The gift of time

Snow day. Two words that come together so beautifully.

Last night, a lot of snow angrily swirled its way to the ground. This morning, I got a call at 6:30 a.m. saying our offices were closed because snowploughs couldn’t clear parking lots fast enough. Magic.

After lingering in bed over a book, I cleaned house, washed clothes, and ran errands. I put the crockpot on at noon, ordered Christmas gifts (fa la la la la!) and picked up the mail. It felt marvellously unhurried, yet efficient.

Part of me loved Toronto’s mild winters – I wore wellies through January 2013 – but in my six years of working there, there were only three total snow days. Yes, I counted.

As JF and I learned last year, winters in Simcoe County are cold and long. The shovelling gets tiresome. But our snowstorms deliver whole days where I do exactly what I want to do. And every time it happens, I’m so grateful for the gift of time.

Shovelling, shovelling

When you take what my colleague Doug calls the terminal moraine (the cement-like, billion pound, dirty brown mound left daily by the snow plough) out of the equation, there are some great things about shovelling the driveway:

1)     I get to hang out with JF. Because there is no way I’m dealing with that shit alone.

2)     It’s exercise. Mostly for my back, which hurts for many hours afterward.

3)     I get my vitamin D. If it isn’t after 4:30 p.m., which so far is never.

JF, hard at work this evening

JF, hard at work this evening

4)     It reminds me that I chose to leave my maintenance-free apartment in Toronto in favour of “less stressful” country living.

5)     My car doesn’t get stuck when I leave. Most of the time.

6)     I’m finally using the sorels and down coat I spent so much money on when I didn’t need them living in Toronto.

7)     It improves our relationship with our neighbours. If only they would start returning the favour and shovel our side once in awhile.

8)     To most of Elmvale, it looks like we have our shit together.

9)     It’s helped us figure out which house improvements to invest in this coming spring: paving our driveway (shoveling gravel sucks), installing a new automatic garage door, flattening out our paving stones, and more!

10)   When it’s over, we get to throw all our wet clothes in the dryer and put our pyjamas on. That part is truly lovely.