A hard couple of blocks

I was writing an email to a friend earlier this afternoon, and said: I can’t walk, because there is too much snow. Can’t shovel because the wind would fill in wherever I shovelled. That statement on the screen made me sit up and notice the “can’t” sentiment. Can’t is one of my least favourite words, one that doesn’t seem too bad when silently kicking around in my brain, but always causes a reaction when I hear it out loud. So, before the end of the email, I had decided a walk to my nearby neighbourhood grocery store was in order.

On the plus side, the temperature was much higher than it has been. I was well-dressed, since that is my habit, so I was toasty warm in the -10ºC air. But holy moley, did we have to pay for that gentle temp. The first thing I saw was my snowed-in car. The car that I spent 90 minutes digging out just a few days ago. Then, finding somewhere to walk was some fun, too. The sidewalks have disappeared completely, and the residential roads are not much better for walking today. In fact, it was worth my life to be walking on the road, because cars had to be going a pretty good clip to keep moving.

Which brings me to the workout part of the jaunt: the snow is not only thick, it is warm and slippery. I was in on pushing two cars up into the driveway. One was just an impossible task without help. The second was a new immigrant, young, with heavily accented English. My guess is htat this man is in his first winter here, and most likely, driving in snow is a brand new experience. You can always tell a newby by the frantic increase in speed as they start to spin out. Locals know that as soon as your tires are spinning, you are likely not going anywhere. We managed to get him up into the driveway from the street, and further proof that he is new to this game, he stopped the car to come and thank us. We told him that it was understood that the driver was grateful for help, but to never stop once you are going. We pushed him again, and this time he was happy with a wave of gratitude.

The walking was horrible, either in slippery ruts, or pushing through a foot of snow on untouched sidewalks, but I was still glad I had gone. The interaction with people as I pushed cooperatively (this may be the first time I have pushed with a dog on a leash) is always an unexpected pleasure — humanity at its best. And I did get one heck of a workout for a very short walk. Kenna was also delighted, as fresh snow is one of her favourite things. She jumps and circles and burrows every time.

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