Saturday, February 26, 2011

In Defense of Snow

Now, I realize that I may be treading on, um, thin ice addressing this topic of snow.  It's entirely possible that I will alienate part of my vast readership by coming out so strong on this issue, but it needs to be said.

Snow is awesome.

There.  I said it.  Can we still be friends?
Look Mom....HNOW!  (that's how it sounds, anyway)
I know, just about everyone that has ever lived anywhere remotely east of Hope, and still many that live here in the Promised Land will scoff and say "Well YOU should trying LIVING  in fill in the name of any and every city beyond hope*  for a whole winter and see how much you like it after that."    And, in a way, I get it.  It's possible that  if I were to have months and months of sub-zero temperatures, and wind, and school cancellations, I might not like the snow either.  It's possible that if I actually had to own a snowblower just to get out of my 12 foot long driveway, I might grumble a little more.  But here's the thing...that's why I live in i can LOVE snow.

I also happen to live in BC because I was born and raised here and happened to marry someone from Abbotsford, and his business is in Abbotsford, and our friends, and church and some family live here too, but don't judge me.

We are supposed to get a dump of snow in the next 24 hours, and I couldn't be more excited. I realize that 90 percent of the time when the weather office puts out a snowfall warning, little to nothing happens - but this time, I think they're gonna come through.

Even the thought or threat of snow sends people into a proverbial panic, and that in itself is fun to behold.  Grocery store lineups grow long with people buying, no, hoarding food, diapers and tylenol like it's gold.  Shelves once bursting with merchandise lay bare; every crazy carpet, bag of salt and shovel purchased in the mad rush.  I have to wonder to myself - who is buying all this stuff?  I have had the same bag of ice melter for three years now, and it gets used whenever we need it - but seriously, how does a city as big as Abbotsford sell out of stuff like that? Betcha it never happens in Blumenort. Maybe people do with ice melter like I do with icing sugar - pick it up just in case - only to find there are two unopened bags in the closet.

Kids lose sleep wondering if possibly, maybe, perhaps the next day might be declared a snow day cause it really only takes more than 5 centimeters of snow to shut everything down around here. You'd think that homeschooling would remove the excitement for my kids - but no chance, they still hope that their teacher will cancel class for the day too.  It wasn't until I was married to a (now former) teacher that i realized that the only people that like a snow day better than students, are teachers.   Silly kids, they like a day off (to mark) too!  I do realize it throws commuting and business into a kerfuffle for a day or two, but there is magic to be found amidst the chaos.

Note to self:  must use the word kerfuffle more often
Snow days are a welcome bright spot amidst the drabness of the day after day of rain and fog.   I like a good rainstorm too, but the endless drizzle and lack of sunshine can really get to a girl.

On a snow day, the kids are allowed to break the "7 o'clock" rule and get up a little early. They scurry to eat breakfast, do their chores, practice piano, compose a Shakespearean style sonnet, do a study of Egyptian math in Latin, and then run outside** before the inevitable rain starts.

They stay outside till their cheeks are rosy and wind-burnt (but not frost-bitten, Dad, I'm careful).  They build snow men, coax their slides six inches at a time down the minuscule hill in the backyard until it's good and packed and then they fly, repeatedly into the fence or almost over the retaining wall and into our neighbours driveway.  They like to try and make something that resembles a snow angel - or a body outline, they aren't picky.  Either way it's fun.  It's only when they are good a drenched with the wet wonder that they reluctantly come inside.  They know they might not get another chance before it starts to pour.

Snow days make me hungry.  I do some of my best comfort-food making and cookie baking on snow days.  It's probably because I spent the night before hoarding in the grocery store, so my cupboards are full.  And there is nothing like a full larder that makes me want to do something with it all.  I also happen to do some of my best eating on snow days, which is another reason why it's good we don't get too much of the white stuff.
Betcha he'd like a snow blower right now.
I love the silence that snow brings.  I love to wrap myself in a big blanket, open the front door and listen to the sound of nothing after a big snowfall. (I may or may not pretend I am Caroline Ingalls when I do this.)

Going for walk after the snow has fallen is especially magical.  It's even better when you are the first one out - leaving your footprints on uncharted territory, even if that uncharted territory leads to the mailbox and back.  Some of my favorite winter memories are of Josh and I going for walks into downtown Chilliwack hoping to find a coffee shop open for business after the Fraser Valley Snowpocolypse of 1996, or walking down the deserted streets of Whatcom Hill after the Snowmaggeddon of 1998.  I would like to forget the slamming Morgan's head in the van door incident during the Snowtastrophe of 2008, but we all got over that.  I am sure food was involved in the healing process.  

I say yes a lot more on snow days, cause I am reminded that a lot of little things that seem like a big pain to me (like bundling kids up in snow gear - which reserve the right to hate, even if I love snow), add a lot of fun to their day, and days like this don't happen very often.

Check out the carrot - a result of snow deprived children.
So there you have it.  A confession of sorts, from one snow loving mother of a bunch a kids.  Forgive me if my glass of hot cocoa seems a little more than half-full.  You are welcome to live beyond hope and hate snow - just don't rain on my parade...feel free to snow on it though.

*Hope is a town just beyond Chilliwack,. "living beyond Hope" is kind of like the "why is Alberta windy?" joke, only better.

**They might only barely eat breakfast before scrambling to get outside.


  1. RIGHT there with you, friend!!!! :)

  2. and that is why we are friends!
    you said it beautifully and I will eliminate from your life anyone who begs to differ with you on this blog! :)

  3. I love the ghosts of snow days past, present and future - as long as my family being home safe and sound is part of the story.

    I especially love the picture of Keaton pointing at the have definitely captured a "and for everything else there is Mastercard" moment.
    Love, Mom

  4. Even after 4 months of winter, it is still wonderous to see snow falling once again. I do feel for you BC'ers with the wet heavy kind though... much messier and, well... heavier!

    I do remember the Snowpocalypse of '96 - Dave and I flew out to visit as an engaged couple and were delayed in our return home for just that reason!

    It's often in October here that we get the first snow... the boys quickly get dressed before breakfast and head outside while I make an effort to put on some Bony M or Evie and make some hot chocolate to welcome them back inside. Mmm... snow.

  5. I like the part where they compose a Shakespearean style sonnet.

  6. Oh Chris! Evie!!!! It does my heart good to hear there are others - even in heart of the Prairies that share my affinity for snow. I think,Sher, that you know full-well that my kids have never composed a Shakespearean style sonnet...yet :)


I love it when you leave comments, they make my day!

If you're not sure which option to use, just click on the "Name/URL" option - put in your name, leave the URL blank, and comment away!