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Digging the White Stuff

Digging the White Stuff

March 19th, 2006  · stk

A month ago, we were extolling the fact that it seemed winter had passed us by in Edmonton, this year. No longer. Yesterday, we received 22 cm. of snow. Read about how it affected our family (especially our cat)....

22 Centimeters of Snow

On March 5th, we reported a recent snowstorm, how winter seemed delayed this year and how spring was forecasted to be running a tad late. Two weeks later, we're hip-deep in snow and regretting any claims we made about winter passing us by this year. We received 22 centimeters of snow on Saturday. When we awoke, it was snowing. All morning, it snowed. It snowed through lunch and all afternoon. It snowed past dinner and into the evening.

At mid morning, Scott went out and shoveled the front walk, the drive and the front stoop. He assisted our neighbor, getting her car unstuck from the middle of a nearby residential street. We helped the guy across the way, get his car back on the road, after parking too close to the sidewalk. By the time evening rolled around, it didn't look like Scott had shoveled at all. So he went out and shoveled some more!

We haven't lived in Edmonton long, but in our brief two-year tenure, THIS is the most snow we've ever seen. It's unreal. As Scott jokingly told a neighbor, "Maybe I'll just make a tunnel to the front door, it might take less effort!"

Fortunately, the snow abated Saturday night. We awoke on Sunday, to cloudy skies and shortly after lunch, Scott was out shoveling again. This time, it was the back stoop, walkway, alleyway and garage parking area. He filled trashcan after trashcan with the white stuff and hauled it to various places around the yard. He began to run out of places to dump it!

We've been debating where we're going to move to, after Rachel finishes her Nursing degree in August. We'd been considering a move to Canmore, near Banff National Park, just west of Calgary. We'd even considered the notion of staying in the Edmonton area, as the cost of living is reasonable and the summers are glorious. This recent storm might have nixed both of those thoughts, as we're likely to stick to our original plan of moving to Vancouver Island. Moderated by the waters of the Pacific Ocean, Vancouver Island rarely sees much snow. Just the ticket, according to our California-boy, Scott.

We Know Snow

Alex didn't seem to mind the fluffy stuff and was eager to go outside and "help" Scott shovel the walk, the driveway and other wide expanses that needed to be cleared of over a foot of snow. She enjoyed sitting in it, rolling in it, throwing it, eating it and (occasionally) tossing a scoop or two of it into a bucket ... then promptly dumping it where it had already been cleared. Though the Oop loved the snow, she has no idea of where it is supposed to go. :|

The snow seemed to affect most everyone's schedule in the household. Scott spent several hours shoveling it, while Alex spent nearly an equal amount of time playing in it. Only Rachel seemed unaffected, as she's busy on a term paper, which is due Monday. She sequestered herself in her basement office and has been relatively immune to the the snow outside. It was, perhaps, the smallest member of our household that felt the effects of the snow more than anyone else. Tuxedo, our lethargic cat, ventured outside once, to do his "business" and it was a very pitiful feline that returned.

Poor Tuxedo is getting on in years, nearly 13 all told. His idea of a good time is a long, quiet nap on a heater vent, followed by a hefty dish of wet cat food. Going outside is only desireable if the sun is shining. Tuxedo isn't fond of the winter cold. So far this year, he hasn't had to deal with much snow. So he was surprised, when we opened the front door, to be faced with several inches of snow. With a gentle boot at his bottom, he soon found himself up to his belly in snow. He shook a couple of paws, hoping to rid himself of the disdainful snow, but each step caused more to stick to his warm fur.

We watched, curious to see his reaction and at first, we wondered if he would move at all. He looked this way and that, realizing that only the cement walkway was clear enough for him to tread. So down the front steps he went. He stopped at the lawn, with snow higher than his head, putting a paw forward. "No good," he thought, as his paw was swallowed up in white. He shook it vigorously and treaded down the path, to the driveway. He longingly looked at the shallow depression under the pine tree, where bits of grass were poking through. "How can I get over THERE?" he seemed to wonder. He tested this way and the next, but each was blocked by too-high snow. Finally, in desperation, he went out into the front sidewalk. He dug a tiny hole and there, in the middle of what would normally be a wide, cement path, our cat did his business (quite hurriedly, I might add).

True to form, he even tried to "bury it", which was amusing because the paws that hate snow, were busy shoveling it. I guess the hereditary need to "bury one's business" outweighed the hereditary "distain for all things water". Anyway ... once finished, he raced back to the front stoop and meowed pitifully, eager to get back to his warm bed and out of the hellish white.

From relatives in Phoenix, Arizona to friends in England, we can only say ... "See, here's REAL snow!"

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Updated: 19-Mar-2006
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