- Snow is fresh and clean. It also covers the abundant layers of mud that Alberta is know for. When the snow covers Grande Prairie and the lights are shining, it makes even our oil-field city look beautiful. I love the coming of spring and seeing the new life everywhere, but I dread what all the melting snow reveals. I am always reminded how my ugly sins are washed white as snow through the Salvation I have in Christ.
- Snow is a blessing in my world because everything slows down. We live in such a high-energy, always moving, never resting world. When spring finally arrives we are all anxious and restless to be outside working and prepping our gardens and backyards. Summer is full of holidays, camping trips, weeding, early mornings and late nights. The goal is to soak up every ray of sunshine with friends and when the sun goes down, we sit around fires. Fall brings with it a sense of panic that all the outside work must be done. Farmers work crazy hours bringing in their crops, leaves are raked, vehicles are prepped, and some women slave away for hours and hours over their canning and cleaning out their gardens. I've also heard about women that meticulously do Spring AND Fall cleaning...I should attach myself to women like that...it's a dream. FINALLY, the snow falls, and all the eager/reckless drivers are revealed. That first skiff of slick snow deflates egos that need a little adjusting. I'm always very quick to point out to my kids that you will rarely see a small car or mini-van in the ditch. It's always the jacked-up trucks that are stranded....watch for it, it's true. With the snow everyone gets the opportunity to adjust their driving speed as well as their 'Life Speed,' Sometimes we only do it when forced. Sure the snow needs to be shovelled, but other than that the outside work is limited, except to the people with farm animals. I do feel for you when I sit by my fire with a cup tea, or for the trucker who drives in awful weather. But for the majority of people, we slow down. It's a blessing in disguise for families.
- My kids prefer the cooler weather, strange but true. This last summer was HOT and our kids get a little sluggish. But their bodies are already a secondary source of heat in our home as all of them are little heaters.
- I get to use my wood stove. I feel sorry for people that don't own one. Yes I know that not everybody craves it, but you should :) It never fails that the stove draws people to it when they come in from the cold, even those that would never put one in their home. Currently I'm trying to talk a few people into installing one...I don't know why I care, but I do. Plus, it's a great back-up when the power goes out. (and it's a great daily chore for my little boys) If I could sell them out of my home I would...but it's a bulky item to stock :)
- God made it.....enough said.
I miss the snow from Terrace though. It was wet and heavy, but awesome to play in. We also had days when we could get 4 feet of snow in 24 hours. We had a large driveway because we lived in a subdivision out of town, but my parents never had a snowblower or a bobcat. They did have 5 kids though who learned how to wield a shovel. Trust me Alberta people, the stuff that falls here is fluff and takes little effort to clean up. I heard a rumour that one fellow blew the snow off his driveway with a leaf blower. In Terrace the snow is so heavy that we could only take a scoop full and run it down a path we had made. We had made snow ramps all along our driveway that we had to take speed at just so we could deposit the snow on our front yard. After a particular heavy snowfall, and shovelling 3 feet off our front deck, the snow on the front yard reached the railing of the deck on the second story. We had snow and we loved it, even though we did the clean-up.
The first few winters I lived in La Crete, Gord was always gone during the week. So if the snow fell I went and cleaned it up, as soon as the snowplow came by. And after I would be done I would notice all the others had a bobcat come by to clean up the snow ridge the plow had left. I always wondered how all these people had connections to that bobcat. It took a few years to realize that the bobcat came by for EVERYONE, but mine was already cleaned up.....the one time that being punctual did not work in my favour. In Terrace, there was no bobcat...ever. We could have a 3-4 foot dump of snow, no bobcat. The plow would come by, and we lived on a corner, so all the snow from the corner would be dumped across our driveway. Very rarely did the driver lift his blade. The ridge that he left was often worse than shovelling the entire driveway because there were massive ice chucks involved. I remember that one time the ridge was about three feet deep, four feet high, and about 15 feet long...I know because I was trying to burn it into my memory. It was overwhelming, but we got it done....and probably wearing rubber boots because we never had adequate footwear. My parents weren't being cheap, but often the weather was above 0...and we survived with all our toes.
One of the only things Gord and I argued about when we were first married was winter clothing....I wasn't really for it. In Terrace we never plugged our vehicles in, didn't carry blankets, or the right clothing when we travelled...and we were fine. BUT I was also incredibly ignorant of the brutal temperatures in Alberta. I remember being disgusted that I was made to go buy $70 boots when I first moved. AND whenever we took a road trip, ALL the winter clothing came with no matter how much room it took up. I finally played the good wife and gave up the fight. Although I still laugh inwardly when my kids run outside without a jacket on when it is -10 because they are only going to feed the dog...Gord is horrified. I haven't noticed that they've been sick because of it, but I do know that when they do get cold, the jackets and gloves go on without a word of complaining. Sometimes it's better that way than trying to convince them they need it.
Winter, it has much to offer, if we are willing to give up what we want. Hidden blessings are everywhere. It's a time to slow down, pour over books, have friends over so the kids play in the snow together, go sledding and enjoy the scenery on a frosty morning. Sure it has it's downside, but in the end God made it...and everyday He makes is good. The kids have caught me in frustrated moments, and asked "Bad day?" I have been convicted in my answer, and now I have to honestly reply that the day is good, but my reaction was awful. To remember the truth is so important.
THIS IS THE DAY THAT THE LORD HAS MADE
I WILL REJOICE AND BE GLAD IN IT
snow and all ;)