Snow Babies

A friend from southern BC is visiting this week and I’ve discovered that he is what I am beginning to call a Snow Baby.

He was going to visit us last winter but called the trip off because it was in December and “might snow”. My response was “it often snows in winter?”…

They’re a strange breed from that area, they don’t mind not seeing the sun for a month straight but the thought of a little snow makes their knees weak.

“What if the roads get icy?”
Very likely.
“What if visibility is low”
Also likely.
“What if there are cars in the ditch?”
There will be, but Albertans assume that’s nature weeding out the weak and keep driving.

“We had three inches of snow forecasted so we cancelled work the night before!” might get a pat on the back in Sissyland, but not around here.

If Alberta shut down for every three inches of snow we’d have starved a long time ago, and most of us secretly think that the weather people are taking themselves far too seriously and need to man up and not hit the panic button from their warm TV studios; that they need something equivalent to “real jobs” that expose them to the elements so they can get a little grit like the rest of us, mostly because that’s what our farmer dads told us… that shovelling snow builds character AND, ironically, saves dad money at the same time.

I remember learning how to drive and making plans to go to a movie with friends before looking at the forecast, watching it start to snow and then think “I have to drive home from work anyways, how bad could it be?”

It can be pretty bad actually.

I drove a dually one ton with a trailer full of pipe out to Rocky Mountain House after a freezing rain one night because I wanted to stick to the plan and not hold the job up.

Coming around the overpass we executed the world’s slowest truck/trailer sideways slide in four wheel drive but I managed to keep it on the road and off of other cars. This thought would give my southern BC friend four simultaneous heart attacks, but we looked at each other nervously, shrugged, and turned the radio up.


We might be stupid and dangerous, but we’re not Snow Babies!

One time I stopped in the middle of secondary highway because the snow hit so hard I couldn’t see two feet in front of the truck, also I was towing another trailer. I sat there with my foot on the brake and decided I should probably just put it in park and get out to see where I actually was on the road. That’s when I discovered that the entire thing was still moving because the wind was pushing it and I was more in the oncoming lane than my own.

So I got back in and kept driving so some maniac wouldn’t run me over, like some maniac out driving in the middle of a blizzard like I was.

But at least we’re not sun-hating vampires who enjoy rain. In other news, the reason we hate rain is because it’s never actually “nice rain”, it’s more like tiny ice bullets from a giant shotgun that eventually turns to snow anyways. That’s what makes men men around here, at least that’s what dad says.

My buddy is coming for a conference in Banff and is probably working his courage up and preparing his winter safety kit “just in case”. Shows what he knows… every Albertan has a winter safety kit for their truck, we just don’t know where they are most of the time because that’s what babies worry about.

Would I love to live in a moderate, green climate?

Would I like to be able to walk and not dodge rain?

Would I like to not watch my gas meter run laps?

But I won’t trade my manliness or beard for it.

Dad would be proud…

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