Snow and a new immigrant

It has been snowing on and off for the past couple of days in Vancouver.  I was reminded of the time when I first came to Canada at the tender age of 16, and seeing snow for the first time in my life.  I had broken my ankle in PE class, had surgery, and stayed in the hospital for 4 days.  They day they discharged me, it snowed.  When my parents pushed my wheelchair out to the hospital entrance, and I saw the snow flakes coming down, I squealed with excitement!

Eventually I learned snow is not all about fun.  It’s back-breaking work to shovel snow off the sidewalk outside the house.  Besides, I was in a cast, walking around with crutches.  Shoveling snow is nearly impossible under that condition.  A neighbor told me I could also put salt on the sidewalk to keep it from icing over.  I took the salt shaker from our kitchen, went outside, and started sprinkling our table salt over the sidewalk.  That didn’t work very well, and I quickly ran out of salt.

As I was contemplating what to do about our sidewalk, a lightbulb went off in my head!  Ah ha!  If I needed to keep the sidewalk from freezing over, all I needed is a bucket of hot water to pour over the snow, right?  The hot water will melt the snow, and my work will be done in 30 seconds.

So I brought out a bucket of hot water, poured it over our sidewalk, and the snow quickly melted away.  2 or 3 buckets later, our sidewalk was all cleared of snow.  I was quite proud of myself for accomplishing the task so efficiently.  I wondered why these Canadians never figured out the short cut.

The next day, I came out of the house, seeing that the sidewalk was still completely clear of snow, I was patting myself on the back.  I mounted my crutches, and took a step onto the cleared sidewalk, and BAM!  I slipped and fell on my behind, and crutches went flying.  Needless to say, the sidewalk had turned into a skating rink with a nice, clear sheet of ice, thanks to my genius idea of pouring hot water all over it.

It’s been 19 years since the hot water incident.  I have finally built up the courage to share this story with someone.



2 thoughts on “Snow and a new immigrant

  1. Hahahah!! Thanks for sharing Ange :-), I can totally see you doing that….
    It’s pretty amazing that you can carry buckets of hot water while still in crutches. 🙂

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