Like a respectable Canadian gal, I love the snow! It’s my version of winter magic. I love writing away and hearing the little girl next door as she steps out for the first time in the morning and exclaims in awe, ‘Oh look Daddy!!! Isn’t it beautiful!!!’ I still feel like that little girl. So I am in a state of delight and awe this morning as I look outside and see the beautiful white stuff falling.
What I do not like about the snow, however, is Vancouverites in it and their incessant whining about it. Vancouver – the rest of the country complains about our citizens being cold and about us being unneighbourly. Well I have a theory on this. My theory is that in Vancouver our climate is very mild and unlike the rest of the country, we rarely get snow. As such we have missed out on the snow bonding experience that the rest of the country gets. We’ve missed out on meeting our neighbours as we shovel the walks and teaching our young people to help out the elderly neighbour across the street. Well nows our chance. Rather than grumbling – lets embrace the true beauty of the snow – the beauty of being neighbourly and building community.
Snow Etiquette for Vancouverites (inspired by a snowy afternoon tweets on twitter and encouragement of @hummingbird604 to make this a blog post):
1) Buy a snow shovel and don’t leave home without it.
2) Dress for the weather! Honestly people, this isn’t your first snow day of the year, you think you would have learnt by now.
3) Dress your kids for the weather – boots, hats, coats & mitts.
4) If you live in a townhouse or condo and there is only one caretaker, would it kill you to help a little with the shoveling.
5) Just because they’re calling for rain doesn’t mean you shouldn’t shovel. If the temperature drops the snow or slush will turn to ice.
6) Courtesy of @yoyomama_van If your tires slip day 1 in the snow, they will slip on day 10 too. Get all weather tires or leave your car at home
7) Courtesy of @kulpreetsingh If you can’t get sand or gravel, keep a bag of cat litter in your trunk in case of ice.
8) Courtesy of @WinnieYeo If you don’t have salt, gravel or kitty litter and are stuck, you can use the car’s floor mats. Just be careful they don’t shoot out from under your tires and hit someone.
9) Courtesy of @petequily If your wheels are spinning on ice, flooring it = more ice.
10) Courtesy of @CrunchyCarpets Leave early, look around, slow down and chillax!!
11) Courtesy of @CrunchyCarpets Please pick up dog poop..snow or no snow. It doesn’t disappear under the snow. It just becomes a poohsicle and when the snow disappears, a smelly, slimy mess for someone to step in.
12) If you’re going to open schools on a snowy day, then plow the staff parking lot. First school day of 2009, I just spent an hour digging cars out of an unplowed, iced over school parking lot.
13) Parents: Your precious little deers can walk a few feet through the snow. They are children, not witches and will not melt from touching ice crystals. Don’t drive your car into an iced school lot where cars are already stuck. Thinking this should be common sense, but based on the number of parents I’ve seen do this, I feel it is worth noting.
14) If you see someone in need of help and you can help, then do help. And teach your children to do the same. Teens kept walking by their teachers digging and pushing cars in the aforementioned lot and not one stopped to help. Huge failure on societies part in my mind.
15) One of the joys of the snow is in building a sense of community by helping others. Don’t deprive your kids of that joy. Take them out (yes – even the little ones) and get them helping you to shovel the walks. Have them help an elderly neighbour. The small ones don’t need to be all that useful, but this will build a sense of social responsibility in them.
Off to help the caretaker at my place by doing a bit more shovelling today. Loving the fresh air and exercise!