Yep…been a while again. I’m working on it. Last night we had the first real good dumping of snow to hit Toronto this year. It wasn’t a massive storm by any measurable level, but as the first good dumping, you know it was going to bring the Monday morning work rush to a standstill. It’s a day that virtually guarantees I’ll be working from home and I often joke with my clients about it as they will inevitably hear my dog, Toby, barking in the background the moment I get on a phone call. The trick is, not everyone really understands why just 15 cms of snow can put the roadblock up for anyone in a chair. So let’s see if you see what I see.

Around 11pm, I looked out our front window, grabbed my new Pixel and took the shot below:

Here’s what you see.

Not a bad night shot, especially through a window. Now, I don’t show you this picture to show off how good the low-level camera is on the Pixel (seriously this camera is REALLY good), or how tranquil the night was, or try to figure out why my helpful neighbour across the road was shovelling at the time of night (when the storm was not due to end until 6am). I show you this to ask a question. What do you see? A quiet night of fresh snow, almost untouched. Serene? Peaceful? Or is more of a “damn, I’m gonna have to shovel all that crap” kind of thought? All of them are valid and reasonable. The difference to me was where my eyes wandered.

Here’s the same picture, but I’m highlighting what I saw:

Now here’s what I see

Now that I look at this, I really should have numbered what I highlighted, but let’s run with it. Here’s what I saw that told me I was homestuck the following morning.

RED: See that snow that is circled? That is on the top of my porch lift. I know you can’t see if very well from that angle, but trust me that’s it. It’s also now up at the level of our porch. I know because…well I’m in the house. If I’m in the house and it’s down, something is really wrong and it’s of no use to me. Back to the point, the amount of snow you see up there and the lift being up is what matters. The lift has a safety mechanism that stops it automatically going down if it detects an obstruction beneath. That much snow on top? Guarantee a whole hell of a lot more has blown in underneath. That means the lift won’t be going all the way down and if it’s not on the ground, I’m stuck. 

GREEN: That section there is where the public laneway beside our house meets the road. That cutdown area is what I use to safely out onto the road and around my car. Oh sure, I can curb hop my way down, but if I’m not showing off for Shannon, what’s the point? The trick here is that when I see that much snow, I know by morning (after cars have churned it up) it will be a nightmare to push through. 

PURPLE: Bit awkward to show there, but I am talking about the space around the car, from back to driver’s side and around. You can see the smooth snow on the road itself, but come morning? Even if the plows haven’t gone through, it will all be piled up by my doors where I get in and where I load the chair. If the plows DO come through? Forget it. 

YELLOW:Well remind me never to use Yellow on a white background again. See all that snow on top of the car? It’s got to come off (hate driving behind people who don’t clear their roof). Getting the passenger side is easy with how the car is parked but getting the driver’s with all the snow expected? Which leads me to…

BLUE: I parked the damn car the wrong way round before the storm! “Huh?” you say. It’s parked in the right direction, so what do you mean? Well, here’s where my Disabled parking pass comes in handy. Come the winter I always park facing the wrong direction on purpose. The pass allows me to do that, as they recognize there can be reasons for a disability to do this. In my case, I can load myself and my chair from the sidewalk, which is a whole hell of a lot easier to clear than the road on the other side!! I parked it late Saturday night before the storm started and just after I’d had my battery replaced (long story) and completely forgot to start switching my parking direction. Dumb and the car of Monday evening has now been set in the right direction. Makes clearing snow a lot easier from the driver’s side as well. 

So…despite the gorgeous night, the great picture and the near silence in the air when I opened the door to let Toby out…that’s what I saw when I looked out that window. I knew I was stuck for the day. Thankfully, I have the means of working remotely from home for much of my work but…it does start to drive you stir crazy. I’ve had way too many days and weeks of barely being able to leave the house (see two spinal cord surgeries and one shattered ankle) and it looks like we may have more of these storms coming this winter season. Toby and I are going to be sick of each other by spring.

Good side? I wasn’t stuck trying to use the TTC when a track fire shut it down. Thankful for small things.

Here’s to escaping on Tuesday!