I'm dreaming of a white Christmas ... but wait, it's not Christmas time. Waking up this morning it looks as though our great Canadian winters that we're so famous for have actually returned. After last winter being so mild and acceptionally warm, the storm that hit southwestern Ontario in the wee hours of the morning surely brought back fond memories of school closures and tobogganing with my brother and our friends as kids. Today I'm not feeling that same love of winter as I once did as a child. Particularly because shovelling snow is not exactly one of my most favorite activities. But the winter storm that lived up to it's name brought together a wonderful sense of community right in my own neighbourhood.
I gazed out the window this morning and immediately began to stress out. I called in to work and talked to the scheduler. "Are you one of them?" She asked, jokingly. So many people had called in because of the winter storm that hit our area. I wasn't planning on calling in to work. I just wanted to warn them that I wasn't going to make it on time. Our street had yet to be plowed and cars, including one of the cities vehicles, were stuck in the street. From the inside of the house, I opened the garage door and walked out. Two of the three cars were parked inside, luckily. But my poor Dodge Caliber was blanketed in pounds of that fluffy white mess. With my two sidekicks in tow, sweaters and all, I headed out with a shovel. Molly & Pugsley surely didn't last all that long. (I better mention that my two sidekicks are my almost seven year old pups, a jug and a pug). As I began to shovel the mountains of snow, my delightful neighbours all came around to offer help. One of them scraped off my car while the other came to help with a snowblower. Without a doubt, I'll be heading to the nearest Tim Horton's when I get out of the driveway to grab gift cards for them. When I mentioned to my father in law about grabbing the neighbours Timmy's cards, he naively asked, "But what if they don't like Tim Horton's?" I shook my head. Silly man! We're in Canada and everyone loves Timmy's.
After the third time shovelling, I called back to work. I definitely was not going to make it in. There were people on ski-doos in the middle of the street. After a few hours, my husband managed to head out and he quickly called me when he got to work. "Stay home!" He warned. He said cars were stuck and abandoned on the side of the road and he saw tractor-trailers jack knifed on the highway. You make your own lane. He mentioned flashing lights everywhere. Today marks 5 years and 1 day since my car accident in which both my husband and I were lucky to survive. I was driving and roads were bad. Snow days weren't what they use to be as a kid. We couldn't wait for snow days and prayed for them. As an adult, you dread them. Unless you're a teacher I imagine. I work at the local children's hospital. Those little children make my day. The thought of not being able to get to a place where so many people could use my help really bothers me. But the bigger problem for me is the fact that I'd rather be able to help people than join them as a patient. Too many lives are at risk during a winter storm. Driving in these conditions is ridiculous. Shovelling snow is another problem for many people. Just this morning a woman in her 80's had a heart attack while shovelling and didn't survive. People slip and fall. During weather like this, it's best to just stay put and wait it out.
So here I am bundled up by the fireplace with my three fur babies (the cat didn't get to come along outside) trying to warm up after the day of shovelling. I imagine I'll have at least one more round to make prior to my hubby returning home from work tonight. I just want to curl up in a ball and dream of days on the beach, lathered in sunscreen and drenched in sunshine. But all in all, welcome back to the great Canadian winter.