Thursday, January 11, 2007

Snowed Under!

We had the biggest blizzard since 1955 in Saskatoon yesterday, and I was literally stuck at the Library with six of my colleagues until 9 p.m. It was classic prairie weather, the kind where pioneers would die after going out to check on the cows and would lose their way returning to the house. You couldn't see a foot in front of you, with blinding winds blowing cold, wet snow. Cars were abandoned everywhere, but especially in the new neighbourhoods around the little branch with the big heart.

I managed to get to work for my 1 p.m. start time on the bus, but things got progressively worse from then on. Some staff members, with four wheel drive, managed to make it home early in the afternoon. I quickly determined that standing outside to wait for a bus that might not come was a foolish venture, and that I was safer in the Library, even if it meant camping out. After all, it is warm and there was ample food. As a newly-designed healthy building, it even has one bed and a shower! What else could one ask for.

We spent the rest of the day officially closed but with the front doors unlocked in case someone needed shelter. A few sought refuge as they waited for rides or warmed up before walking the last few blocks to their houses. We played board games and watched movies on the big screen in the storytime room. It was rather fun. Sort of like a library pajama party. Or like that famous librarian movie, Party Girl, where she stays all night and has a cataloguing epiphany.

We were expecting to have to sleep there, until the Library Director - like a knight in shining armour - called from a cell phone in his jeep from the street outside to say that he could drive people home. I was very impressed. We weren't the only branch with staff stranded, and he must have been on the road for hours taking care of his people.

So, I got to sleep in my own squirrel bed with my little squirrel family, and today the Library is officially closed so we don't have to struggle through the snowdrift aftermath. What an adventure.


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