Driving in the snow, waiting for buses in snow, skiing in snow, sledding in snow and all other manner of in snows, have always been misery to me! I have always dreaded snow days.
I was in grade seven, and after school on a February mid week afternoon I made the decision to sit and talk with a friend under the cover on the blacktop at our elementary school…. and not go home.. until 7!!!!
My mother was livid. She grounded me for two weeks. In her defence, mother Me would have killed 12 year old Me so really, I got off easy with her grounding.
Three days later Vancouver got an enormous dump of snow. When the snow would come to our neighbourhood all of the kids would go down to McClure hill off Marine Drive and toboggan all the live long day and well into the night. It was the winter wonderland of my friend’s dreams.
My best friend, let’s call her Mary, loved the snow. She was the first with her gloves on and toboggan at the ready. It was inconvenient that I was unable to man the sled with her. She phoned my mother and opened negotiations. Her first offer was that I could still be grounded but beginning the next weekend after the snow was gone.. Although I’m sure she was delighted by the call, Mom declined the offer. Mary’s second idea was that the grounding would start the next week but Mom could increase the length to three weeks. Nope.. Mom was not going to budge. Unbeknownst to Mary or my Mother, I was delighted. I got to stay in my bedroom, alone with a book drinking hot chocolate snug as a bug without anyone knowing that I hate hate hated the snow. What kind of child hates the snow?
Mary also convinced me to take ski lessons. We would get on the bus at some ungodly hour to drive two hours to Grouse mountain. There I would freeze in the pouring sleet while people expected me to slide down an icy cliff on two sticks. What the hell? I am well aware that they call it a bunny hill but when you can’t see two feet in front of you, what I envisioned was Everest.
Twice I drove in the snow. Once I slid my Mustang sideways down the Dunbar Hill and the second time, I already told you about, ended with a flat tire on Highway 99.
Luckily for our children E loved snow and loved skiing. All of the home movies with my children in the snow, are of E outside playing for hours on end with them all having a most wonderful time. Me, I was safe and warm and happy to capture the joy from inside the house, fire going, music playing softly.
This week we have the opportunity to enjoy quiet walks with the dog in dry snow. He loves to bound through the drifts. Then we return to the house and sit inside, warm. We look out at the flakes landing on the trees and put another log on the fire. It is very nice.
The horrid experiences of the cold wet snowy days of my youth are apparently not a distant enough memory but they are safely tucked away in the box marked never gonna happen again.
It’s all good