Snow Fun

For those who weren’t privy to my whining on Facebook this weekend, we just had a foot of snow:

may snow

Eight inches after the first twelve hours. Drinks on the deck are postponed until further notice.

It’s depressing to get snow in May, but it’s not unheard-of here in Calgary.  And I’d rather have it now than in the middle of August… which has also happened:

I built this guy on August 20, 1992.

I built this guy on August 20, 1992.

Aside from griping of epic proportions, Calgarians have more or less ignored the snow and gotten on with life.  After all, we know it’ll probably snow again in a couple of weeks – it’s practically a tradition to get snow on the May long weekend.  But it’s okay, because snowbanks are a great place to keep your beer nice and frosty while you’re camping.

(Yes, we’re Canadian.  We push our lawn chairs into the snowbanks and sit around the campfire drinking cold beer on the long weekend regardless of the weather.)

The funny part is that the snow was preceded by rain, and it was the rain that totally messed people up.  You’d think it had never rained before.  Drivers bumbled through red lights, turned from the wrong lane, inexplicably slowed to a crawl in the middle of the road, and generally made me wish for a crate of Zombie Bullets and a Gatling gun.  I don’t know what it is about rain that makes Calgary drivers so painfully stupid, but my best guess is that IQ points are water-soluble.  Lucky it doesn’t rain very often here.

Someone once said, “Marriage is all about give and take:  Give blame; take credit”, so I blamed Hubby for the snow.

In the first place, he fired up the motorcycle a few weeks ago, which is a sure-fire way to make it snow.  Then he started talking about outdoor archery tournaments, and our fate was sealed.

I did my best to trick the weather into thinking it was okay to warm up:  I left my snow tires on the car and the snow shovels by the back door.  But it wasn’t enough.  Hubby’s bad juju trumped my feeble efforts.

Interestingly, the only time Hubby ever has bad luck with weather is here at home.  When we’re travelling, he’s a good-luck charm.  We often visit Vancouver Island in the middle of winter, and its coastal winter climate dictates rain, rain, and more rain.  But any time we’ve gone, the weather turns nice as soon as we get there.

We even went to Tofino in the middle of December:  prime storm-watching time.  But not for us.  It was raining a bit when we got there in the late afternoon.  The next morning the sun came out, wispy clouds floated across a blue, blue sky, and the rufous hummingbirds came out to dance a ballet on the sunbeams.  It was Disney as far as the eye could see.

“Storm-watching” at Tofino.

“Storm-watching” at Tofino.

And speaking of Disney, yesterday I discovered the true culprit behind our dump of snow.  Apparently the morning of the big snowfall, one of my employees’ little granddaughters stared out at the white-coated world before turning wide eyes up to her mother.

“Mommy!” she exclaimed, “My frost magic must have leaked out while I was sleeping!”

So now I know who’s to blame, but she’s so darn cute I’d feel like an ogre if I did.  And that’s snow fun.

* * *

P.S. If you want to connect on Facebook, the link is over in the right-hand column of the page.  I promise I don’t usually whine… but you’ll be subjected to whatever silliness falls out of my head.  Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

25 thoughts on “Snow Fun

  1. That’s just criminal! I mean the snow in May, not hubby the bad-weather-at-home charm, although it’s awesome he can turn that around when traveling :-).


  2. More fun to blame your husband than a sweet little girl 🙂 I have been wondering if we Calgarians are freaking out about rain while driving after last year’s flood? Sometime I half expect some giant wave to come rolling down the river. How’s that for catastrophic thinking?


  3. Two years ago I was wasting time at my computer in my living room when I got a call from my brother who lives in Japan. He wanted to hear about the weather. I told him it had been raining some today. He asked about wind, and I said it wasn’t very windy. He then asked me if I hadn’t heard the hazardous weather sirens, but no I hadn’t. He then informed me that tornados had touched down in my neighborhood and it had made national news which he had seen on the internet. I checked the site he mentioned, and just as he had said, a tornado has devastated my neighborhood 8 blocks away. Yet my tulips were untouched by wind. Ironic to learn of it via Japan.

    You are doing the world a bit of a disservice letting them think that everyone north of Chicago lives in perpetual winter. I thought it was bad enough for those who live north of Duluth, Minnesota, but snowmen in August?! How can you grow anything but peas, beans, and lettuce? How short is gardening season in Calgary?


    • LOL! You’re right, I should note that it can go up to 30 Celsius / 86 Fahrenheit here in the summer (for a few days). Our problem is altitude – at 4000 feet above sea level the nights are always cool, and the weather changes so fast you can be running the furnace in the morning and the air conditioner in the afternoon. We can usually count on a frost-free season from the second week of June until the middle of August, but you just never know. Last year we had snow in June, but didn’t get a killing frost until October.

      I just go ahead and plant anything I want in the garden and hope for the best, but we do have a little greenhouse for our tomatoes and peppers. Corn and melons and cucumbers are out of the question, but if I’m lucky I can get two or three zucchini off each plant before they freeze. Potatoes and carrots and beets do okay, but the season isn’t long enough for turnips or parsnips or cabbage (which doesn’t stop me from trying – gardeners are eternal optimists).

      But eight blocks away is ‘waaaay too close! That just makes me shudder!


  4. Regards of how warm the spring is here and how early it gets that way, winter is NOT over until after Easter. Never fails. Always a.cold spell on Easter weekend. It’s the law, I think. Cold weather, freezing rain, snow. If not that, then heavy thunderstorms, hail, and tornadoes. It’s always something.


    • I think I’d rather have snow than tornados. We’re not into tornado season yet, but last year one missed us by about eight miles – a little too close for comfort. But if I couldn’t complain about the weather, I’d have nothing to complain about at all – not a bad problem to have! 🙂


  5. We bought snowshoes last year and immediately locked them up in the shed. Then the shed doors froze shut in November and we haven’t been able to open them since. I plan to keep the snowshoes in the house next winter — like your shovel and snow tire strategy. But really, snow in August? Is there any month that’s safe?


    • There are no “safe” snow-free months in Calgary, but at least we usually make up for it with a few spring-like days sprinkled through the winter. Your snowshoes frozen in the shed – ha! Talk about irony! Better luck next year… 😉


  6. I’ve always loved the look of snow…….on a postcard! Lived in Kansas as a little kid and had snow up the the window sills. Lived in Colorado for one Winter, oh yeah, that was enough too. Of course the Gulf South has it’s drawbacks with hurricanes and flash floods and such, LOL. I thought it was weird, coming from California and seeing houses built up off the ground but after the first huge rain and the floods that followed along with the creatures that come up out of the rivers, creeks and bayous, I seriously appreciate being built up above ground.
    The snow is very pretty though, and I’ll always enjoy looking at it, as mentioned above. hahahahaha


    • Ha! Maybe it’s a matter of “the devil I know”, but I’ll take snow over floods and bayou critters any day. At least I can shovel the snow out of the way… and I had to a few years ago to plant my garden. The ground was thawed, the garden was rototilled and ready to go, and then we had a few inches of snow on the May long weekend. Undeterred, I shoveled trenches in the snow so I could plant my seeds. The neighbours thought I was nuts, but the snow was gone in a few days and the plants were happy with the moisture, so I considered it a good trade for my dignity. 😉


      • Ahhh, it was Mother Nature’s way of saying “thank you for your faith”. New birth from the Earth is always recognized and respected. You made points with Mother and that’s always a good thing.


        • I hope Mother Nature is as kind to my garden this year as she was last year! I love my perennials here in the city, but nothing fills my heart like long rows of vegetables and annuals out on our patch of dirt in the country. I can hardly wait! 😀


  7. I might have had too much rain, but at least I didn’t have to shovel it.

    (Of course, I did have to soak it up from the basement floor with umpteen beach towels over and over again. Which, as bad as it sounds, wasn’t as awful as what happened to my poor brother-in-law, who lives two streets over from us. He had 21″ of water in his basement at the end of the storm. Or, in real estate parlance, an “indoor pool.”)


  8. Ugh, snow in May. We had that a few times when I lived in North Dakota. But snow in August? I’ve never experienced that tragedy. And if I plan the rest of my life properly, I never will…


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