I AM SNOW VERY SORRY

At the risk of making most of Canada hate my guts, I have a confession to make. You know all this snow we?ve been having? Well, it?s my fault. That?s right. All five feet of it.

You see, last August when I was enthusiastically cleaning out our storage shed, I discovered I had way too many Christmas decorations. Boxes and plastic tubs combined to take up one entire wall of the shed. I also noted that the tack shed was practically empty by comparison.

To be sure, the tack shed is a lot further from the house than the storage shed. In fact, as I balanced my precarious load of Christmas decorations in the wheelbarrow, I realized the journey down the driveway and across the horse pasture was considerable, to say the least. Driven as I was by all that free space in the storage shed, I didn?t let such small details as distance deter me from my mission. After all, these were Christmas decorations. You only need to retrieve them once a year. And furthermore, a little exercise never hurt anyone. Especially during the season of fudge and frosting.

On my third trip the thought did occur that in the event of snow, the journey could turn nasty. But then I thought back over the past two Christmases which were decidedly brown in colour. In fact, for two years we hadn?t got a real dump of snow until well inside of January, and by that time the decorations would be returned, all snug in the shed. I realized I was tempting fate, but I also remember thinking, ?So what if I am? I like a white Christmas.? And besides, if there was snow it would make getting the decorations more of a fun adventure.

I am a sucker for those Christmas movies where people are stranded in a snowstorm but somehow Christmas manages to arrive just the same, only better. If it snowed, our Christmas would be just like that. The retrieval of the decorations would take on heroic and heartwarming proportions, adding to our Christmas cheer. Life was sure merry and sweet. Back in August.

As I waded through the drifts of snow to get the Christmas decorations last Sunday, things felt a tad more sour. But my heart was certainly warm. By the third trip I had sworn off feel-good Christmas movies forever and I am ashamed to say that my Christmas cheer had hopped a fast bus headed south. Explosions of less than cheerful words tumbled from my lips as I pushed, shoved, gasped and flopped my way between house and tack shed.

By the time I finished, I was in no mood to hear about Bessborough Betty. The latest addition to my Ditch Stove Project. For those who might have missed earlier columns, the project began last spring when I started going past a stove in the ditch on my daily walks. The stove had been in the ditch as far back as I could remember, to the point where it had simply become part of the landscape. I decided it would be fun to get people to notice it.

Bessborough Betty is basically a frying pan duct taped to a broomstick who I planted beside the stove this fall. A few weeks back, when the snow was only three feet deep, I put a Santa hat on her frying pan head and a fake poinsettia on the burner. Now, according to an informant, her hat had gone askew and the poinsettia had been blown off the stove by a wicked winter wind. Since I couldn?t get much wetter, I decided I might as well fix things up now, before getting out of my winter garb.

Surprisingly, ditches are even deeper than summer horse pastures. Much deeper. At one point I was floundering about like an enraged baby mammoth in a tar sand pit, while my husband helpfully took pictures from the heated cab of the truck.

So like the person who washes their vehicle, causing it to rain, I acknowledge my role in the snow that won?t quit falling. And I am snow, snow, very, sorry. In fact, as I contemplate our full storage shed and the necessity of returning the decorations to the tack shed, no-one could be sorrier than me.