White-outs and Goggles

The brown sand dunes have given way to white dunes of snow.

I thought of Canadian author, W.O. Mitchell’s, stories of prairie sandstorms, where homesteaders became disoriented on their way the barn and succumbed. Now I understand!

The winds have been fierce. During a white-out, walking to school is a challenge. There is no definition to the paths, roads, ATV trails and my trusted shortcuts. Everything is uniform white.

My shortcuts no longer exist. I tried one and ended up thigh high in snow. Try moving in jello … or imagine being an ascent of Everest, with each step requiring hundreds of calories and gallons of oxygen.

Today, school was canceled in the afternoon for students because of the weather. The teachers were picked up by school bus for the afternoon and offered rides home at the end of the day. It was deemed unsafe to walk.

I decided to bundle up and walk anyways. The only orientation I had were lights of familiar buildings. At one point I wondered what would happen if there was a power outage. Would anyone ever find me in my white parka in the drifts?

I found myself wandering off road many times. What is safer? The roads are sheer white ice. The snow grips on my boots are a godsend.

I noticed teachers and students snapping on goggles before they head outdoors. Old-fashioned ski-goggles with yellow or orange lenses, with frost-free lenses.

I’m gonna get me some before I lose myself. Oh, yes, and a flashlight too!

 

 

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