Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Up with the snow set

The Sunday before last, it snowed. We get snow occasionally here, and sometimes it even settles a bit and the schools are closed and there is excitement because the whole town has a Snow Day.

This snow was way out there. Great flakes landed on the window four floors up. It began to settle on the narrowest surfaces. By morning it was five inches deep, and the coldest day here since records began. It covered the liquefaction and did the whole winter wonderland thing. Neighbours stumped through the mess to visit and swap stories. My daughter and her partner, who was wildly pumped up and wanting a mission, visited and brought me snow chains so i could go to work. i was intrepid! i drove to work with the chains on. Not many of us made it to work, mostly those with 4x4's. i gloated about my chains. i was up with the snow set! Not like one of my workmates who drove all the way to work in his Ford Festiva. A Ford Festiva! Good grief. i did so much better, i had chains. On the way home, in the middle of the night, i paid for my hubris. The chain broke, and wrapped itself around behind the wheel. i called the AA. It was not the first case of broken chains the AA guy had seen that night.

Days later the snow lingered. It half froze and iced over several times. On my street corner, young men built a snow ramp and snow boarded up it. It was their science project. It took all day and was at least seven feet tall. In the middle of the night when i went to work they had it lit with car headlights and a videocamera trained on it. Someone would board up it. Then they would rake it and spade it and look after it. Fifteen minutes later someone else would have a go. It was dead serious fun. Young men at their most focused, using the same sets of neurons that translated the Bible into Klingon.

Now there are clumps of blackened snow in shady areas. The snow mixed with liquefaction and gravel, and car emissions. But we are 10 days after it began and we still have snow!

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