Wednesday, December 15, 2010

3 Day Snowday

Many of my readers have probably noticed that my blog stories are not being created as frequently as before – just once a week, now, instead of two. I’ve had a change in occupation – keeping me very busy! But, it’s been two weeks since my last story...

… and this is the reason!

Earlier last week, London had its first taste of winter. I was working and experienced the entire ‘light’ storm – from the slight graying of the clouds, to the whitening of the sky as ka-billions of snowflakes fell to cover every surface.

Like many first snow falls, I believed as many Londoners believed, that it would soon melt and be gone. It didn’t melt, so it made a nice base for the next wave of storm activity, which hit the area on the morning of Sunday, December 5, 2010.

I hadn’t yet heard about the severity of the impending snow battle, so I simply warmed up with a hot drink on the front porch with Koly - enjoying the wistful way the air was being filled with snowflakes.

I spent the morning writing a story – which will now be saved for next week’s blog – and when I next went outside I realized that I had another to job to do…

… clear away some of the snow, now, so when it does stop, it won’t be such a daunting task, later.

YES!! It’s TOUQUE Time!

I take my snow shoveling very seriously… I try to do as little as possible… but to be affective! You’ll notice that we park our car just inside our driveway. The rest of our driveway becomes the area where we put the snow from our walking paths.

This is a photo-definition for the word ‘accumulation’!!!

So… after a little shoveling, it was time to take a couple of fun photos to play around with, later, on my computer…

When I went back inside a loud humming noise filled my ear. As I got closer to the kitchen the noise grew louder. I turned a corner expecting to be able to see what was going on in the kitchen…

… but all I saw were these large plastic sheets! Let’s see what’s going on behind…

Well – this all looked like a lot of work, so I quickly made myself scarce! Ha! Actually, Jo’ loves doing this kind of stuff – painting and decorating – and when she gets going I get out of her way and just let her go!

I flipped on the news and quickly learned that this was no ordinary snowfall.

Already, we had seen about 6cm…

… and the forecast announced that by the end of the day we will get a total of about 20cm.

That was nothing new. Southern Ontario having a large snowfall…

…but the forecast was calling for another 30cm for Monday and another 25cm for Tuesday! WOW!

The next morning, I woke up 45 minutes earlier than usual, to clear the driveway and get to work on time. The snow kept coming down. Most of our fleet of buses were taken off of the roads by 1:00pm – I worked until 3:30pm. All day long, more and more business and institutions were making decisions to close. By 5:00pm even the City buses had been pulled from the roads!

No one in London was surprised when, the next morning, news reports declared that the City had been shut down, again and that citizens were best off staying at home. In fact, the news – that evening – announced that Wednesday would also be a snowday. Which sounded like a great idea to me! You can see that we had received so much snow overnight that these tree branches had bent over until they touched the roof of my car!

Unfortunately, I wasn’t to receive a three-day snowday – I had worked for most of the first snowday and the next two days were my regular days off. This worked out just fine, cuz I didn’t lose any wages.

I think I may have worked harder on this day off - when compared to going to work - cuz I had so much snow to shovel…

…and shovel and shovel!!!!

It may take a lot longer and cause me to use a lot more personal energy, but I’ve always cleared snow using shovels – not snowblowers. Most people don’t even consider the environmental damage that snowblowers create. First – large, vast holes are dug into the Earth to extract the metals and petroleums that are used to create these machines. Next – there is a great amount of industrial air pollution created (in China) during the manufacturing process. Thirdly – our oceans are contaminated with waste and spilled fuel and oils as these machines are shipped half way around the world to then be packed onto rigs for transportation throughout Europe and North America. Then there’s the air pollution that is created when the machines are in use.

I realize that large equipment needs to be used to clear roadways, sidewalks, parking lots and all that kind of stuff – but it’s the personal (at home) snow removal that needs to be more deeply respected by the masses in our society if we are to reduce our senseless wasting of irreplaceable fossil fuels.

Ha! Even Joanne had to join my battle of clearing all of this snow…

and Koly helped too! Koly loves eating snow, so while the two of us where working Koly followed behind us eating mouthful after mouthful of the yummy stuff!

Soon we had finished and it was time for a little fun! Koly loves chasing snowballs and eating them too!!!

I don’t think any of us were ready for what happened next…

… Koly completed sank and disappeared into our small mountains of snow!!!

Even tho’ Joanne and I were laughing hysterically during this, I was thinking that there may come a point where I would have to jump in after Koly to rescue him.

Koly is not a young dog anymore, and this event had him working very hard. I was laughing and feeling sorry for him at the same time!

Yeah! Koly has escaped the snow pile!!!!!

I think that the changing of the seasons is an amazing event. I picture our Earth spinning away in space, circling the sun and four times a year there is just the smallest and most subtlest of changes that have the most profound impacts on global climates. Obviously, winter seems to be the most dramatic of all these changes. This is the time of year when our atmosphere falls from the sky and lays on the land! When the ground is covered in snow I don’t see droplets of frozen water I see the air that I breathe, the oceans, lakes and rivers of the world all suspended in time.

I pack a snowball for Koly to chase and I’m packing water droplets that may have been in someone’s lungs on the other side of the Earth last week, or droplets that may have been splashed about off the end of a great whale’s tale! And here I am, able to touch millions of particles of our Earth, all brought together in one fantastical phenomenon known simply as snow!

I think that thoughts like this better enable us to make simple connections with all of the life that flourishes on our Earth. I believe that these connections will enable our minds to expand to the point where life and all its wonders will hold a higher significance in our consciousness as we evolve in time with our shifting environments, enabling humanity to change so that future generations may thrive.

Even if – for now – people are unable to appreciate these simple perspectives, I’m confident that we can all agree on at least one thing…

… that snow sure is pretty!


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