Let It Goddamn Snow

Winter is finally upon us here in southern Ontario, and it has come in angry. Near the end of November we got our first good dusting of snow and I proudly declared the "..beginning of winter!" but then temperatures rose and rains came and it all washed away.

Now, two weeks into December, the main show is on and it has been snowing and blowing non-stop for the past four days.

For Katya and I it is rather nice. We had no winter in Victoria. No snow, not temperatures below 10 degrees centigrade nor was there much of a Christmas feel to the place. A couple of houses made a weak show of putting up lights but otherwise everyday was just the same as the day before, which is pretty much how it goes in Victoria.

This shot of downtown Victoriawas taken a few days before Christmas, 2012

The only house on our street that put up lights. We lived in an apartment and even we had lights up!
Katya grew up in Moscow, famous for its war-winning winters, and I grew up in southern Ontario, land of hockey, snowmobiles and ice-fishing. We are both quite accustomed to heavy winters so found ourselves missing winter while in Victoria.

At the height of a brutal winter, usually by February when two months of winter has passed and there's still no end in sight, people tend to get angry and moan and groan about the "Goddamned snow!" Canadians, in particular, absolutely HATE winter (ironic, when you think about it). During the summer we do nothing but prepare our credit cards for the "Goddamned winter!" That includes not only Christmas but also goddamn winter tires, goddamn winter rust-proofing, goddamn winter clothing, goddamn winter roofing, etc etc. It's a draining experience and a long winter will wreak havoc on the goddamn infrastructure of a city, so that by the time spring pokes it's head out in late March or early April, construction crews get to work and city budgets balloon. In Canada, we have two seasons: winter and construction.

With all that in mind it may seem strange, even downright patronizing, to some that two people living it up in sunny Victoria would be reminiscing about the romantic qualities of snow, but we really were!

And now that we're in the beginning stages of what is looking like a goddamn long and hard winter, it's all rose petals and rainbows for us.

I'm thinking of a white Christmas finally (2009, 2010 and 2011 I was in Russia where they don't celebrate Christmas on Dec 25, and in 2012 I was in Victoria where it is barely celebrated as well). Already every house on my block, and every other block for that matter, is strung up with lights and decor. In Ontario, everybody is a Griswald!

I'm also romanticizing the unrealistic thoughts of what winter will be like in February, saying to myself "It's not so bad. With a positive attitude, anything is nice!" I'm picturing myself skating down the Rideau Canal in Ottawa (actually really fun) and taking Katya on a horse-drawn sleigh through a local forest (Jingle Bells!) and building snowmen and making snow angels (Ya, right).

What I'm not thinking about is the death-defying drive to work every day through several feet of hard blowing snow, or the tears and snot that freeze to your face after twenty seconds outdoors, or the constant, never-ending grind to shovel and sweep and salt and wipe the very ground I walk on just so I can get from my door to the car, which probably won't start and when it does will end up killing a sleeping cat that had burrowed into the engine somehow. That's even if I can get the goddamn car door open without lock de-icer.

What I'll probably end up doing this winter is sitting on the sofa every change I get, watching hockey and drinking alcohol and bitching about the goddamned snow. Then, when spring comes and birds and girls finally come out of hiding, I'll say "It was so nice to have a white Christmas this year.: ")

The fantasy
The goddamn reality

Popular Posts