We went out to shovel after lunch, and Eli to play in the snow. D and I had cleared about 1/3 of the driveway when the neighbour from two doors down, arrived with his snow blower. I've been here for over 12 years, and this neighbour who recently immigrated from Egypt is the first to offer any assistance. D called him our Christmas miracle. Later, I took over a tin of Christmas baking to say thank you. We would have eventually got everything cleared, but it would have taken us much longer.
D's town got closer to 30 cms. (12 inches), and she was able to contact a local company to arrange to clear the area behind her garage, and from the garage to the back door. They did that on Boxing Day before she arrived home.
I'm grateful for the neighbour's help, and grateful too that we didn't get as much snow as areas of Ontario did. While the snow wasn't wanted, it did come with warmer temperatures. It was -12C (10F) when D and Eli headed for home on the 26th.
I spent the day puttering, washing the bedsheets (in cold water), tidying up the toys, and just putting things back where they belonged. Mostly I sat and rested, and enjoyed the peace and quiet. I do love my daughter and grandson, but they certainly are noisy!
My brother and SIL were able to get out on their flight to Phoenix on the 26th as well. That gives me a lot of hope that everything should be operating normally by the time I head south. However, their trip wasn't without snafus either, as they were lined up at the airport for 2 1/2 hours to retrieve their rental car, with another 2 hour drive ahead of them to their final destination. I heard from him later in the day, and he said they arrived at the hotel at 3 a.m. local time (4 a.m. our time); a very long day. Travelling during the holidays is not easy!
Then, just to add insult to injury, the basketball team's flight the next day was cancelled, so the coach decided they wouldn't go at all. R and P weren't planning to return until Sunday but were able to change their flights to Friday. As I told him, at least they were in a beautiful place to celebrate P's birthday. I certainly hope their return trip is less problematic.
Back at home, the other major hiccup, was an issue hot water heater. I realized the water wasn't as hot as it would normally be on Christmas day evening. The following morning, I had no hot water and after trying to re-light the pilot light several times, I contacted the rental company. The first available appointment was two days later on Wednesday! The call agent indicated she would escalate it, hoping that someone would be able to fit me in sooner.
Tuesday brought more weather woes, with a freezing rain alert. Thankfully we didn't get a whole lot of freezing rain in my part of the city - there was about coating of about 1/4 inch on the deck railings and garbage bin, but we did get more snow overnight on top of it. The highways outside the city were hit pretty hard and several roads were closed. There were also areas of the city where the power was out for some time. The rain didn't reach my daughter's town an hour and a half away, but they got another 10 cms. (4 inches) of snow! She wasn't very happy when I talked her the next morning.
On Wednesday I called the hot water heater company again for an update and discovered that first thing on Wednesday actually meant between 4 and 8 p.m. Again, the agent I spoke with assured they would attempt to escalate my call. At 3:55 p.m. I received a call from a tech stating he was on the way over. Within 10 minutes, after manually starting it up again, he had the water heater working. He stayed and kept an eye on it for about 25 minutes before he said he felt comfortable it was working properly. A couple of hours later the hot water was hot and I took a shower.
Thursday was my day to run errands. I needed to get to the bank to pick up cash for my trip, pick up cat food and cat litter, and a few other items. I got those things done and shovelled the driveway and sidewalk again.
The day ended on a sad note. My friend C's mom L passed away; she had been hospitalized just prior to Christmas and took a turn for the worse that morning. She had been transferred to another hospital, but there was little to be done. The family met and made the difficult decision to provide comfort care as treatment wasn't working. I had several messages during the morning, and mid-afternoon the final message came in saying L was now in heaven. I've known C for nearly 30 years, her mom for probably 25 years or so. We haven't seen one another for several years but kept in touch via FB. We were both fans of curling and often chatted on-line about the games and the teams. Now she is at rest, once again breathing freely, and reunited with her husband. May she rest in peace.
I'm ending this week's post here - I going to follow Eli's lead and crawl under a blanket or a bit. I'll definitely post before I get away next week.