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STAHN: Yes it snowed, now get over it

January 09, 2015 - 7:39 AM

We had a bit of snow this week. In fact we saw upwards of 40 centimetres over a two-day period, an amount not seen for between 77 and 87 years here in the Thompson-Okanagan region.

Yes, that’s a lot of snow, but that’s all it was - snow.

I’ve heard a lot of people exclaiming over how we survived the blizzard, or how they braved the blizzard to get something done. Those people have probably never experienced an actual blizzard, and believe me, it’s not the most enjoyable experience.

In an actual blizzard the strong winds will whip the heavy snow around, temperatures are often well below freezing and you can’t see a thing around you. Snow drifts can end up several feet high, sometimes drifts are even high enough you can sled off your roof, or the roof of your barn. Sometimes, just sometimes, you are snowed in for days. Not snowed in as in your street hasn’t been cleared, snowed in as in you can’t even open your door to go outside.

So now let’s get back to our heavy snow fall earlier this week. Snow clearing crews have been out clearing snow all day, every day in most areas. They’ve even managed to clear many side streets already, something nearly unheard of where I grew up.

Schools were closed for a day or two, and while it’s odd to have a snow day in this part of the country it gave our kids a chance to truly enjoy a real snowfall, so I doubt many were complaining. A two week winter break with no to very little snow and all of a sudden two more days off and a foot of fresh snow to sled on? Yeah, I’m sure they were all very disappointed.

It was even warm enough to be shovelling in just a sweater and thin gloves and the light, fluffy snow was actually quite pleasant. I spent over an hour outside shovelling one day and I was smiling and laughing nearly the whole time. Of course part of the laughter was because of how easily I could maneuver my Smart Car out of the way without leaving the driveway so I could shovel, but it was still fun!

This type of snow event is rare here, as the statistics from Environment Canada show, not something we deal with monthly, or even annually, so to hear people complain of how the city could do this or that better has been a bit disheartening.

Why not enjoy it instead of complaining? We got the snow everyone wanted for a white Christmas, mind you a little late, and the storm wasn’t more than a minor inconvenience to many. It definitely didn’t have the impact Prairie blizzards or Ontario ice storms have been known for.

So pick up your shovels, clear you sidewalks and driveways, and then go make a snow angel, go sledding or build a snowman before the snow all disappears, because that’s really what this weather is perfect for. Look to the kids and dogs out enjoying the snow if you need inspiration.

And just to warn you, the next person who I hear call what we had a blizzard will likely get a snowball thrown in their general direction. And I grew up in Manitoba, so I know how to toss a mean snowball.

To contact the reporter, email Jennifer Stahn at or call 250-819-3723. To contact an editor, email or call 250-718-2724.

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