Tuesday, November 28, 2006

A snowy day

Friday night, we were looking at the sky and saying how white it was. We knew snow was coming soon just like it said in the forecast. True enough, snow fell the next day while I was at our deck fixing the barbeque cover. It came rather early. We usually get snow in this area towards Christmas.

"It's snowing!" I shouted. The first snowfall is often exciting and beautiful. And because we were just about done putting up our Christmas decors, I felt it could not have come at a better time. Although I don't dream of a white Christmas--because it often is anyway--it felt more like Christmas already.

The snowfall continued throughout the night. By morning we woke up to about 6 inches of snow. Lovely!

View from our deck

A white thick blanket of undisturbed snow covered our ledges, the deck floor, the deck table, the bushes at the front, the parking lot, the car... Then it hits you! Yikes! You need to scrape snow off the car and shovel the parking lot, the sidewalk in front of your house... If you are going anywhere--if you really have to--you have to give yourself more time to do these things and to drive slowly. It being Sunday, we had to prepare earlier for church.

Our parking area. Our car, left of the the van, is blanketed in snow.

No one gets more excited about the snow than the kids. Gabriel and Markus immediately started making snowballs and throwing them at each other. I was excited to take pictures and video clips.

At church, we arrived to find people, including our assoiciate pastor, shoveling snow at the parking lot. Some kids were outside playing snowball fights. After the service, we came out and scraped snow from the car again, and skidded out of our parking spot.

It was snowing non-stop. In fact, it was one of the worst November snowstorms here, according to newscasts.

The undulating terrain of our backyard makes for a good winter playground. Gabriel and Markus are the first to bring out the toboggan.

"It looks like Narnia!" Gabriel exclaimed as we drove back to our complex. Yes, indeed. Gabriel and Markus spent the afternoon building snow forts and tobogganing at our backyard. They had snowpants but no winterboots. I forgot I had given their old ones to charity.

I decided to walk to a thriftstore to get them boots and winter stuff. I enjoyed walking while snow was blowing all around me. It was cold and slippery. The 20-minute walk down a mere two blocks was like doing the Stairmaster. I ended up sweating inside my winter jacket even if I was all wet outside, rosy cheeks, red nose and all. The walk back home seemed easier.

In the afternoon, Bud and I walked to the mall to check out the newly opened Future Shop that used to be our neighbour. I checked out Zellers too for more winter stuff. By evening, I was so tired from walking. It was almost like a silly thing to do in a weather like this, but the boys needed to be properly attired for the snow.

Monday, schools were closed. I was unable to go to work, which was okay because people who managed to report for work were sent home anyway. Gabriel and Markus spent the whole day tobogganing outside with more kids. With a backyard like ours, they can have fun without the expense of going to a commercial tobogganing area. Cheap thrill!

UBC was closed too so Gino was home and loving the weather. He even went out for a quick photo op in nothing but shorts and a scarf.

Gino, what are yout thinking?

Mickey had work, and because some areas had no power, people flocked to Church's Chicken, where he works, to eat. "It was so busy," he complained. Mick doesn't enjoy snow. "It would nice if it were warm," he says.

In the afternoon, I decided to clear the car of snow before the snow froze into ice. I decided to shovel the parking spot and the walkway to our house too. Here, we have a bylaw that says residents are responsible for clearing the snow on the sidewalk in front of their homes. I read that if you don't do so by 10 am after a snowfall, you can be fined. I was several hours late. Besides, you don't want people sliding on your front steps. You could be sued.

The bad part of winter is shoveling. It is so exhausting and backbreaking. I had cleared much of the snow on the car and around it when Bud arrived and completed the task. Today, I woke up feeling sick, with a headache and back pains, I decided to call in sick.

Though it's sunny out, which is nice, the temperature is below freezing, -6 I think, and with wind chill, it's probably -16, which is how it really feels. Tomorrow we have another snowfall, not as bad as last Sunday's but still a snowstorm. I am so not used to this. Vancouverites, who gloat about mild winters, are so not used to this.

I should remember to keep a steady flow of water on our taps to keep the water from freezing. Thanks to Ate Ma for the warning. Their pipes are frozen. I should get kitty litter too just in case the car gets stuck in the snow on some parking lot. Oh yes, and I have to find my de-icer for the car keyholes, too, or make my own from rubbing alcohol.

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