Gather Yer Snowballs While Ye May

The bad thing about West Coast snow is: before every snowfall we get 3 days of SNOW WARNINGS. Accumulation estimates go from 5 – 20 – 75 cms. People freak out. Then it snows and buses get stuck on hills and drivers spin off into ditches and people freak out some more. Then everyone peers out their windows to see if it’s raining yet because they don’t want to shovel and why bother shoveling if it’s just going to rain. Then people get grumpy because they can’t walk down the street because no one is shoveling. Then people shovel, and it’s hard because it’s all wet and heavy. Then it pisses rain for half an hour and we’re back to square one.

Until next week. When we get another SNOW WARNING.

Meanwhile, the rest of North America (and Europe too, for all I know) is laughing their pants off at us.

I’m not dissing those people in the first paragraph. I have been all of those people. I grew up here. The snow, it will not last. Which is why this morning I got the kids in their new snowpants (“But Mommy we’re still in our pyjamas!”) and we went outside at 8:30 am to shovel the walk and stairs, shake four thousand pounds of snow off our hedges (which, according to our strata president, cost $100 each and people should know that because then they would TAKE five minutes to shake the snow off them before heading to work) (OK then), make a snowman, and have a snowball fight.

The good thing about West Coast snow is that it is, like our basements and shoes, quite moist. So you can make a pretty good snowman in 10 minutes.

And even a not-quite-3 year old can pack an effective snowball, which makes him very happy.

When you shake the hedges and the snow falls off, the branches reach for the sky most gratefully. When you add a face to a snowman, he goes from condensation to personality.

(yes, that is a plastic corn cob nose THANK YOU)

Shoveling the stairs earns you a thank you from a dude wearing tennis shoes to work. Chasing small children around in the snow for an hour tuckers the little buggers out and earns you a simultaneous naptime. And knowing it will be gone tomorrow makes you appreciate it more.

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