Spring is here.
Spring is here.
|A normal Northern Alberta winter.|
In Southern Alberta, in winter, we get snow.
I’m sure that doesn’t come as a surprise to many of you.
The only problem is that it never stays.
Usually within days of falling, Southern Alberta snow melts away under the warm breath of a powerful Chinook.
Thus, throughout winter, it snows.
Then . . . you get the picture.
I’m sure Southern Alberta is the only place on earth that can go from -40C (-40F) to +20C (+68F) in the course of three hours.
It is a bit disconcerting at times . . .
In college, I dated a boy from Red Deer.
Okay yes, technically, that is only about five or so hours drive north of where I was raised.
But a world removed in weather patterns.
In Red Deer, in winter, it snows.
And snows some more.
I learned about this on a visit to his family one long weekend in February.
Picture going from brown grass and snow only in the ditches, to snow piled four and five feet deep.
There was even snow on top of the fence posts.
For the first day, I simply stared.
So this is what winter is supposed to be like!
It was . . . beautiful!
But all of that snow causes . . . difficulties.
The sheer weight of it piled on roofs threatens the structural integrity of the homes.
Don’t I sound like an engineer?
I’m quoting, by the way.
Snow piled high on roofs must be removed. No Chinooks to do the dirty work for you.
People have to climb up and actually . . . shovel.
At first, it was an odd sight.
People standing on their roofs, shoveling snow.
But, after a day or two, I got used to it.
Then it was my turn.
To shovel, that is.
My boy friend’s grandmother’s house was one of those piled high with heavy white stuff. It positively groaned under the weight of it.
It needed relief.
Well, actually, he volunteered.
And I simply nodded and smiled.
I found myself standing atop what looked like a large, white muffin.
Did I mention that there was a lot of snow?
Somewhere beneath us was his grandmother’s single story home.
We set to work.
The actual removal of the snow didn’t take long.
The house wasn’t that large.
As we alternately scraped and shoved, our collection of snow on the ground grew deeper.
We were nearing the end of our task.
I slid a large shovelful over the edge and peered down at the huge drift that had collected beneath me.
My boyfriend joined me.
I looked at him. “Do you think you would get hurt if you fell off the roof and into that?” I asked, pointing.
He frowned, thoughtfully. “No, I . . .”
That was a far as I let him get.
He was right.