November 21, 2010
Remember when the first big snowfall of the year would bring a smile to your face? You’d be all excited about getting street hockey going again and dig out the toboggan and run to the one hill in town to jostle with every other kid for your turn to slide down the run and you could hardly wait to get to the schoolyard to tramp out the “Fox and Goose” paths in the fresh snow for the first game of the year and everyone would be flopping on their backs and making snow angels. Those were the days, weren’t they? Aw, innocent youth.
Today, I am not sure how I would describe my facial expression when I wake up to the first big snow dump of the year. I think smiling would be one of the last ones on the list. Unless it was one of those rueful smiles one can get when a joke is played on them or when you lose to the other team in the last seconds of a game. Yes, I’m smiling, but it’s not a happy smile.
This year, we got the bonus round, too, remember? We got the first big dump of snow before Halloween and then it completely went away. Not now. Not this last dump. This is a keeper. This one’s gonna last. This year we experienced double the pleasure, or misery, as it were.
I suppose if I were an avid snowmobiler or owned a ski-lodge or my livelihood depended on snow removal, or something, I could get excited about the large amounts of snow. But I’m not, so I don’t. Get excited, that is.
I really wish I could muster up the excitement of my youth and welcome the winter. And I don’t really want to bring all of you down with me, too, but misery loves company, you know, and I just can’t seem to get excited about facing twenty-four more weeks of winter. I’m sorry. I’m usually “a cup’s half-full” kinda guy. I usually try to find the good in everything. But I’ve lost my Canadian zest for winter. There…I’ve said it.
Maybe it’s because we have experienced this twice already this year. I was so disappointed when that big dump came so early. Then I was optimistic when it all went away only to be disappointed again a couple of weeks later when it was back again. On-again and off-again like a high-school romance.
Now, to me, winter means shoveling your way to the car to see if it’ll even start. Then, you take your life in your hands as you push through bumper-deep snow while trying not to hit the other idiots out on the road attempting to get to work, too. And you’re kicking yourself for not putting up those damn Christmas lights right after the snow went away the first time! And then there’s the yin and yang of the snow removal crews. Happy that they’re finally getting the snow from the streets all cleared away but angered by the fact that they choose to do it at 7:00 am on a Sunday morning! Right in front of your house!
Heading into this winter, maybe I’m a little more sensitive than I have been in past winters. Maybe it’s because I’ve become a sort of prisoner in my own house this time ‘round, what with my immobility and all, and I can’t embrace it. Maybe it’s because we have gotten an “Instant Winter” this year. Ol’ Mother Nature isn’t messing around this time as she has given us two feet of snow and minus twenty something right off the bat making next spring look even further away!
But, then again, it is what it is, so I’ve got very few choices don’t I? Either I can miserably suffer through the long winter months impatiently waiting for spring or I can face the fact that if I am to live in the best country in the world I have to take the good with the bad and do it with a smile on my face, rueful or otherwise.
“Some snowy winter Sundays, when there’s a little boredom, you should always carry a gun. Not to shoot yourself, but to know exactly that you’re always making a choice.”-Lina Wertmuller-(1928- ).