Thursday, March 11, 2010

Final Proof That The Universe Really Does NOT Want Me Back In School

I've already chronicled how I missed my first two calculus tests--the first one because of a car accident, the second one due to a crippling fever. 

Did I tell you about the day I went in to make up for that second test?  How the only day she could arrange for me to take it was the last day before the week and a half long winter break?  So I had to do it, right?  Because who wants the specter of vectors (heh!) hanging over their much deserved school vacation? 

But the make-up test was the same day, at the same time, that I was supposed to be tested on the circulatory system for my biology class.  Not such a big deal, actually.  I arranged it with Mr. Biology to just come in an hour late, and got permission to stay over into the lunch period if I needed the time (I knew I wouldn't).  Easy peasy.  Except for the fact that I woke up the morning of the Double Test Whammy to a record breaking snow storm that was relentlessly laying down inch after inch of giant-flaked, wet snow on the very roads I needed passable to get me into town.

Long story short:  I made it.  Barely.  And even though--two weeks later--I can tell you that I passed both tests with flying colors, the snow did--and still does--seem a rather heavy-handed omen.

In addition to endless snow storms, January and February were frought with illness--both the kids' and my own.  I know this is par for the course for this time of year, and a household with three young children.  But, my god, it was one after the other after the other, then round two, and round three, then the absurd episode with the horney cat.

And the well.  Without the water.  Don't forget the drought that has left me greasy with funk for the better part of three months.

Oh, and Mister's little work crisis.  I know I haven't mentioned this before.  To be fair, I should point out that there was nothing 'little' about it.  He had no choice; he had to deal with it.  I get that.  But he's been absent--in every sense of the word--for pretty much the entire month of February.  Even when he was physically here in the house--which wasn't often--he was mentally, just, gone.

It's been a challenging winter.

Last Saturday afternoon I got a message from the U.S. Embassy saying that on March 10 (yesterday) there would be a consul in Bergen for one day only, who would be available to witness signatures for passport renewals.  Never mind that I've already missed seven--SEVEN!--biology classes to obligations related to the previously mentioned dramas.  Never mind that I've been gently chastised by Mr. Biology that, while seven isn't exactly a problem, seven isn't exactly impressive either.  Never mind that there is yet another test looming in the very near future.  This business with the passport signatures must be dealt with.  Otherwise, the only way to get it done is to travel to Oslo, and show up at the Embassy in person.

So I skipped my class.  I gathered my documents, filled out the applications, checked the girls out of school for the day, went to town, waited in line, got the signatures, got the signatures notarized.  Drove home, picked up the cat, drove the cat to the vet, held her tight while they removed the four stitches from her sterilization. Managed not to pass out.  Then I drove home again, shoved some bread into the kids, got the girls into their dance clothes, drove them to dance class, sat for 90 minutes on a hard plastic chair while they danced.  Then, once again, I drove home, picking up dinner on the way.  After saying good-bye to Mister, who was heading out the door on yet another business trip, we ate dinner, then I read stories.  After stories, I walked up to our neighbor's house to ask if they could pretty please drive Amanda home from barnehage the next day, as Mister is out of town and I simply CANNOT miss another biology class.  That done and agreed to, I returned home and tucked the kids in bed.  Finally--as a reward for a day's worth of tedious, motherly to-doing--I sat down with half a tub of ice cream and the looooong awaited Norwegian premiere of Lost.  Which was better than Christmas.  Lightyears better than my birthday.  But, in all honesty, not quite as satisfying as the big, red A (6 if you're keeping score in Norwegian) on that last calculus test.

By 11:30 I thought, "Surely my day is done.  I can go to bed now.  It's early for me even.  I'll get plenty of sleep, and be ready for another long day tomorrow.  This time of classes...learning...not mothering...which is better...."


At 11:35 p.m., while I was brushing my teeth, I heard a message come through on my phone.  I assumed it was Mister telling me he had arrived safely where ever (think it was Tromsø) he was flying last night. 

But no. 

It's from the director of the barnehage.  She's very sorry and all, for the late notice, but the snow--the god damn, mother (even though I've been trying hard to clean up my language, especially in my writing, it has to be said, 'cuz no other word quite covers the depth of my disdain) FUCKING snow--as collapsed part of the roof of the building where the barnehage is held.  The kommune cannot guarantee the safety of either the children or the employees.  Therefore, they have no choice but to shut down indefinitely.  INDEFINITELY.

At 11:35 p.m. I get this message. 

Mom, seriously.  I need you here YESTERDAY!

So here I am Thursday morning.  Not at school.  Not learning anything.  Blogging instead.

Even though I rather doubt that 'indefinitely' means, like, 'INDEFINITELY', (I'm pretty sure they'll find some sort of solution soon, maybe not tomorrow, but soon, as people's actual jobs--not just my schooling--depend on this building being open for business) it is, once again, a rather heavy-handed omen.  Wouldn't you say?

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

A Word About The Weather

I've been complaining for months, and people have been asking, so here's a few pictures of the snow piling up around the house.

I suppose, all things considered, it's not the most snow ever accumulated in one spot--that distinction being reserved for glaciers, and nordic tundras, and such.  It is, nevertheless, and a whole bunch more snow than I'm used to dealing with.  Much, much more than Bergen is used to seeing.

I'm sick to death of the stuff.  I want it gone.  Dead.  Undone.  Yesterday.

My apologies for the bad lighting.  I meant to get out first thing this morning to take these pictures when the sun is at its wintery brightest on this spot on our front porch,'ll note the fresh layer of snow on the stairs.  It was SNOWING again first thing this morning, so there was no wintery brightness to be had from the sun first thing this morning.  Go figure.
Note the bottom most layer.  That layer dates back to December 19th, that first big storm just before Christmas that dumped two feet of snow on us over night.  I thought that was a lot of snow.  I thought it was more than enough.  I thought, surely that's our quota for the year.  How foolish and naive was I?

That's right.  The snow piled up outside my front door is now taller than my husband.  He's absurdly cheerful about this fact.  He thinks this has been the greatest winter EVER in the history of winters.  He thinks every winter should be just like this one.  Dry, cold, and thick with more snow than your roof can comfortably handle.
There's now been snow on the ground in Bergen for 75 consecutive days.  That's beat the last record of 62 days set clear back in 1918 by a very comfortable margin.  This sad, lumpish snowman, wallowing knee deep in layer upon layer of snow, was made by Mister and the kids three days before Christmas.  Three days before Christmas.  It shouldn't be possible.  But there it is.

One of the lead stories on Bergens Tidende's website as I write this is: The Rain Is Coming!  The Rain Is Coming!  Okay, so it's not quite that jubilant, and it's become increasingly difficult to believe anything any meterologist has to say about anything so impossilby unfathomable as the weather, but apparently, there's talk of rain all next week.  All next week!  That might not be quiet enough to melt away the 6 feet of snow outside the front door, but it should spell doom for Norman, the lumpish snowman, and (fingers crossed) it just might fill my well enough that I can take a proper shower for the first time since Christmas!

And now, if I may, a brief word about my birthday, which was yesterday:

A most unexpected, thoughtful, wonderful surprise.

The sun broke through the clouds just moments after the delivery man handed the box over to me, so in a way, Jilly, for a minute anyway, they did stop the snow. Thank you so much. I'm slightly overwhelmed, but you have no idea how much I needed them.