problem. Maybe they are getting mixed signals, telling them to grow heavier coats for winter and at the same time telling them to shed their winter coats in preparation for summer.