There is no part of this country that is immune to snow. Our west coast can occasionally get by with minimal amounts but at the end of the day every nook and cranny of our fabulous land gets snow. So we better talk about it because it’s coming. We better get ready.
I am not good at dealing with snow. I am terrified of driving through it. I am leery about walking in it because I am afraid of slipping, falling and breaking something. I don’t like to shovel it because it seems heavier than it ever was and too much for me to deal with anymore. I think my fear of snow is driven primarily by my age and to a lesser extent my physical make up. I am in my sixties and I am overweight. I am more afraid of things than I was before and I mark this fear in particular because I am now afraid of something that I once loved. I used to love snow beyond words.
I grew up with snow in the Parkdale area of Toronto when I was a young kid and in Scarborough when I was an adolescent. Snow was a part of my life that I embraced fully and enjoyed immensely.
There was a time that I could not wait for snow to arrive. I would look out the window wishing for it, especially during late fall nights when the forecaster on the radio said it was coming. I literally tried to will it to come down from the sky. When it came I revelled in it.
I have built countless snowmen in my time. I must have thrown a million snowballs and I have careened down more hills in all manner of sliders, sleds and toboggans at speeds I am not even able to imagine today. There were times that I came down hills and escarpments so fast that it made all things a blur in my vision. I walked over two miles to an ice covered pond in freezing temperatures to play shinny hockey with my pals and happily walked home in the dark in even colder temperatures countless times.
So I confess that while I am worried about the coming times of slippery walking and worrisome traveling, I am looking forward to the first snowfall with an excitement that I can barely contain. For all the troubles it causes, there is a magic about the first snowfall that cannot be described.
Snow makes everything look clean. All the grime and dirt on the streets is covered with a crisp white blanket. If you look at it a certain way in the sun, it even sparkles. As much as a good summer rain on the roof makes sleep a comfort, so too does the first snow outside your window as you slip under the covers of a nice warm bed. There is silence outside at night as people stay indoors after a journey home accented with falling snow on coats and scarves hung up in the entrance way of a home.
Families seem to gather with a greater appreciation for each other. I don’t know what the psychology is but I know it happens. Hot chocolate tastes better on the day of the first snowfall than at any other time. Music is more meaningful and becomes more memorable. People even smell better when they insist on hugging you outside when it’s snowing.
I think the trick is like everything else, get ready for it. Get out now and put up the Christmas lights. Get snow tires, emergency kits for the house, make sure the windows are caulked properly to keep out the draft.
Another thing to think about is business.
If you are in real estate, why not make arrangements to ensure your property listings are shovelled and free of ice? What a nice touch for your listing clients. Or perhaps have signs that illuminate your name during winter nights. Those things would help your present clients and attract future business.
As for me, I am going to have someone come in and go through my computer and communications devices to ensure all is well and working through the next few months. The last thing I want to do is struggle through the cold and ice hefting a computer tower to the fix-it shop.
I have a lot of respect for the danger that winter weather can bring but I sure love the first snow.
Heino Molls is the publisher of REM. Email email@example.com.