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Roz's Rant: All this snow's gotta go!

The last time I saw snow like this is longer than I care to admit. Back then we lived in a little house and my Mom bundled us up to go out and shovel. She opened the door and we faced a full wall of snow, and this was despite the overhang that was supposed to prevent this from happening.

I went out the window instead and came around the corner to find our neighbour already digging us out. Then we went out to help my grandparents dig their way out.

It's harder to do that now because while the spirit is willing, the flesh is getting up there in age. To dig our way out Sunday, Feb. 4, we had to take many breaks, drink lots of coffee, and try not to injure ourselves. The videos and experts can rant about proper lifting techniques all they want, but there's no art or trick to shovelling. You get it the hell out of your way and you try to not put it where you want to go.

Of course the blowing wind never helps. Why does it always blow snow back at you? There's nowhere to put it either. I remember living through White Juan in Halifax, and watching the plow operators struggle to find a spot to pile the snow so that emergency crews could get through and utility and repair companies could have a little spot to nestle under a telephone or power pole. It wasn't fun then and it isn't fun now.

I spent almost two hours clearing one section of walkway. My brother, who is also my neighbour, and his girlfriend came to help and we met somewhere halfway in the middle. My retired mother used an electric snow shovel to tackle the deck, and it took four hours to regain access to both houses.

We called on Trevor Croft of Clean Harbour Initiatives to dig out the two vehicles. Both are off the streets, as they are even when there's not a couple feet of snow, but we just didn't have it in us to shovel anymore.

I saw multiple requests and offers for help on Facebook, and that's great because I do worry about seniors or those with mobility and health issues that can't handle four hours straight of backbreaking work.

I suspect that the town sidewalks are lost until the snow melts in the Spring. They were hard enough to clear before, and people are so worried about tickets or crowding the road that they are parking on the sidewalks anyway. As a regular walker, I find the lack of sidewalk irritating.

I know the default is to just walk in the road, but the streets are going to be narrow until the town operators tackle it a bit at a time, and that will take days. Also I can't walk my dog in the street, even with a short leash. He gets frightened by the cars and to be honest so do I.

Being trapped inside is not really good for my mental health either, not that winter does it much good. I find these long, dark days of winter to be the worst time of year. Hurry hard summer!

Rosalyn Roy is a National and Atlantic award-winning journalist who has authored two books, including her latest release, Hurricane Fiona: After the Storm. It is currently available in our SHOP.

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