Re: Snow

Most Canadians have a love/hate relationship with snow. Every car has a snow shovel, a snow scraper and some vehicles even have snow chains waiting in the trunk. I used to have a set of snow tires on rims which I put on the car every October in preparation for the first heavy snowfall. We all have our horror stories of finding our way through snow. We spin tales of our first childhood experience with snow, wishes for snow days or being snowed in so we don’t have to go to work or school. Freshly fallen snow can be a source of wonder and delight, especially if the snowfall is on Christmas Eve. Who can forget the joy in that excited shout, “It’s snowing!”

One December I headed out with my young family to spend Christmas holidays with relatives in Thunder Bay. It’s a long trip from home and the light dims early at that time of year. Half way through the journey the wind starting whipping the snowflakes into a frenzy called a white-out. Car headlights are useless as the beams reflect back at you. Dimensions are distorted; no up, down or sideways is discernible. On this drive I tried to lock my sight on to the vehicle in front, a transport truck with a small red rear light showing on its back left hand corner. Luckily an inner voice told me I was being stupid so we pulled into the next motel. Only one room was left and, I kid you not, sifted snow had piled its way into the closet.

I’ve never enjoyed driving a car on snowy roads. I survived 30 winters in Timmins Ontario, where snow can be expected from September to June. I dare not estimate the number of driveways I have shovelled during those years. Some snowdrifts completely covered my car. I built a carport and a garage in an effort to minimize the coverage yet I still had to clear a way to the road, which was often not plowed until midday, creating a crusty mound of snow at the end of the entryway.

Rolling up sticky snow to create snowmen never loses its allure. Everyone has memories of building snow forts, throwing snowballs, or sledding down hillsides. I satisfied my wish to leave the dark side of winter wonderlands behind by retiring in Victoria, British Columbia. The family gathered at the homestead on the final Christmas In Timmins and the young ones honoured us by sculpting two snow replicas of my wife and me in tropical accessories.

There are many words used to describe types of snow; sludge, scrump, slurry, floaters, are some I’ve heard. Many words come attached to curses. Being a poet, my favourite is ‘snowy-dews’; those jumbo sized flakes that meander from whisper-still skies to melt on contact with parka-clad humans. A panoramic view of these fragile crystal structures makes me want to softly sing with a vibrato Bing Crosby-esque voice.

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I've had a career as an elementary school teacher. During that time I wrote for newspapers and magazines. Writing is a part of my daily life: It's a way to stretch my thoughts, reach out to the world, offer an opinion and record my passage. I take joy in words as other artists express themselves through dance, acting, sculpture or paint. A single word can evoke powerful visions. I see life as a celebration. Like all humans I am complex and curious even while some have called me conventional. I follow my father's belief that everything can be awesome, if you choose it to be. I'm a work in progress, just like this blog, now with 250 postings of thought and ideas. Social media, like pen palling or ham radio connections of yore, can be a positive way to build that great, vast realm that is human consciousness. Leave me a comment if you are so moved or reach me on Instagram, Mastadon or in the Twitter world @wh0n0z.

4 thoughts on “Re: Snow”

  1. Enjoyed your reflections on Snow. Here in Timmins, we are enjoying record breaking accumulations this winter. Driveway access is becoming tunnel-like. You failed to mention the common local colloquialism commonly uttered at this time of year “That’s one “Shit Load” of snow out there!”

    Liked by 1 person

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