17 December 2007

The calm after the storm

Actually, I suppose you could say that the scene on the streets of Ottawa was somewhat chaotic this morning. Yesterday’s record-breaking snowfall made rural roads and side streets virtually impassible. School busses are cancelled outright and the mayor was urging people to stay at home unless travel is absolutely necessary. Sadly, I didn’t heed the city warnings and I ventured off to the bus stop where I waited for thirty minutes in the –25ºC cold for a nonexistent bus. My patience and nerve shattered when I narrowly missed being struck by a swerving vehicle. Needless to say, I called it quits and decided to work from home today.

Despite my dislike for winter, I have to admit that I sometimes enjoy the community spirit that this kind of weather seems to evoke. There’s something wonderful about a pile of complete strangers working together to shovel driveways or push stuck cars out of the snow. Perhaps it’s because I’m in a new neighbourhood, but it seems as though people here are willing to drop whatever they’re doing to lend a hand. I watched a man this morning going from house to house cleaning off driveways with his snow blower, expecting nothing in return and helping out of the kindness of his heart…something you just don’t see often these days. Hubby and I always joke that it’s, “meet the neighbours time,” whenever a storm comes because we all inevitably end up meetings outside and lending a hand where needed.

However, despite the good vibes and the kindness of strangers, I really don’t relish the thought of having to deal with this amount of snow ever again. It’s technically not even winter yet and we already have more snow than we typically accumulate in the entire season. I can only hope that the next big storm will hold off until after the holidays, but I’m not going to hold my breath. Weather experts are calling for a long, snowy ride.

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