Column: Digging out from snowmageddon

In Plain View by Lachlan Labere

I expect to be breaking our workplace scent-free policy this week as my menthol medicated shoulders recover from snowmageddon.

In a recent column, I praised the modern snow shovel for its ergonomic ease of use.

Well, all that went out the window last week with the heavy snowfalls that immobilized Shuswap residents, caused power outages throughout the region and turned driveways into thorough upper-body workouts.

While the ergo-shovel works fine most days, it wasn’t cutting it last week.

With the already accumulated snow, fallen and shovelled, having walled in our driveway, the only way to get rid of the latest dump was by moving it up to the road and relocating it from there (or risk breaking city bylaw), or grabbing the large scoop shovel and hand-bombing it over the wall, which on one side is now well over my head. (If it gets any higher, I expect it won’t be long before members of the Night’s Watch take up post on it.)

We opted for a combination of the two, which served as a reminder of the importance of stretching and proper shovel technique.

Read more: Outages leave about 13,000 Shuswap homes and businesses without power

Read more: Residents raise concerns about sidewalk snow removal

If there’s a plus side to these heavy snowstorms (in addition to providing a large and hopefully lasting snowpack in the mountains), it’s that they’re one of those extraordinary shared experiences that bring people together, be it to help one another or even just to exchange a quick laugh and catch our breaths.

I certainly saw that while walking home in the Dec. 31 snowstorm.

Once I moved away from the highway and into neighbourhoods, I found myself chatting with folks I’d never met before, people outside shoveling their yards or what have you.

The few drivers I passed waved as they cautiously rolled by me.

Some just nodded, the same way a driver passing another driver in the same vehicle does — an acknowledgment that we’re in it together.

And digging out of it together.

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