I think it was about 8 p.m. or so on Monday night, after the thrilling hockey game on TV, when my son and I headed outdoors for the fourth time that day to shovel whatever the snow gods had decided to send our way in the last four hours or so, when we looked up to what seemed like a miracle.
A virtually clear sky. A sky you could actually see, well as much as you can see in the dark.
In other words, it had actually stopped snowing for the first time in what was now being measured in days, not hours. The sense of relief was huge.
Now I don’t mind shovelling so much, as I’ve mentioned before it’s my main form of exercise, but it was getting ridiculous, or silly, and even a little scary as the white stuff kept coming and coming and coming and……
Once it stopped you could actually start counting your blessings, you know like this only happens every century or so, that this was nothing to what Buffalo, New York endured earlier this winter (although they are way more used to this kind of thing), at least it was light and dry snow (can you imagine if it was a couple degrees warmer and it was big, wet, fluffy, heavy stuff?) and once you got past all the inconvenience and hard work that the white stuff creates and you could take a second to look around and ignore the messy streets and how it was going to be hell getting to work the next day, it was truly a magical winter wonderland…
Of course when you’re trying to figure out where to put all the newfound white stuff the magical part can get lost pretty quick.
Still, I was happy it had stopped snowing and hopefully the worst was over.
Alas, by the time we had almost wrapped up the latest snow-shovelling expedition, the rain pellets had started to fall on my Toronto Blue Jays hat and I wasn’t sure what that would amount to but it still seemed better somehow.
It was ironic that I had already previously booked off work on Monday for a day owed and now it had turned into a Snow Day. My kids didn’t have to go to college, although one somehow doesn’t have classes on that day anyway, and my wife only got to work because we took the 4X4, so I felt a little cheated somehow.
OK, call me petty, but my day of doing chores around the house and getting in a little holiday reading that I never got around to never really happened (yeah, like the chores would’ve got done anyway).
But I quickly got over my selfish snit as I realized my busted little day off scenario was pretty minor compared to what other people were dealing with thanks to Mother Nature.
I also have to come clean on another front too as on more than one occasion I’ve taken prognosticators to task for weather alerts that never materialized into anything.
Well, on Friday they warned us this was coming so we had time to prepare, so well done. Except I don’t think they knew it would be as bad as it was because I was hearing predictions of 15 to 25 centimetres and it was more like 40 centimetres or more.
Of course, being among the 50-something set, talking about centimetres is still foreign to my brain and I always want to know “so how many inches is that, or in this case, how many feet is that?”
I actually do remember that 2.5 cm roughly equals an inch so it’s around 16 inches if I know what I’m talking about (and I Googled it too just to be sure so I think I’m OK). And I don’t know, maybe it’s just me, but 16 inches of snow in two days sounds like way more than 40 cm, even though intellectually I do understand it’s the same.
Why that’s nearly a foot-and-a-half and I swear it was closer to two feet in my neighbourhood, which of course is what it will be when we start telling the stories over and over beginning with the phrase “Remember when……”