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Fun with winter driving to the farmette

Busy, busy, busy. That's what life has been like at the farmette for the past week. I got a bunch of new commissions, met some very cool people and am now terrified that I can't do it all. But that's the nature of the beast when you're a freelancer - and I have to keep stretching, as they say.

Living large in a tiny rural village means that you have to drive - everywhere. Sometimes, it's a pleasant, sun-dappled voyage through winding roads marked by the riotously colourful display of the maples in the fall. Other times, it's a white-knuckle butt-clencher through driving snow. Wednesday was the latter for me.

My work took me to cover a research conference about growing flowers in Grimsby, Ontario - a good four-plus hour round-trip drive from home. I had volunteered for the job because I thought it might be interesting to get slightly outside my niche and see what's up with the people who bring us such joy.

The conference was great with many interesting growers and scientists completely invested in what they do, including conserving the quantity and quality of water, and finding intriguing ways to use the spectrum in LED lights for growing plants. Driving down was mostly a doddle - it was sunny and dry and went well, except for the craziness that is the Highway 403 loop-de-loop I had to do to reach my destination.

Coming home was a whole other story. Starting just north of Guelph, a band of snow pounded down on the 4X4 like it had done something to piss off the winter gods. There were few other people on the road. Most decided to stay home. Smarties.

But the ones who were there were travelling at 30 km an hour on Highway 6. While I'm a bit of a wuss steering through blizzard-like conditions, I did want to get home at some point in the same 24-hour period. So I had to do some passing - which is when I was grateful for having a super-powered four-wheel drive tank with snow tires.

I know some people are anti-tank because they're gas-guzzlers, bad for the planet, etc., etc. I was one, too. When I had the luxury of mass transit. But when you are ensconced in a place that has no access to any kind of transit that's worth even talking about - friend Pat from Guelph tried to get to our place by Greyhound and the route went through, like, Barrie (?!) - and the white stuff is swirling and gathering - you do actually need a bruiser cruiser.

In the end, the good old (2006) Jeep came through and I pulled safely into the driveway at about eight o'clock. It was one of those drives that you think will never end, and when it does, you're soooo happy that you haven't slipped off the road and into that great dark maw that you want to kiss the ground. I almost did - but instead, I kissed Rob and the cats.

Until next time...

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