Snow shovelling at Beaverbrook

It's snowing today. In March. In Vancouver. The kids think this is pretty great, but as much as I do love the snow, I also like the spring and riding bikes outside. That will come soon I suppose.

I haven't really talked about the Beaverbrook townhouse a whole lot yet. I'll get there at some point. Hillary and I lived there for a bit under two years. It was our last home in Ottawa before moving to the green house in White Rock.

It was a rental complex and had outdoor parking. While the company that owned the complex was pretty good about snow removal and stuff, poorly timed big storms often required a team effort to clear out our little parking lot. Specifically, during a large snowstorm, the primary goal was to keep the roadway clear for emergency vehicles. The parking lots were secondary, so it wasn't uncommon to have the the cars in that lot blocked in by large plowed drifts for most of a day until the priorities could change.

During our first winter there, I think fairly early in the season, a large snowstorm was predicted. As night fell, the snow started coming down. The forecast was calling for 30-40cm to fall in over the next few hours. The forecast was right.

Sometime around 8pm, we got a knock on the door. One of our neighbours was there, bundled up and carrying a shovel. "The plows haven't come by yet and we're going to try to clear out the parking lot before they do so it doesn't get totally blocked in. It might be a couple of days before we can get our cars out if we don't do it."

"Okay, we'll be out shortly."

So it went. We got our snow gear on, grabbed our shovels and went outside. We joined maybe a half dozen people or so who were already working. We spent an hour or two, clearing our little lot. When the plow inevitably went by, we'd cleared enough of a spot that the drift blocking our entrance wasn't impossible to move.

We worked hard, it was fun and the sense of community camaraderie was really nice. We all felt pretty smug when our part of the complex was the only one where we could get our cars in and out the next morning.

This happened once or twice more during big snowstorms, but I really remember that first one.