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.


First snow

Today is Joshua’s first snow day. The large flakes started coming down last night, and blanketed the city by the morning.

Luckily, we didn’t have any appointments or errands to run. We stayed home and bundled up and enjoyed each other’s company.

Snow day and hanging out at home:

Angry little guy:

Joshua hanging out with grandma and daddy: