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!
Sounds like we’re on the same page. There is actually a municipal by-law in most communities across the country requiring you to shovel your walks. That includes schools shoveling their walks. So sorry to hear of your fall. You’d think this would have been done for the kids safety too.
Hear you on parents and their cars and parking in unsafe places to avoid walking a few feet. This use to be an enormous pet peeve of mine when I was teaching. I think I became known as the ‘Parking Nazi’. Any parent that dared drop their child off in that unsafe zone in front of the school had to deal with the wrath of me and apparently I can instill fear with a look if I choose to do so. Surprised that more Principles and VPs don’t actually police safety in such situations.
Oh man….Our school..our city.
So..our school is technically on a side street..so no plowing..BUT..it is also a bus route…SOOO you would think it maybe SHOULD get plowed?
They did half the street.
The school only shoveled the walk between the bus stop and the school entrance.
They didn’t shovel around the school even though it is policy to use the classroom doors set around the building..hence us all slipping and sliding around.
And me falling once.
Since the road wasn’t plowed..the parents just stopped their cars in the middle of the road blocking everyone else, including the buses and endangering the kids they sent out across the street because they were too lazy to try to park anywhere and escort their kids.
I linked to you…
I still love this one!
Pete Quily says
Great post Erica,
I think our local media need to educate people who haven’t lived and or drove in snowy conditions, or that have done so such a long time ago that they forget. Have a file that they can crank out when the snow starts to fall.
I was amazed that so many businesses and apartment buildings didn’t shovel their sidewalks during the last multi week snow season here in Vancouver.
Maybe we need a sidewalksofshame tag on flickr with datestamped photos of sidewalks and associated businesses/appt buildings/houses with names and addresses and neighbourhoods. To encourage people to do the right thing.
Especially sad when you read of seniors being trapped in their houses for long periods of times because their neighbours refused to shovel their sidewalks.
Scott Blogs says
I live in Courtenay, and as you know that is just a hop-skip-&-Jump away from Vancouver – I hate how people always complain about the snow in Vancouver. It happens very seldom, and when it does, well, deal with it.
The worst is when people complain that the city isnt doing enough or working hard enough to clear the snow away – hello, they only have so much equipment, and only so many employees to take care of it, and it doesnt make sense to spend the 10’s (or 100’s) of millions on more equipment and manpower, when Vancouver gets maybe 1 or 2 snowfalls a year to warrant it.
Besides, if they boosted snow removal to the levels that people want, then they would also have to boost taxes to pay for the increased level of service, and then everyone would complain about that.