Well, it’s finally happening. As I sit here at the kitchen table, I can hear the welcome sounds of water trickling in all directions; off the roof, the deck, the front path, the car park and the huge mounds of snow dotted all over the complex. Spring is sneaking in and kicking Winter’s ass at last, and the relief is immense. The temperature is set to rise to an extraordinary 3 degrees today, and there aren’t enough words to express how good it is not to see that little fecker “-” in front of every number on the weather forecast. We’re into the Plus, ladies and gentlemen, and now I’m starting to realise what the people of Saskatchewan meant when they talked about the Big Melt.
The roads are drowning; awash with slush and melted snow, and studded with mini-lakes and gigantic potholes. I drove around the city yesterday with a list of things to do, and realised one very important factor in surviving the thaw:
NEVER, EVER DRIVE WITH YOUR WINDOW OPEN
I was merrily aquaplaning along Millar Avenue yesterday afternoon, with the radio on, the window open to let in that lovely -2 breeze, and Rebecca singing along behind me, when a truck passed me in the opposite direction. A wave of muddy water soared over the van, in through the window, and all over me. My coat, trousers, hair and sunglasses. There was a squeal of horror from the back seat. “Mom! It’s RAINING in the car!”. I spluttered and tried wiping the mud off my glasses. It just made them worse, so I whipped them off, wiped them on my muddy trousers, and rolled up the bloody window. My hair had a muddy mist coating it. I looked like I had been dragged backwards through several hedges.
We arrived home and made a momentous discovery on our way up the front path. Grass. Yes, really. Brown and a bit sorry looking, but grass nonetheless. Rebecca was overcome with excitement. “GRASS! Grass, Mom, it’s grass, Mammy look, it’s grass!”, over and over, on a crescendo, until only dogs could hear her. I was expecting green grass, which goes to show you how much thought I had given to the effect of tons of snow on the lawn. Apparently it will all become green in a couple of weeks.
In other news today, we received our final request for documents from the Canadian Government, and hope to become Permanent Residents in the next six to eight weeks. We were asked for copies of every page of every passport, which I decided to do in the library. An hour later, a massive wad of paper thwacked down in front of the librarian, who was suitably astonished (and probably wondering how much toner was left in the photocopier). It cost me $57 to post it all off to London. When we get the Permanent Residence documents, we can either take a trip to America and get them authorised at the North Portal Border Crossing, or make an appointment with an Immigration official to do the same thing in a Government building downtown (it takes three weeks to get the appointment). We looked at the van, kicked the tires, pictured it trundling to the US/Canadian border, and frowned. We contemplated the children, pictured them sitting in the van for eight hours while our nerves frayed and frazzled in the front seats, and frowned again. Downtown it will be.
Lastly, in case you’ve forgotten, Spring is on the way: