This may not seem unusual to those of you in other parts of the world, because in most people's heads Canada = Snow, right? But we live on southern Vancouver Island, otherwise known as Lotus Land. We're supposed to be safe from the normal trials and tribulations of winter - yes, we get a fair amount of rain through the darker months, but that's not so bad.
When we first moved to Victoria from Toronto, it happened to snow in about November. Not much - a couple of inches. So we got out the snow shovel and tackled the long driveway, wondering why our neighbours weren't doing the same, but were looking at us with puzzled curiosity. About 6 hours later we found out why: the snow had all melted.
That has been our usual experience with snow here. We get a couple of snowfalls each winter, nothing to write home about by most people's standards, and it melts quick enough that the common approach to dealing with it is to sit by the fire with a cup of tea until it melts.
Well, someone changed the rules and forgot to tell us. Our first winter here at Mucky Boots saw record snowfalls - impressive amounts even by prairie standards. It was tough, because the guy installing our flooring kept getting stuck, and it made commuting a bit hairy. But we took some consolation in the fact that it was really, really unusual.
[The snow was this high that winter. We shovelled and shovelled and then we made friends with Bruce the Backhoe Guy.]
But here we are, two winters later, and we keep getting snow. Snow and more snow. It's not as bad as the first winter, because it warms up enough between dumps that it eventually melts and we get to start fresh with the next snowfall. But it's still a pain and I can't help feeling a little...cheated.
It snowed again last night, about 18 inches. Deep enough that this morning Frankie had to make bounding antelope leaps to get from Point A to Point B. Deep enough that it won't be melting anytime soon, so I spent a good long while trying to shovel out the driveway. Deep enough that I had to concede defeat and go inside to cancel all my tutoring sessions for the day. Deep enough Kim had to shovel out the normally protected chicken run just to get into the coop to take care of the chickies. Deep enough the chickies are sensibly opting for indoor recess today.
I have learned there is a snowfall hazard unique to living in the middle of a forest: the avalanches of snow that happen when a big tree sheds its snow load. I learned that lesson the hard way this morning. I'm still drying out.