For four years, between 1976 and 1980, I worked in the next small city over, just down the Superhighway. It was 13.2 miles to work, after looping around three big clover-leafs, but only 12.2 miles home because – merge lane, merge lane, merge lane.

One winter night, it began to snow just as I was going to bed. I exited the house a little early the next morning.  There was almost a foot of snow on the car and driveway, but a 4 to 5 foot pile at the end of my driveway.  I lived on a bus route, and bus routes get plowed first.


I thought about shovelling, especially carving a hole through the snowbank, but decided to wait till I got home. I always backed in, so I just barged my way out through it.  The bus route led to a Regional Road, which led to the Expressway, which led to the highway out of town, which led to the Interstate, all well plowed, and heavily travelled.  I got to work quickly and easily, while the guy who lived four blocks from the plant couldn’t even walk in.

All day, the snow continued, getting even deeper. By mid-afternoon, the radio was telling listeners not to go out, and that every street and road in the Region, including the big highway, was closed.  Most employees could get home, even if they had to walk, but what was I to do?  Where was I to spend the night, sleeping in the break-room?

Storm-stayed 2

One of the young lads in the plant said, “I have an apartment, and live alone. You could stay with me.”  By the time we left at 5 PM, the sky was clear blue and sunny, though the streets were deep with snow.  As we crossed over, I got a look at the highway – cars everywhere – cars sideways, cars backwards, cars stuck on the shoulder, cars abandoned in the middle, cars banged into each other.  I could have driven home, if not for that blockade.

Storm-stayed 3

On reaching his one-bedroom apartment, the unmarried male operated a can opener to serve me a gourmet meal – Heinz Alphagetti and dry bread. We watched some TV, and told some lies.  As the 11 o’clock news came on, he turned off the TV, and turned on the radio, tuned to a loud rock station, and disappeared into the bathroom.

When he came out, he headed for his bedroom. I said, “I’ll turn the radio and lights off when I’m done.”  Oh, no,” he replied, “I always leave the lights on, in case I have to get up in the night, and I need some music to lull me to sleep.”  So I’m left on a lumpy couch with no blankets, all the lights on, and the radio blaring in my ear, while he’s comfortable behind a closed door.

There are medicines that will cure sociable diseases, but you can pick up something even worse when you sleep with someone strange.  I think I found out why he was still single.   🙄


  1. Jim Wheeler says:

    Interesting memoir, Archon. People are indeed amazingly varied and even at this late stage of life I find myself occasionally surprised by an insight into the lives of others.

    At the YMCA gym yesterday a nice looking 40-something woman revealed to us that her injured leg was missing a knee-cap and the doctors couldn’t fix it. She is a CPA, divorced. Her husband cut the bond when she could no longer bike-ride and hike with him. The Y seems to encourage social exchanges, kind of like talking to strangers on a plane, I guess.

    I’ve heard that about half the population experiences divorce at some point and it’s a wonder that it isn’t a higher percentage. Strange stuff goes on. Life is what happens while you are making plans.


    • Archon's Den says:

      He could have married anyone he pleased….only he didn’t please anyone.
      I also am amazed at the range of actions and attitudes. And no matter how bizarre/abhorrent, there’s someone to share it with you. Serial killers, incarcerated for life, have women who will come to prison for conjugal visits, or marriage. Uncaught serial killers and rapists find women who will help them hunt for victims.
      You’re right about social exchanges. Companies often maintain distance between receptionists and people waiting. Studies have shown that 8 feet or less encourages talking/interrupting by visitors.
      Isaac Asimov wrote of an overpopulated future Earth where people had been conditioned to silence in crowded public places. If only. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  2. You might actually have been better off in the break room at work!

    I was lucky enough to miss that particular storm. I was living in DC and came back home just a week after the big storm. I was very sorry to have missed it. But then again, 38 years ago I was young and stupid[er].


    • Archon's Den says:

      I know I’d have had more choices and better food from the vending machines.
      Now that you’ve become older not quite as young, and stupid wise enough to move back to God’s sno-globe Buffalo, you no longer miss the blizzards, when they miss you. 🙄

      Liked by 1 person

  3. BrainRants says:

    And here I thought Canadians were immune to winter.


    • Archon's Den says:

      The stuck vehicles were probably all owned by American tourists and truckers. All true Canadians were at home drinking hot maple syrup and eating poutine. 😉 🙄


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s