This has been a rather eventful week. Weather forecasters were warning us
early on about a blizzard due to hit Nova Scotia late Wednesday and into
Thursday. Snow, high winds, much like any other winter storm. I picked up a
movie and a few extra groceries on my way home Wednesday, we decided to
cancel knitting, just in case the weather hit early in the evening.

Nothing too drastic had started by the time I went to bed, but was I in for
a surprise on Thursday morning. My two VW cars were almost completely
covered, and the snow gave no indication of letting up. My driveway was
waist deep, as was the road out front. The wind was blowing, and drifts were
forming everywhere. The province of Nova Scotia declared a state of
emergency, which has yet to be lifted. Rescue vehicles and snowplows were
only going out if the emergency was life threatening.

All of the major highways were closed at one point or another. Which meant
that even if my husband and our friend Gerald made it back from Boston, they
wouldn’t be able to get beyond the New Brunswick/Nova Scotia border, still
several hours drive away. When I spoke to them late Thursday afternoon, they
were just leaving Waterville, Maine, the sun was out, roads dry and bare,
and they had no idea what state we were in back home, in fact, I’m not sure
they believed me. They made it as far as Saint John, New Brunswick, and
spent the night, still not seeing the major impact of the storm.

The snow was still falling heavily and winds coming out of the
North/Northeast made it impossible to clear snow, so Thursday I spent
cleaning, rearranging furniture and knitting a “mistaken rib” sweater. The
snow finally stopped during the night, so Friday was the beginning of the
outside cleanup. There was no hope of a plow getting into our yard, they
wouldn’t be able to push the wall of snow out of the way. So I left messages
for the local backhoe operator and a friend who has a Mercedes Unimog with
blower attachment on the front, hoping one of them would have time to come
get me out.

I began shoveling early in the morning, working for an hour or two, taking a
break, then back at it again. By the afternoon the snowplow had been up our
road a couple of times, and it appearedthatif I were to get out, road
conditions would be passable. Oh was I wrong. Peter and Gerald arrived home
mid afternoon, and filled me in on what the outside world looked like. Cars
abandoned along all the major highways, some side roads completely
impassable, others only one, or part of one lane. The exit that we normally
take off the highway was unplowed, just a wall of snow, so they had to
continue on to the next exit, which wasn’t much better, but at least
passable in a four wheel drive.

Peter and I got a bit more shoveling done and then took a break to wait for
our friend with the Unimog to come free us. It was quite a site to have this
funky looking German vehicle blowing snow 60 feet in the air, the few
vehicles that were going up and down our road were slowing down and gawking.
By 7pm we were out, and went down to make sure Gerald was able to get into
his driveway. I was shocked by the state of the roads, you would be driving
along on bare pavement and then all of a sudden there would be a wall of
snow covering three quarters of the road.

Obviously the shop has not been open through all this. I went down Saturday
morning to assess the situation. The roads were still a disaster, and the
walkway into the shop was waist deep. I shovelled about 5′ of it, but after
6 hours of shoveling the day before, couldn’t continue, and I still had
another 15′ to go. Brenda and her son John worked away at it throughout the
day, getting a narrow path cleared to the door. I finished it up late in the
afternoon. So now we are ready for the storm that is arriving today! Hey,
what’s a mere 15cm after you’ve just cleared 80cm, nothing really, we can
handle it.

I’m glad I don’t have sheep. I am still picturing Brenda and her husband
David trekking in waist and chest high snow, across their large dooryard,
each with two buckets of water for the sheep. They are braver souls then I.

I hope everyone is keeping warm. Only a month until spring! You can check
out pictures of the snow removal, and some of our friends and customers
latest projects on our website.

Julie Rosvall
Wolfville, Nova Scotia

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