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Posted by Admin
Thursday, December 08, 2005
Weather Wimps by Expat
This morning, The National Weather Service forecast that we would receive between two and four inches of snow by evening. The headline in the local newspaper declared "Beware: Snow" and reported this as "the first snowstorm of the season". It is now mid-afternoon and about three inches of the white stuff has fallen. By Saskatchewan standards, this is not a great deal of snow, but this is considered to be a substantial amount for our region. In fact, those three inches of snow have set the city on its ear.
Across the bottom of the television screen, a public service announcement flashes. A list of businesses that will be closing early today is displayed, along with a list of schools which are currently sending children home for the day, churches which have cancelled their evening services, and miscellaneous clubs and sports teams that will no longer be meeting tonight. I am amazed that a few inches of snow has caused such disruption.
Thinking back to my life in Canada, I don't ever remember leaving work early because of the snow, or ever having a day off from school simply because we would have to trudge through a snowbank to get there. In fact, I distinctly remember many a morning where I would shovel my car out of the driveway, throw the shovel into the backseat of my car, and then shovel my way out of a few more snowbanks on my way to work, stopping to push other driver's who were in need of a hand along the way. If life in Canada came to an abrupt stop every time that it snowed (as it does here), Canadians might as well just hibernate from the first of November until the first of April.
To be fair, few places invest in a lot of snow removal equipment (and salt trucks, etc) if they don't get a lot of snow through the year. Even the City of Toronto called in the Canadian Army one year to help with snow removal.
Hehehe this post makes me think of home. I'm from Labrador, originally and boy, Lab. City can get a lot of snow!
The roads are plowed and snow-blowed and as they do that the lawns get covered in snow so high that you frequently can't see the houses from the road but only from the driveways. Of course almost all houses in Lab City are single story so they aren't really that high in the first place, but still...
We are expecting our first snow-day tomorrow, here in NJ. All the bus stop moms were mentioning how there won't be school tomorrow as we are expected to get about 5" overnight. It'll be so weird to have school closed for a bit of snow.
I remember that when I was in grade 7 (first year of junior high in NF/Lab) it had to be -84 C (including wind chill,of course) to cancel school. It was reduced to -72 C the next year and remained there for the end of my highschool career. I think that people out here would die if it got to -72C, even though that's counting wind chill.
Just a note too, I walked the 1 mile (or a bit less I think) trek to school, even in those conditions. I would never be caught in snow pants or anything sensible either. I still have some scarring from getting frost bite on my thighs (patches that stay white in the summer when the rest of my legs get tanned). Crazy!
I think that I could have written your comment, Kim! LOL
Like you, there was no way that I would be caught walking the mile to school wearing a toque or ear muffs. Those would drag down my "cool factor". LOL
Ah yes, I was, indeed "cool" as I walked to school without mitts, long johns, or any headgear. *rolls eyes at former self*
I have been trying to think of a time when school would have been cancelled due to the weather, and I am coming up empty-handed. I don't ever remember getting the day off due to cold or snow. In fact, I remember a bunch of us standing on the toilets in the girl's room (so as not to be seen by the playground supervisors) because we did not want to be outside at recess.