New Year’s Day Storm: the good, the bad and the ugly

New year’s eve has come and gone. Cameron had a gig at the Casino in a faux cave or fabricated grotto. Most of the packed house was bent over, back to the boys, umbilical chord stuck into the machine (that chord that has to be slid into the machine) and unaware of the music. Neville Bowman on keyboards sang beautifully, Cameron delivered some complex, unexpected and interesting solos and Scott Gamble (appropriate name) was delivering like it was an enwraptured house.

The snow retains its shape as it falls off

The snow retains its shape as it falls off

After a really fun dinner party, I ambled over to the Casino to listen for a few numbers then headed home.

We awoke to a blizzard of sorts. It was a blizzard of those large, fluffy  musical comedy flakes. The air was soft and our cars were under there somewhere. We began another day of shoveling to find the sidewalk, the vehicles, the front steps. I like the opportunity to get out of the house and interact or connect with the neighbours. Sometimes my neighbour Sara shovels my walk, sometimes I shovel hers or my other two nearby neighbours. Even if we don’t see one another on that particular day, it gives me a chance to think about them and feel like I am contributing. I like that.

beautiful yellow shovel awaits

beautiful yellow shovel awaits

What I am really enjoying about this winter is the images that I am getting. Great photographic opportunities in this brilliant winter. We are also getting to work out as we shovel for two hours a day.

I love the way colors pop out of the snow. Things I usually do not see such as the color of the plastic protecting the wires on trees, the color of shards of dead leaves, rose hips, rowan berries. Beautiful, intense and bold pieces of color seem to be climbing out of the snow where the wind has brushed it away.

The kids play ground abandoned, the car stuck

The kids play ground abandoned, the car stuck

Sutherland park has been magical. The snow really shows the “bones” of the trees. Sculptural limbs gracefully create arches. Even the burn of light on the top of the snow makes the illusion of another dimension because it is read on another plane from the snow itself. There is so much to see, if we just turn off our heads. When we name something… it ceases to be in the moment and unique. It becomes “tree” and “snow”. So much is lost.

And that finally is the ugly part. Even if the car is stuck, even if that day it is better not to go out, I resist the urge to ask for things to be different. If it is too hot, too wet, too cold, too dry, too windy then now is never good enough. I am practicing thinking that now has just the right weather front. What ever is happening outside, okay dokay.

So I just look at -35 % in Calgary and find my bright yellow shovel and do except the gift of snow. The only ugly thing I have seen is my own scowl in the mirror when I decide to be angry about the weather. Scary face!!

The only thing that ever seems to be the same is when people continually say, “this is such unusual weather.” I have heard that comment a thousand times throughout the seasons. Maybe we need to do what we can for our world. But I also want to enjoy it on this stunningly beautiful new year’s day. Happy new year, everyone.

Even the broken stubs of limbs show in the snow

Even the broken stubs of limbs show in the snow

The snow flakes are so thick and large they look like mist

The snow flakes are so thick and large they look like mist

shapes and the sense of distance are emphasized

shapes and the sense of distance are emphasized

during blizzard in the park

during blizzard in the park

Boxing day sales, Winter Storms and Small Blessings

Playground car stuck in snow

Playground car stuck in snow

Staff lined up in the aisles. We were ambushed at every turn. “How are you making out,” the sales clerk in appliances asked. “Oh, not here!” I replied. He blinked awake from his bored haze and said, “What?”

“We aren’t making out here. We are just looking at fridges.” Ours had died after a valiant 10 year life. How could we complain when we had paid less than $200 for a full sized one. At any rate, we had the new to us auction vehicle which has a cracked head and has no heat. It is a refrigerator that we can drive around. The snow and below 20 weather has allowed us to use the uninsulated pantry area as a fridge and the table purchased for sitting in the sun as the freezer.

Winter walk in Sutherland Park

Winter walk in Sutherland Park

We have only to remove the carcass of the dead fridge from our deck… clear the deck and then we can view more clearly the collapsed tent broken down under snow that was meant to protect our piles of wood.

The stores were almost empty. Costco was as deserted as I have ever seen it. Home Depot was ornamental with the orange aproned people clearly visible in every department. Only a very few potential consumers were moving through the aisles.

Snow on Rowan Berries

Snow on Rowan Berries

The only place with any traffic at all was Future Shop. Many were coming out empty handed. The hoodie with asymmetrical abstract design crowd seemed loose, casual and after some fun. They probably scooped up games and distractions.

The lower mainland will be slammed again with winter storms. Oh David Suzuki, you were right. We are cursed when Victoria, B.C. has the deepest snowfall of any city in all of CANADA. Now if Yellow Knife has hybiscus we know the new age or end times or revision-vision time has come.

from Cedar Creek, the lake with snow clouds

from Cedar Creek, the lake with snow clouds

We sit in our small house and enjoy movies. Our neighbour’s similarly sized house has been declared by some potential buyers to be, “Too small to live in.”

Cameron cooked an amazing meal. I am really enjoying shovelling the sidewalk. Both of my adult children have phoned me with messages of love. My step-father is still amazing and amusing. My brother has not died of cancer this year but has beaten it. I have wonderful friends. This is a big house that contains worlds of possibilities and happiness. Revise that title. The blessings are NOT small at all.

Cameron's idea of Christmas lights

Cameron put up christmas lights

Our Christmas Tree

Our Christmas Tree

Our Christmas Tree with Uplight

Our Christmas Tree with Uplight

The man who cooked all day is ready to eat

The man who cooked all day is ready to eat