Tag Archives: snow

Day 735: Ice, ice, baby

Okay, so it hasn’t been quite this icy on Toronto streets lately, but it has been pretty slippery in spots out there.

And I have broken both wrists over the past two years … the left one after a very bad fall that bruised both my arm and my ego.

So, forgive me if I’ve been a little skittish out there and inching along even more slowly than my 82-year-old Pops.

In fact, right outside his building, I almost went flying went I walked across a patch of black ice on the way to the grocery store.

So when I saw that the lock had rusted off the box of rock salt outside the store, I was hit with a brainwave (my annual one).

And a plastic bag left behind at the bank machine beside the supermarket helped me execute my cunning plan.

After I came out of the store with my dad’s purchases, I used the extra bag to scoop up as much salt as I could from the box. Since I was using it for the public good, on a route directly in front of the store, I figured no one would mind. (And I didn’t set off any sirens or alarm bells, so, SCORE!)

I carefully navigated the snowy sidewalk back to my dad’s building, and when I got to the patch of black ice, I carefully distributed my swiped salt as evenly as I could over the surface.

Yes, I ended up having to use my bare hands and risk dreaded chapped skin, but it was well worth it. Disaster hopefully averted… until the next storm, anyway.

In other winter good-deed news, a friend of mine told me that her neighbour regularly takes her snowblower over to my friend’s property and takes care of her driveway too… how nice is that?!

Stay upright, all!



I shouldn’t laugh at this after my falling history but I just can’t help myself. Enjoy! 🙂 🙂 🙂


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Day 247: Shovelling shift

Okay, so it wasn't quite this bad ....

Okay, so it wasn't quite this bad ....

Shovelling snow is one of those practical household skills I am not very good at. Others include ironing — items end up more wrinkled than when I started — and bed making (even fitted sheets hate me).

It’s a very underrated talent to be able to wield a heavy shovel quickly and efficiently so as to lift and toss as much snow as possible and leave a clear, even patch of driveway or sidewalk underneath. I don’t possess such a talent.

So when I decided I’d clear the sidewalk in front of our place and our neighbours’ while they’re out of town, I knew it wasn’t going to be easy.

And although I didn’t manage to get right down to the sidewalk for the whole stretch, I did clear a path for passersby (especially the ones with strollers, canes and shopping buggies that often go by).

I hesitated when I got to the outer edge of my neighbour’s property, however. There was one house left before the side street. The scary house.

You probably know what I mean. Every neighbourhood seems to have one. A sketchy ramshackle dwelling that has a broken front railing, crooked curtains and mysterious inhabitants no one really knows. (Actually, that sort of describes my house, growing up.)

Anyways, I was on a roll, so I kept going. After all, scary houses are often the ones who need a good turn most of all. I should know ….

P.S. Here’s a cool remix of the hit single, “Crush.” Enjoy!

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Day 223: Snow daze

It's perty, ain't it?

It's perty, ain't it?

Woke up to a winter wonderland today – a real one.

My street looks like a gingerbread village blanketed with fluffy white icing.

As much as I fantasize about moving to a warmer climate, this is the type of winter day I’d miss if I did.

Cold, crisp air, the quiet hush and powdered sugar drifting down from the trees and tickling your eyelashes…

… but also clogging roads, sidewalks, steps….

So I decided to shovel my own front path and steps today to make it easier for my paperboy (more likely paper man or woman) to get to the front door.

I bundled up and made my way outside but the snow shovel was nowhere to be found. Turns out it had snowed so much last night, the shovel itself was buried under meringue-like snow drifts.

I dug out the shovel with my mittens, then used it to clear the steps and porch. Then I spotted something quite miraculous.

My neighbour’s path had not been shovelled!!! I practically wept with joy! … Guess I’d better explain.

Every time I’ve tried to do anything nice for this neighbour — who’s about 80 but moves like lightning — he always beats me to it. Whether it’s raking leaves or watering flowers or retrieving trash cans, he’s always one step ahead – doing things for others before anyone can do him a good turn.

So when I spotted his snowed-in walkway I ran over (well, trudged is more like it) and started clearing his path.

That’s when I heard the knocking sound. It was coming from inside the house — from the basement. He was at home!

I froze for a second because: (a) I wanted to do this anonymously, and (b) if he caught me, he’d rip the shovel out of my hand and take over.

So I continued shovelling as quietly as I could, but every scrape against the pavement made me wince.

Then I got to the section right beside the basement window and I could see his shadow moving around inside and I could hear clanging noises. He must have been fixing some pipes or building a better mousetrap, or something.

I kept shovelling and prayed he wasn’t wearing his hearing aid. I started to toss snow so fast, from the street it must have looked like a fast-forwarded excerpt from a “How to Shovel” video.

I cleared the steps and his front porch, then tiptoed in my puffy snow boots back home. Not the tidiest example of snow removal work but at least I got to do something nice for him for a change. Better keep an eye on my shovel….

P.S. My hands took a beating today, so here’s a song for ’em. Enjoy!


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Day 153: Snow angels

snow_city-hall_red-sweater_kid_02It snowed in Toronto today. Small powdered sugar flakes, but lots of ’em.

It was just cold enough that instead of melting, they coated the ground like icing.

I never realized how much I associated snow with home until I lived in London, England, for one whole winter. It did snow once or twice there but it never stayed on the ground.

It was cute to see Londoners taking cover beneath umbrellas, and trains halted due to “severe” weather. I really missed the white stuff that year. How it softens the city’s edges and makes everything quiet.

But I digress … again.

The reason I bring up snow is that I passed a person sleeping under some of it this morning as I walked from the subway. I say “person” because I’m not sure if the person was a man or a woman.

They were burrowed inside a sleeping bag with the hood of a jacket over their head. A tattered paper cup sat beside them along with a Saran-wrapped sandwich and an orange.

I wished I’d had a granola bar or some fruit with me but did not. Instead, I added my coins to the few already in the cup.

The snow is really pretty today, but then again I’m mostly looking at it through a window while sitting in a warm, safe room….

P.S. Here’s a clip from a show that used to make me laugh, and laugh — this scene was about … well … snow.

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