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Getting warm in the snow

By Bob Vrbanac, For the Post

I know it might sound weird, but I actually think that all this snow we’ve been getting is a good thing.

Hear me out.

I know we all grumble about the cold and having to scrape off our cars and clear driveways and sidewalks.

But those activities also get us out of the cocoons we call home during the winter months. It also gets us out into the fresh air and helps us chase away some of those bugs that prey on us with the cloistered lives we lead come the first snowfall.

And at least Mother Nature has decided what she finally wants to do when it snows. Those slushy, cold, rainy days are a killer when you have kids because you can’t have them rolling around in sub-zero puddles.

It’s much easier to chase them outside into the snow, which provides some of the natural bubblewrap that parents are looking for when their kids are at play. Although, I had to have a conversation with my youngest son Ethan that, no matter how deep the snow is, he’s not allowed to jump off the back deck head first.

You just want the Weather Network to pick a side. Is it going to be dry and unseasonably warm, or is it going to be cold and snowy and remind us all again that Canada is a country that enjoys all four seasons?

It also has the positive effect of killing off invasive bug species that have been damaging local woodlots. Plus, it allows fallow farmers’ fields to readjust their biological clocks and get ready for the growing season. Do we really want a repeat of last

March, when tropical temperatures had our apple trees going into bud way too early and essentially killing off the whole Ontario crop?

But most importantly, it also creates a sense of community and builds on our neighbourliness.

The only times you’ll see your whole street out is generally after a snowstorm, or when the city finally plows your road.

And that’s where you can catch up, leaning on the end of a shovel after helping them dig out. It reminds us that we’re all in this together and that we all have to pitch in sometimes to keep our version of civilization going.

And there’s no one more popular on the street than the guy with the snowblower. I count myself one of those lucky guys, and usually block off a couple of hours  after a big snowfall to help blow out as many neighbours’ driveways as I can.

It allows me time for more than a wave to the neighbours. I can have a conversation and catch up on what’s going on with the rest of the street.

That is, until the snowplow comes by and blocks us all in again. Then we start all over again with a shared purpose and a shared enemy.

At least the city plowed the street this time.

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