Monday, November 14, 2011

First Snow of the Year

Edmonton has never seen a winter where it didn't snow in either September or October...until this year. We got a little dusting on Saturday morning, but nothing to worry about. Tonight we got our first solid flurries, and of course they turned the streets into chaotic miasma of inertia which quickly divided most of the population of Edmonton into two camps: reckless death-wish jackholes and plodding overcautious obstacular types.

Trying to find a middle way like an erstwhile Itto , I got home without major incident, although I did glide though one corner on a largely ballistic basis. The radio, meanwhile, was telling listeners that the downtown was gridlocked, and city buses were struggling to get up some of the hills, and not always succeeding either.

I was still feeling the effects of having spent the majority of Saturday laying facedown on the floor, installing a dishwasher. In fact, my new boss asked how my weekend was, and I said "biblical". When pressed, I explained how in the story of the Garden of Eden, Satan always gets blamed for tempting Eve with the fruit, but it was actually the serpent, and God punished him, by making him 'crawl on his belly and eat dust'.

"And?" he queried.

"And that's how I spent most of Saturday; crawling on my belly installing an appliance, and eating three decade old dust from underneath the old one. Now I know why snakes bite so many people: they're cranky."

After supper though, I knew the sidewalks would have to be cleared, lest they partially thaw then re-freeze and turn the area in front of my house into a litigious deathtrap. I reluctantly dug my snowboard boots out of the basement (no, I don't snowboard; they were on sale and hella warm) and prepared to head outside. It was only a little below freezing, but the wind was brisk, so a hat with ear coverage was mandated. As I zipped up my jacket, Fenya happened by and asked where I was going. When I told her, she immediately asked if she could help, which made me both happy and proud; happy for the company, and proud that she and her sister are generally so eager to help.

One of our neighbors had already done half of the sidewalk in front, so in very little time, the two of us had finished the front and side sidewalks as well as the driveway. I withdrew to the house for some hot chocolate, and Fenya donned her snow pants so she could join Glory and her friend Brynn playing outside. I'm glad she is still able to enjoy simple play like that, even if she mightn't have gone without some sisterly cajoling.

As I sipped my hot chocolate and wrote this post, I was routinely interrupted by squeals and screams of unmitigated delight from the yard. What is it about snow, especially fresh snow, that appeals so much to the child in us? Tomorrow we will have to rise a little earlier so we can leave a little earlier and still arrive on time, but our household has already gotten a toehold on enjoying this season which makes up so much of the Edmonton year.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

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