There’s Snow Business Like Snow Business

Everybody sing it with me now, and do your best impersonation of a drag-queen, or king, doing an impersonation of Ethel Merman singing, ‘There’s no business like show business’ …

… what’s that you say, you don’t know who Ethel Merman is?

Well, this is Ethel …

 

I don’t think there’s an entertainer in the world today who could belt out a showtune quite like she could.

-oOo-

I’ve temporarily retired the ‘The Wunder-Lusters’ category, (over there on the right of my blog) because we’re not doing anything remotely wunder-lustery at the moment … which isn’t to say we aren’t having adventures. No, certainly not … and, I’ve started a new category, here and, on The Wunder-Lusters Youtube channel, called ‘The Prince Georgian Chronicles’, which will, as the name implies, chronicle our adventures here in Prince George.

First and foremost, as you’ve probably gathered from the title of this post, I’m going to talk about snow. What a surprise, eh?

And after that, well, who knows where this new adventure will take us …

In response to a request for more ‘snow-on-trees’. Here’s a photo, and an epic wee video …

I’m pretty sure there’s a snow-dragon somewhere in this picture

I’m pretty sure there’s a snow-dragon somewhere in this picture

The last time we saw this beauty she was still in her Autumn robes. Looks like she’s wrapping up her Season with a bang …

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SNOW … But I’m Getting Ahead Of Myself … Part 2

Outside temperature -14C. (7F)

Soon I’d bundle up in as many layers as I could wear and still be able to move, and head outside to clear pathways through the 40cm (15”) of snow that fell last week.

Mittens from 2010 when Vancouver hosted the Winter Olympics. Never really had an opportunity to wear them ... until now, when they are a necessity

Mittens from 2010 when Vancouver hosted the Winter Olympics. Never really had an opportunity to wear them … until now, when they are a necessity

I suspect I may have found the Winter I’ve been searching for all my life. It certainly is a tad different than the fantasma I created in my imaginasium when I lived in Australia, or even back on Widder Island.

Normally I’m outside shouting, “SNOW!!!”, as loud as possible but when this lot started to fall, I timidly peeked through the curtains and whispered, ‘snow’ – just in case someone heard me and decided I needed an extra three meters of the stuff. One can never be too careful with the Weather Deities these days.

This is what I call, COLD

This is what I call, COLD

In all fairness, those temperatures were, according to, Environment Canada, a bit of an anomaly brought about partly by La Nina’s third winter in office. The ones at the end of the 7 day forecast are the averages for this time of the year. That being said, nothing about any weather forecasting is ‘average’ in these interesting times.

However, I’m getting ahead of myself again. The tale continues …

-oOo-

Part 1 HERE … In which we have arrived at our new ‘sticks-and-bricks’, home after living in our RV for months …

Every major joint in my body seemed to be letting it be known that they never EVER wanted to set foot on an uneven, or unstable, surface, again.

It took several weeks for me to stop expecting the floor to sway with every movement. I suspect it’s the same for anyone who spends any length of time on board a boat, of any size. Even now I occasionally catch myself bracing for something that never comes. A bit rough on the joints, that too.

-oOo-

But, I had come to terms with the fact that our Great Adventure, might well and truly end in Prince George. (which, all things considered, isn’t a bad place to end up)

For all the years we’d been planning and preparing for, (and the actual doing of) this, relinquishing the wider possibilities was turning out to be more of a challenge than I anticipated. It was all tied in with my self-image of a foot-loose and fancy-free vagabond, out to see what the world had to offer, rather than the reality imposed by my physical limitations which, scarily, appeared to be on the increase.

…… but that was the emotional, physical, and spiritual place I ended up at, and I’m getting ahead of myself again …

-oOo-

So, this happened …

Driving through the Fraser Canyon

Driving through the Fraser Canyon

The quickest route from Prince George to Agassiz, where our storage unit was, is through the Fraser Canyon. It’s usually a spectacular drive along a pretty decent 2-lane highway winding up and down and around and through the canyons carved out of the mountains by the Fraser River, and ending up on the Fraser Plateau.

Still driving through the canyon

Still driving through the canyon

It was still a spectacular drive, but it was also very smoky from wildfires burning in Washington state (in the U.S.) and others much closer here in British Columbia.

Repairs, necessitated by the damage from last November’s disastrous floods to the highway, were still going on, and we had several occasions to sit and enjoy the scenery as we waited for the road ahead to clear…. a road that narrowed down to a single lane emergency bridge thrown across a washout, bookended by torn asphalt and concrete barriers.

(this video is a bit long, but if you can watch on as big a screen as possible, I think you’ll get a feel for the road as we traveled through the canyon and out onto the plateau on our way home)

 

The saddest thing I think, were the closed shopfronts in the tiny villages we drove through. Covid-19 had devastated these communities long before the flood damage closed the highway.

We took it, relatively, easy, driving the 700 kilometers over two days … Met up with Sir L, and proceeded to empty out our rather well stuffed storage unit, ably assisted by son-in-law and twin grandsons.

The next day was a little different. We’d decided, in the interests of getting the damn job over and done with, to do the return trip in one day. With a 4am start and switching drivers regularly, we managed to get back home with a decent bit of daylight to spare. Which isn’t to say we weren’t absolutely knackered the next day – we were, but the deed was done. (luckily I was passerger-ing when we drove through the canyon and was able to point the camera on my phone at the windscreen and hope for the best)

However, where was our stuff, I hear you ask. It remained in the back of Sir L’s very large truck until he drove up a week later.

Not having grandsons up here was a tad inconvenient so we hired a bloke to help with the heavy lifting, and to our surprise son-in-law turned up with Sir L, so the unloading went just as efficiently as effectively as the loading had.

We had our stuff … boxes and boxes, of stuff … everywhere.

Just as well we had lots of rooms to put it all in.

Mrs Widds downstairs study – one day

Mrs Widds downstairs study – one day

One side of our craft room. There’s a worktable somewhere underneath all that

One side of our craft room. There’s a worktable somewhere underneath all that

But then, sometimes rainbows happen just when you need them the most …

A bit of rainbow in our back yard

A bit of rainbow in our back yard

SNOW!!! … But I’m Getting Ahead Of Myself … Part 1

The Winter Tree 2022 edition

The Winter Tree 2022 edition

I didn’t deliberately set out to take such a long break from blogging, but as events unfolded, it seemed, hmm, well, necessary … so I did.

-oOo-

First this happened …

 

(this video’s being a pain to embed into this post. If you could let me know if it’s working, that’d be great, otherwise you can watch it on YouTube itself)

It was only a short pootle from the BeeLazee campground, through town, along the highway, and on to a quiet street, where …

… oops, getting ahead of myself a bit.

We knew we needed to move on before the campground closed at the end of September or we’d be, almost quite literally, orphans in the snow.

Rentals in town were ridiculously astronomical, and apparently nothing was to be had elsewhere. But, just as Mrs Widds went on Craigslist and found our cottage on Widder Island, so too did she find us a house, on a quiet street, with an acre of lawn, (which I’m going to turn into a huge garden next year), and surrounded by mature trees.

This is the view from our front door, and the back – Tree heaven!

 

The trees, the trees, they stole my heart.

-oOo-

Even though we hauled in whatever we needed from the trailer, the house was so large (three times bigger – at least – than our little cottage on Widder Lake) we felt like two little lost socks in the Washing Machine of Life. Very disconcerting it was, after living so small for so long, (ten years in the cottage) and then smaller still in the RV.

Being on unstable ground for so long, (people with bad knees should not live in a small RV for any length of time – I’d far surpassed by ‘use-by’ date) I could hardly walk by the time we signed the lease and officially moved in, if you could call my hobbling along a ‘walk’. There are steps up to the front porch and off of the balcony at the back. There’s also another set right in the middle of the living room, (don’t ask me why they had to be in that particular spot – it’s a mystery) that lead to the downstairs craft/workshop, the storage room, and Mrs Widds study.

Hobbling up and down all those stairs was hard, painful, time consuming, and exhausting … however, we had our Winter home.

We set up camp in the living room and began to figure out, 1 – how we could afford twice the rent we were used to paying, (which is slowly sorting itself out) and 2 – how we were going to bring up all the rest of our worldly possessions from our storage unit 700 kilometers to the south.

U-Haul, it turned out, was U-seless … their business model only works if there are as many people needing trucks going one way as there are going the other. Unfortunately, all the U-haul trucks of the size we required were in Alberta, (the next province east of us) and weren’t likely to come back any time soon.

After literally weeks of not knowing if we would be able to even do the move this year, let alone before winter set in, a friend of the family, I shall call ‘Sir L’, stepped up to the plate with his 7-ton moving truck.

The catch was, (of course there was a catch, there’s always a catch!) we needed to be at the storage unit to help with the loading … 700 kilometers away.