Eighty years ago, when my grandparents…on both sides, mind you…decided to emmigrate from Europe and move to a new country with new potential, new hope, new promises…would it really have been that hard of a decision to make between sailing to a country covered in snow half the time, with hail and sleet and wind cold enough to snap the hairs in your nostrils…or one with sandy beaches, palm trees, warm sunny weather all year round? I mean seriously folks, if it was me? I’d head for the palm trees every time, especially if I was coming across with no job prospects lined up. I think I would rather hunt for a job wearing the only suit I had rather than slog through snow and sleet with my shoes lined with cardboard, because of course, according to all the stories we were told growing up, everyone walked five miles uphill back and forth to school, shared one ice cream between five kids, and everyone stuffed their shoes and coats with newspaper to keep warm.
Wouldn’t have had to do that if they sailed SOUTH.
On my mothers side, making matters even worse, my grandfather apparently came over 6 months ahead of his wife and small children to find a job, a place to live. And he came over in February. Duh. Worse month of the year up here in the Beautiful Frozen North. And yeah, yeah, it is beautiful after a fresh snowfall…but that bliss lasts exactly for exactly the five minutes it takes to push that first shovel full of the beautiful white stuff off the driveway. Then it becomes that f**king white sh*t.
In fact, the only time I actually *like* (said with an internal shudder) to see snow is on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. After that…ugh. Back about 30 years or so, Stupid and I decided to spend Christmas in Florida, so we drove down, camped on one of the Keys…found a restaurant that served turkey on Christmas Day…and we were both depressed. That depression, however, lasted the one day only, then it was back to the beach and woo hoo.
Don’t get me wrong, I love living in Canada, love my country, love the majesty of the forests and lakes and having a Tim Hortons on every corner. I love at least three of the seasons…spring when everything turns so green it hurts your eyes; summer when the days are long and lazy and the hummingbirds come right up on the deck and hover over my glass to see what I’m drinking; even fall when everything smells earthy and rustic and the trees out back turn incredible colours. But then the first blizzard hits and four months of frozen hell begins.
This ramble was inspired by the fact I spent two hours shovelling my driveway Thursday so I could take the dog to the vet for her shots, then two hours limping through the fresh crap to shovel it again yesterday.
Woke up this morning and what do I see? Yup. Driveway is covered again. And as you can see, it’s a big honkin f**ker of a driveway. Notice, I only shovelled what I needed to shovel to get out; there’s a whole honkin’ other half I just glared at. And yes, I have a big honkin’ f**ker of a snowblower sitting in the garage, but the likelihood of me wielding that beast around is about the same as me driving a Zamboni. Or pumping gas.
Okay, so that’s one bonus we have this side of the border. We still have full service gas stations. Like that makes up for directionally-challenged grandparents *snort*