“Sleigh bells ring, are you listening?..

30 Oct

in the lane, snow is glistening…..” .  Sound lovely, doesn’t it?  Lots of lazy thick white flakes spiralling down, coating the ground and turning everywhere into a wintry wonderland.  Romantic walks in the snow.  Helping the children build the biggest snowman ever.  Snowball fights involving lots of laughter and chaos.  The crunch of cars outside and an open fire blazing away merrily in the hearth.

Sadly, I think my expectations are too high for the season that is upon is.  The Canadian winter is supposed to contain all of the above and then more. Add in ice-skating, tobogganing  cross-country skiing and a multitude of other fun and snowy things. So when winter officially hit last Monday evening, my dreams were rudely shattered.  I had to make an emergency dash to the local store for snow boots for the three boys, who were also due at a soccer match.  We ran in, and headed straight for the boots, along with lots of other equally unprepared customers.  They tried them on, discarded them, took another pair, whined that they were too tight, too small, too big, too lumpy, too weird, too everything.  Eventually we got three pairs, checked them out, drove home through the falling snow and made it in time for soccer.

We woke up the next morning to lots of snow.  The bedrooms were all lit up with that eerie white glow, and the kids were hopping off walls with excitement.  We came downstairs to suit up, and discovered that somewhere between the shop and the van, Benjamin had managed to mislay his brand-new snow boots.  I tore the house apart, looked in the van, searched the basement.  Nothing.  Christopher was wailing in my other ear that he couldn’t find his snow pants, so I pulled his wardrobe and room to pieces and eventually found them hanging in his wardrobe, where they had been all along.  I think it must be a male genetic flaw.  Lots of shouting and struggling later, they were all kitted out in snow jackets, snow pants, hats, gloves and snow boots.  Benjamin had to wear mine.  Off they went, and I sat down and contemplated the debris around me.  Thank God they were gone to school.

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11.45pm.  In they all fell, covered in snow, soaking wet and starving.  All snow gear was stripped off and flung on the floor of the hall.  The place was a giant puddle.  It took 10 minutes to suit them all up again after they’d eaten and shoo them out the door.   3.20pm.  It all happened again.  There is not enough space in the house for all of this gear. 4pm . We drove them to the swimming pool in the snow.  6.15pm. We headed home again in the snow.  6.30pm. I headed out to a meeting about mortgages etc. with the rest of the gang from City in A Box.  I tottered across the car park of the library with a bag full of books and an immense fear of falling on my ass.  I got there, collapsed onto a chair, took off my snow boots and snow jackets and realised that I’m done.  I can’t do winter.  It’s beyond all of my capabilities.

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Thankfully, it has mostly melted away by now and the temperatures haven’t plunged to ridiculous levels yet.  I haven’t seen another snowfall forecast yet, so we’re living in hope. I went back to the store last Wednesday to see if anyone had handed in Benjamin’s boots, and the manager told me that if I brought in the receipt, they’d give me another pair for free.  I couldn’t believe my luck.  Great customer relations, eh?

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Anyway, I’ll leave you with a version of the winter ahead that I lifted from elsewhere on the web.  Enjoy our misery-to-come.

December 8 – 6:00 PM
It started to snow. The first snow of the season and we took our cocktails and sat for hours by the window watching the huge soft flakes drift down from heaven. So romantic we felt like newly-weds again. I love snow!

December 9
We woke to a beautiful blanket of crystal white snow covering every inch of the landscape. What a fantastic sight! Can there be a lovelier place in the whole world? Moving here was the best idea we’ve ever had! Shovelled for the first time in years and felt like a boy again. I did our driveway and the sidewalk. This afternoon the snowplough came along and covered up the sidewalk and closed in the driveway, so I got to shovel again. What a perfect life!

December 12
The sun has melted all our lovely snow. Such a disappointment! My neighbour tells me not to worry- we’ll definitely have a white Christmas. No snow on Christmas would be awful! Bob says we’ll have so much snow by the end of winter, that I’ll never want to see snow again. I don’t think that’s possible. Bob is such a nice man, I’m glad he’s our neighbour.

December 14
Snow, lovely snow! 8 inches last night. The temperature dropped to -20. The cold makes everything sparkle so. The wind took my breath away, but I warmed up by shovelling the driveway and sidewalk. This is the life! The snowplough came back this afternoon and buried everything again. I didn’t realize I would have to do quite this much shovelling, but I’ll certainly get back in shape this way.

December 15
20 inches forecast. Sold my van and bought a 4×4. Bought snow tires for the wife’s car and 2 extra  shovels. Stocked the freezer.  The wife wants a wood stove in case the electricity goes out. I think that’s silly. We aren’t in Alaska,after all.

December 16
Ice storm this morning.  Fell on my ass on the ice in the driveway putting down salt. Hurt like hell. The wife laughed for an hour, which I think was very cruel.

December 17

Still way below freezing. Roads are too icy to go anywhere. Electricity was off for 5 hours. I had to pile the blankets on to stay warm. Nothing to do but stare at the wife and try not to irritate her. Guess I should’ve bought a wood stove, but won’t admit it to her. God I hate it when she’s right. I can’t believe I’m freezing to death in my own living room.

December 20 
Electricity’s back on, but had another 14 inches of the damn stuff last night. More shovelling! Took all day. The damn snowplough came by twice. Tried to find a neighbour kid to shovel, but they said they’re too busy playing hockey. I think they’re lying. Called the only hardware store around to see about buying a snow blower and they’re out. Might have another shipment in March. I think they’re lying. Bob says I have to shovel or the city will have it done and bill me. I think he’s lying.

December 22
Bob was right about a white Christmas because 13 more inches of the white shit fell today, and it’s so cold, it probably won’t melt till August. Took me 45 minutes to get all dressed up to go out to shovel and then I had to piss.
By the time I got undressed, pissed and dressed again. I was too tired to shovel. Tried to hire Bob who has a plough on his truck for the rest of the winter, but he says he’s too busy. I think the asshole is lying.

December 23
Only 2 inches of snow today. And it warmed up to 0. The wife wanted me to decorate the front of the house this morning. What is she, nuts?!! Why didn’t she tell me to do that a month ago? She says she did but I think she’s lying.

December 24
6 inches – Snow packed so hard by snowplough, l broke the shovel. Thought I was having a heart attack. If I ever catch the son of a bitch who drives that snow plough, I’ll drag him through the snow by his balls and beat him to death with my broken shovel. I know he hides around the corner and waits for me to finish shovelling and then he comes down the street at a 100 miles an hour and throws snow all over where I’ve just been! Tonight the wife wanted me to sing Christmas carols with her and open our presents, but I was too busy watching for the damn snowplough.

December 25
Merry freaking Christmas! 20 more inches of the damn slop tonight. Snowed in. The idea of shovelling makes my blood boil. God, I hate the snow! Then the snowplough driver came by asking for a donation and I hit him over the head with my shovel. The wife says I have a bad attitude.  I think she’s an idiot. If I have to watch “It’s A Wonderful Life” one more time, I’m going to stuff her into the microwave.

December 26
Still snowed in. Why the hell did I ever move here?  It was all HER idea. She’s really getting on my nerves.

December 27
Temperature dropped to -30 and the pipes froze; plumber came after 14 hours of waiting for him. He only charged me $1,400 to replace all my pipes.

December 28
Warmed up to above -20. Still snowed in. The BITCH is driving me crazy!!!

December 29
10 more inches. Bob says I have to shovel the roof or it could cave in. That’s the silliest thing I ever heard. How dumb does he think I am?

December 30
Roof caved in. I beat up the snow plough driver, and now he is suing me for a million dollars, not only for the beating I gave him, but also for trying to shove the broken snow shovel up his ass.  The wife went home to her mother. Nine more inches predicted.

December 31
I set fire to what’s left of the house. No more shovelling.

January 8
Feel so good. I just love those little white pills they keep giving me. Why am I tied to the bed?

4 Responses to ““Sleigh bells ring, are you listening?..”

  1. Anne-Marie Fitzpatrick October 30, 2012 at 1:54 pm #

    Love it, that was great. Enjoy the snow while you can.

  2. Helena October 30, 2012 at 3:03 pm #

    Lol. That must be the Canadian version of Frank Hall’s 12 days of Christmas.

  3. Catherine October 31, 2012 at 10:53 am #

    Barbara, that was too funny, I was laughing my ass off as ya’ll say over there. Just keep taking the pills love 🙂

  4. cibnr October 31, 2012 at 11:38 am #

    You’re all laughing now, but when I’m weeping on your Skype shoulders in a couple of months time it won’t be so funny. Walked to playschool with Rebecca in -9 this morning and just thought to myself “It’s a bit nippy this morning”. I must be acclimatising…

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