Clear­ing a way through the snow

The Compass - - OPINION - — Melissa Jenk­ins is a reporter/pho­tog­ra­pher for The Com­pass com­mu­nity news­pa­per. She can be reached at Melissa.jenk­

Res­i­dents all over this prov­ince have ex­pe­ri­enced the first and sec­ond snow­storms of the sea­son.

In fact, it has been many years since the east­ern part of the prov­ince has seen this much snow at this point in the win­ter sea­son.

But to the de­light of those who en­joy a good snow­fall, we’re ex­pe­ri­enc­ing a win­ter won­der­land, as well as the freez­ing tem­per­a­tures that cre­ate ideal con­di­tions for play­ing out­doors.

On Christ­mas Eve, sev­eral young peo­ple from Car­bon­ear were on Car­bon­ear Pond next to the Con­cep­tion Bay Re­gional Com­mu­nity Cen­tre. They cleared off a sec­tion of the pond to use as a skat­ing rink.

While chil­dren from the Trin­ity-Con­cep­tion-Pla­cen­tia re­gion were hav­ing fun skat­ing, sled­ding, build­ing snow­men and hav­ing snow­ball fights, many driv­ers and pedes­tri­ans were not hav­ing so much fun.

With ev­ery snow­fall, ve­hi­cles must be cleaned off, drive­ways and walk­ways must be shov­eled and roads must be plowed. Not to men­tion shov­el­ling the edge of the drive­way near the road where a plow may leave a trail of snow sev­eral feet high. And with the cold tem­per­a­tures, ice is also a con­cern.

By 5 a.m. Christ­mas morn­ing, snow­plow op­er­a­tors were al­ready on the roads in many mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties, clear­ing the way for ve­hic­u­lar traf­fic.

Those look­ing to at­tend a rel­a­tive’s home or go vis­it­ing a neigh­bour ex­pe­ri­enced heavy snow on their drive­ways and on top of ve­hi­cles. Many hauled on their boots, hats, gloves and win­ter coats and headed out­doors to be­gin the age-old tra­di­tion of shov­el­ing them­selves out — or the more mod­ern way of snow­blow­ing them­selves out.

And this is just the be­gin­ning. Rest as­sured we can ex­pect more snow head­ing our way in the next three months.

Many peo­ple en­joy the win­ter, but many don’t en­joy the stren­u­ous labour of snow clear­ing, the frus­tra­tion of reshov­el­ling af­ter another down­fall of snow and the time it takes to do so.

The Com­pass spoke with sev­eral lo­cals who were dig­ging them­selves out af­ter the first snow­fall Dec. 15. Sev­eral said they have given their neigh­bours a hand clear­ing their drive­ways and walk­ways, in­clud­ing those with dis­abil­i­ties and el­derly res­i­dents.

If you no­tice a neigh­bour strug­gling to clear a path this win­ter, why not of­fer them a hand. Or have your chil­dren grab a shovel, and make a game of dig­ging out the car. Not only will it get the job done faster, but will also give those tak­ing part a chance to spend some time to­gether. And, who knows, maybe it will lead to a snow­ball fight, or build­ing a snow­man of your own.

From all of us here at the Com­pass, have a safe and happy New Year, and best wishes for 2014.

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