Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Second Holiday for Raquel and Family

We've had a pretty good stretch.
Nearly everything has been going well since the falling crushing chair incident.
This was very good as we were headed off to Sun Peaks for a little ski holiday.
It's a 5 hr drive from Vancouver to just north east of Kamloops.  Timing on a holiday for Raquel's total health was great, not at all good timing on the weather front.  Good if you are already in the resort, not for the drive.  Nearly +30cm of snow had been dumped everywhere north and east of Vancouver, which is basically the rest of the province.
As we drove further east up the Frazer Valley the heavy rain and low temperature was worrying.  With my new iphone ichecked the two possible routes to Kamloops.
Highway #1 had 75% packed snow.
Highway #5 was rated at 100% packed snow.  The #1 is longer by 45 minutes on a good day, so with children in back I figured continuing up the valley instead of mountain passes was the safe bet.  If we're to be stuck in a snow bank at least it'll be closer to civilization as many towns dotted the canyon.
SMRT. (Homer used this term in the way best suited to my decision, but the Czechs have another more ominous meaning that kept the fear and my knuckles white)
For much of the drive we plugged along at 60kms an hour.  The Wentzels whom were also on this trip went over the top and though two passes.
Andrew has had many years driving up to Whistler from teen hood till now in countless storms.  Some were such that no-one was able to get through, ahhem except him.  So another random storm was of little significance to him at all.
This one and all others scare the Cra& out of me..
Funny as we encountered 75% compact snow, the Wentzels encountered 100% clear albeit wet roads all the way to within 20 kms of the ski resort.
Just as we finished a diaper change in Lyton the Wentzels were just driving into Kamloops.
They were so far ahead that they were able to buy groceries for 9, clean up the kids get them some fresh air and enjoy a rather civilized dinner.
Renata didn't exactly complain about my choice in roads.  As I did my best to comment on how beautiful the desert was with snow, distracting the situation.  Although me looking at scenery was probably more stressful for her then would I have kept my eyes on the road.
Cordelia did complain and made up for Renata's tolerance.  How much further dad?  Can we have dinner too.  Why is Kai having dinner now?  (Renata did all texting)
It was very helpful when Cordelia finally fell asleep.  Raquel was out since our quick stop in Lyton for the diaper change from just past Hells Gate.

Just as I planned, really. The timing of course.  Why drag Raquel through a grocery store buying food and adult drinks and then sit in a warm diner while she could be driving through near white out conditions and having her diaper changed in dark grungy gas stations forgotten by time, super highways and the invention of central heating.  It was laughable.
The diaper change.
We pulled off the road and past two snow banks higher then our car into a little ESSO. Out comes Raquel's practical little red travel kit and the change bed. 

Way in the back hall past the gas stations nutrition section along side the one wash room that was in service we stacked six boxes of -40 window cleaner fluid, laid her on top and shuttled warm cloths back and forth from the sink. Wonderful and insightful graffiti scribbled on every inch of the 50 years of grunge.
Taking pictures in these instances hardly registers as it becomes more of a war maneuver, get in get out.
After a few minutes a tired line of people waiting to be next grew. Did I mention the coldness?
Raquel had unfortunately pooped over all two layers and it was a few moments in the elements for our little pooper trooper who already had a good cough going.

The cabin was uneventful as our days were pretty good.  Meaning it was near blissful less the odd moment of cabin fever made worse by the boys playing at a much different scale then the women.
We (the boys Andrew, Kai and I and one girl Cordelia) were certainly fulfilled with some good skiing.
Fortunately the ladies were able to go out skate skiing and Renata was able to do some skiing on her own.  She took off for a few hours and ran over as much corduroy as she could find.  She missed the decent powder as it warmed considerably by the day she was finally able to go out.  Still, she's a Euro and doesn't have that great appreciation for the softness of it anyway. 
Cordelia really has it rough.  She has the unfortunate lifelong task to make up for all the times I'll feel the need to rough house with Raquel.  This skiing trip was typical of how she has too keep up.  I won't tell exactly how she ended up like this.  Just that it was 100% my fault.
Its a good story so maybe I will. She was holding on to my pole so I could shuttle her safely (?) through the trees to the groomed run on the other side.  Suddenly a drop off appears over a fallen log.
When her and I are skiing we have this routine where when we hit the flats and she loses speed I come up from behind and put the end of my pole in her mid chest, she grabs hold of the basket and as I go past I give her a pull and sling shot her out ahead of me. (Roller Derby style) We've done this countless times,  In fact I now see how hard and fast I can get her to go.  She never disappoints and never wipes out.  Back to the drop off.  As I jumped over it slowly I figured it was in her best interest that I pull hard so that she doesn't do a face plant as she gets to the edge and slowly teeters off.
With a big pull she leaned back and went for it,  she had good air and forward momentum, except her one binding released on landing and continued to drive herself into the snow.
She was still lifeless when I asked her not to move.
She called out.  "Are you going to take a picture?"
Yes of course.  That was a wicked crash.
Then the concerned father comes through.  Are you OK?

Inside, I can assure everyone she was laughing.....

The dressing change up at the cabin was OK.
Difficult as we tried a new upright procedure then the typical lay down.  Raquel fussed a bit and I did a terrible job.  Lately I've been at my irritable best during changes.  Poor Renata.  I try, but it's been wearing on me lately.
Raquel chucked off a hand dressing the next morning on our way out, then again in the Restaurant in Kamloops on the way home.  Her left hand is getting worse and worse toward a claw from all the bandaging.  Not so much her right (?)  I'm really at a loss as some times I think the splints are working, then I stop for a while by doing other things that require less foam, bulk and weight.

I at first thought we could do it at the table.
Then realized it was probably not going to work over blueberries and pancakes.  So off to the washroom.  What a facility, there was the wonderful pull down bed.  Right beside the sink and it came out perpendicular to the wall so we could each stand on a side.  I'd have been terrible for certain if Renata had to stand at my side then.  Tangled arms and claustrophobic.  The woman's wash room was wonderful, no need to line up boxes of tomatoes in a cold dank dark corner with a flickering florescent.
The procedure was quick and somewhat easy.  Except the finishing touches had to be done on the table adjacent.
(no children were hurt in the contents of this blog)

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