Sunday, December 16, 2007

Snow Angels

If any of you live in Southern Ontario (or perhaps various places in the northeastern States) you will be aware of the piles and piles, heaps and heaps, and mountainous amounts of snow that has fallen over the weekend.

Ok. I exaggerate.

Let's just say there are piles and piles, and leave it at that.

My current living arrangements only include one parking spot. The problem is that both Jen and I own a car. Assigned parking is a bit of situation in these parts ~ making street parking very common. The simple solution to this parking dilemma is that Jen drives to work everyday, and I take public transit; meaning that it makes more sense to leave my car in the lot, and her car on the road, where we have to pay for the parking. No point in paying for my car to sit on the street during the day if there is an empty spot in the lot.

When we discussed this, the thought crossed my mind "What about winter? Can we really keep a car parked on the road when the snow falls?"

The answer is yes. You just have to be prepared to dig your way out.

Today's winter wonderland brought about the digging out. Jen's car had been A) snowed upon as much as everyone else's and B) plowed into her spot on the road by the considerate snowplow guy. Nice. Very nice.

Shovels in hand we set to work. Digging, struggling, giggling. But for two girls who hail from small towns, we work pretty hard and fast. Though we did spent a fair amount of time cursing the guy who plowed her in.

As we were just over half way of shovelling out the car, a nice man in his snowplow rolled over to where we were. We asked if he could help us with the mountain of snow heaped along the front of her car. He looked at the snow, looked at us, back at the snow and says "But if I move that snow, I'll block the driveway up." He looks back at us, and must have taken pity. He says he's going to continue up the road, but he'll be back and help us out. Sweet. Who doesn't want to play the helpless dame every now and then!?!?

Back to shovelling. From the apartment building driveway across the road, who should appear?? No, not Santa. But the plowman who plowed Jen in. He turns left out of the drive and creeps his pickup truck towards me. For a moment, I thought the guy was going to run me down. Then I realise, as I start walking to the back of the car, that he intends to move this mountain of snow for us!!! He looks over at us through the rolled down passenger window, his brown eyes peeping out beneath his ball cap, and gives a slight nod. We tuck ourselves safely at the rear of her Honda, and he shimmies his truck back and forth, moving snow here and there, keeping the driveway clear, and diminishing this barricade. He starts driving away, but then turns around. He comes back, and with precision, removes the built up snow from beside the car that we had not finished yet ourselves.

Sweet hallelujah!!

But we realise, he is now barricading in the car directly behind Jen. Packed in that spot tighter than Jen's car had been. We laugh with astonishment and mutter "Dude, that sucks!!" to each other. Meanwhile, snowplowman has freed up Jen's car. He tips his hat, and I wonder for a moment if I should offer him a beer. It seemed like the kind thing to do. But then he drove off.

Jen successfully got her car out of this spot, and moved further up the road to where all the parking spots had been plowed earlier. Before she drove away, we agreed that we should help a neighbour out and shovel the snow that was just plowed up against their burnt orange Optra. The moment she started to drive away, I set to work again. What is one more car? We shovelled out my mom's car earlier, shovelled out mine from the lot so they could plow it, no big deal. Call it the Christmas spirit.

The first snowplowman returns; he makes the obvious comment that we got our car out. Then he asks why we are still shovelling. I tell him that another snowplow had come along and helped us out, but in the process, did this ~ and I point to the new pile of snow. I tell him we thought it wasn't very nice if we just left it, since really, it's our fault he's now plowed in. He smiles, asks me to move out of the way, and proceeds to maneuver his snowplow to remove the snow recently accumulated. He was a plowman well practised at fine movements. He ran his blade along the length of the car, a mere few inches from the doors, and plowed away the snow. He calls out the window to us that's the best he can do. We emphatically say thank you and extend our appreciation. Then he drove away.

We laugh over whose car this might be. Would be pretty funny if it belonged to someone who desperately wanted to call in a snow day tomorrow: "Good morning, sir...No, sorry, I can't make it in. My car is impossible to get out. Not a chance of getting to work...." then he peers out his window and sees his car can miraculously be driven out of his spot on the side of the road, and mutters "oh shit" under his breath, and then says to his boss "never mind......I'll be there in 45 minutes..."

Would also be nice if the car belonged to an older couple. Poor ol' Grandpa could use a break like that every now and then.

Then we look at each other and say this son of a bitch better have to drive his car to get somewhere tomorrow!

Alas, as we are nearing our completion, I notice a couple staring down at us from the third floor. The venetian blinds had been drawn up, and they just stood there watching. I wondered if this was their car. Then they disappeared. I kept expecting to see them appear at the building doors, the gentleman coming out with his scarf wrapped around his neck, toque pulled down, and thank us for the kind gesture. But no. No one appears.

Jen runs back into our apartment building to get change for the meter at her new spot. I make my way back across the road to put away our landlord's shovels. As I come back around the front, I see the couple standing at the front door. I am tempted to wave. But then I think, without my shovelling partner extraordinaire, they likely don't realise it's me. So I just carry on across the front of the building, and let myself in the side door.

When Jen gets back in, she shakes the snow off of her. She said as she was walking back, she saw a young couple approach the car we just freed with their own shovels in hand, and in a contented wonderment, ask the street who just dug out their car. The couple at the building doors stepped outside and told them two girls had done it. Jen didn't make mention that it was us. Instead she smiled to herself and turned down the side of the building and let herself in.

We'll just let them think it was snow angels who did it.

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