Sunday, January 25, 2015

curling on the porch

On the second day I was here at the Shuswap, the snow began to fall.

Not steady in the small flakes that are falling now.

That day the snow was coming down in long flat soft sheets that seemed to have clumped together somewhere in the air.

I dragged my chair up to my window.

Clasped my hands in my lap.

And watched, as though I were seeing a movie.

There had been many snowfalls.

The porch needed to be cleaned off, but the panes of glass needed to be taken out of the deck railing.

After three panes were securely tucked against the house, I began to shovel.

The temperature had hovered around zero and the snow was wet and heavy.

Too heavy to just put the shove to it.

I had to take the shovel and real off a small clump, and even that was too heavy for me to lift.

I would drag it along the porch to the opening and then give it a shove.

Only once did I loose the shovel with the shove.

At least I knew enough not to hang on and go over with it.

Bonnie grabbed a shovel and worked from the other end of the porch.

It was only near the end of the task that she thought it would be a good time to practice curling now that there was a long slick path.

One of us was crouched down low and was to "throw the rock", and then the other was to try to "sweep" to direct the rock to the opening in the railing.


The next day I went to visit Wyona.

As I walked up to their house I heard a noise that made me know Greg was out shovelling his porch as well.

He had been using a small shovel, and picking up just the right amount of weight and tossing it over his rail (since he could not take apart his rail).

He told me Dave had brought over a bigger shovel and told him this would be easier.

Greg said, "Yes, easier. But I still have to measure the amount of weight I am going to pick up and throw over this rail. This has been more than a one day job."

Winter is the same everywhere.

Our snow shovels and icepicks in against the house.

And we keep paths open to the car, the sidewalk, and to the homes of well-loved neighbours.

Glen came by one day and I asked him, what are you here for?

He said, "I wanted to call you on the phone, and then I thought 'hey, she is just four houses away'."

Winter couldn't be lovlier.



  1. Ah, sweet memories of the Pink Coat (which you lent me when I was pregnant with Duncan)

  2. The pink coat hung for a while in my Shuswap closet, the left side bunched up against a dark wall, the right shoulder of the coat open to the sun.

    So now that fushia colour is muted on one side of my body, but not on the other.

    Not everyone would notice this fading, since that block of wild pink is always so surprising to others that it is a conversation starter.

    "You wouldn't get lost in a snowstorm," -- the comment from a complete stranger to me, one who just had to stop and say something.

    I will be when you were wearing it, no one even noticed you were pregnant. Now that is the measure of a great coat.