Let it snow!

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The other day I posted a couple pictures I took of the Friday (Jan. 3) blizzard. One of the readers who saw them on this newspaper’s Facebook site added a comment about how the snow in my pictures reminded her of when we were kids and storms like the one we just had seemed common.


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Which got me to thinking about my days as a kid in south end. I too recall we had lots of snow. I don’t know, maybe it was because I was barely two feet high and so just about any amount of snow was a lot of snow, but it often seemed like I was walking through the North Pole,

It’s sort of like listening to parents barely five feet tall proudly saying their young kids are as tall as they are. Yep, sign ‘em up for basketball, right?

Anyway, childhood memories of snowstorms are indeed memories of deep snow. How deep? I’m not sure, but the other day looking through an old photo album I saw a picture of me and another neighbourhood kid sitting atop a snowbank that was well above a normal-size window at our place on Queen Street. That’s a lot of snow.

These days I get a charge out of people who are fascinated by the weather. Maybe it’s because I’m not. I know a guy who is on more meteorological sites than the people who bring us the weather on radio and television.

Weather to me is pretty simple. Nothing we can do about it anyway. It snows in the winter, melts a couple days later, it seems (unlike when I was a kid), and on and on it goes. Come late March we’ll be singing spring songs as we tiptoe through the tulips.  I figure since nobody predicted the devastating Groundhog Day ’76 storm it’s mostly a guessing game. One in which you never see a correction. As in: yesterday we said it would rain. It didn’t and we’re sorry for having told you that.

 You know what I mean.

I don't get worked up over cold temperatures. I have yet to find it so cold that I can’t drag stuff to the compost green cart at the far edge of my yard in a shirt. No coat. No sweater. Nova Scotians, I'd argue, like a lot of Canadians, adjust to the weather.

However, I was in Vancouver a couple years back visiting a daughter and it snowed.  Well, you’d think they had 10 feet of the white stuff the way they handled it out there.  I mean didn’t handle it. There might have been an inch or two at most on the ground and cars were sliding off the roads. No plows. No salt trucks. THEY couldn't handle it because they so seldom see snow apparently.  

 I’ve walked from my house to work – and did so during the recent blizzard – with snow sometimes well over my knees. And I’m no spring chicken, as they say. Out west it’s panic time if they get a dusting of snow.

Having been in Victoria B.C. on Christmas Day walking around that city in a T-shirt, I suppose it’s understandable that any deviation from the weather norm brings panic. Pity the west coasters if they had to face what we face all the time. Snow? It’ll be gone in a couple days. Get over it.

Back when I was a kid, snow was a welcome thing. Forget building snowmen; it was time to take to the golf course with whatever sleds or cardboard boxes you could find and spend a long day sliding down the hills, running all over the place playing war or cowboys and Indians. I can still see Gary Kent, I think it was, who had mastered the art of falling from high atop one of the golf course hills when he “got shot” by a sniper. Talk about a reality show!

Did we get cold? You bet we did. But we had fun. Unsupervised fun. Something that’s pretty well unheard of in these days of mothers and fathers transporting their kids from one organized activity to the other.

Other than a few exceptions, I suspect there aren’t a lot of parents these days who would happily watch their kids head out the door early in the morning after a big snowfall and plan on not seeing them again until early evening. Amazing we all survived. Plus we knew not to eat the real toys in the boxes of Cracker Jacks!

More than one of us heading for a long day at the golf course probably heard the adults in the house reminding us that if we weren’t back by suppertime they’d feed our meal to the dog.

Sometimes, but not all the time, they were joking.



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