Surprised by Winter #SOL22 3/31

I have lived in Ottawa for 15 years now, longer than I’ve lived anywhere else in my life, but somehow I’m still coming to terms with winter. I’m regularly annoyed when it snows before the end of November. I make jokes like “March comes in like a lion and goes out like a… lion.” As someone raised largely in the South, I mutter “April is the cruellest month” year after year when Ottawa April shows its capricious nature: freeze thaw freeze thaw; few things bloom and I often wonder if Spring will ever arrive.

I should know better. I should.

Despite all of this, I managed to be shocked this morning when I walked out to my car covered in a light layer of snow, and, underneath, the windshield slick with ice. For once, I was leaving vaguely on time, determined to get to school early enough to write this slice before students arrived. But winter had different ideas.

Why replace this scraper? After all, winter’s nearly over, right?

I swept my gloved hand along the seam of the top of the car door before I opened it so that none of the snow would fall on my seat. I half-sat on the front seat and turned the car on, followed by the front windshield heater, the back windshield heater and the seat heater. I groped on the floor for the now-broken scraper that I had decided didn’t need to be replaced this season because “it’s already March.”

Then, I spent the requisite three or four minutes brushing and scraping the car – not quite enough to make me late, really, but just enough to remind me that I should not be surprised by winter. The broken scraper meant that I couldn’t quite reach everything, so I drove to work with the mom minivan mohawk: the narrow strip of snow that not-quite-tall enough moms end up leaving in the middle of the roof of their minivans.

Pretty sure I still won’t buy a new scraper this season. After all, it’s nearly Spring.

22 thoughts on “Surprised by Winter #SOL22 3/31

  1. Your slice made me laugh. I am such a Southern girl that I would be totally lost in snow. I see all your beautiful pictures of ice and am grateful I’m not out walking with you. Ha! But it is beautiful.

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  2. I definitely feel for you. I live in the suburbs of Chicago and it was 60 yesterday and 35 today. And then it’s supposed to be almost 70 on Saturday.

    I’m sure we will have more snow but it will annoy me too!

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  3. I woke to more than a dusting of snow this morning as well! I was so surprised. Our snow, luckily, was of the easily brushed off variety. I think your scraper is just a tangible token of your optimism 🙂

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  4. I laughed out loud at this brilliant line: “The broken scraper meant that I couldn’t quite reach everything, so I drove to work with the mom minivan mohawk: the narrow strip of snow that not-quite-tall enough moms end up leaving in the middle of the roof of their minivans.” OMG! That image is priceless! Best laugh that I’ve had all day!

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  5. Melanie stole my comment. I had already copied the line: mom minivan mohawk. It makes me think that you could have some fun, like an ice festival, with people dressing up their cars by scraping off the snow in unusual ways…though driving might be hazardous,..so I didn’t really suggest it.

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  6. The Mohawk on the mini van… what an image. I’m so ready for spring. Most of our snow has melted and the ground is so muddy right now. I’m hoping this is the end of the snow, but that may be wishful thinking.

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  7. This slice chills me to the bone because it has been a fvcking long, cold winter here. Last time I was caught in snow I used a map to clear the snow, and our snow always falls inside the car. It’s like powdered sugar. I’ve never heard of the “mom minivan mohawk.” That’s funny! Hope winter ends soon!

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  8. Here we are over here in Los Angeles complaining that it’s 50 degrees, and as much as we need it, complaining about a little rain. We’re all pretty pissed off down here when it’s 85 on Monday and 50 with a chance of rain on Friday. The “mom minivan mohawk” cracked me up. Whenever I wash my SUV, it has sort of a “Short Lady Stripe” of dirt down the middle of the roof. I definitely have a scraper in my glove compartment you can borrow. Pretty sure I’ve never used it while living in Los Angeles, despite being “freezing” when it’s 48 degrees. C’mon, Spring! P.S. Super impressed that you try to write before your students arrive!

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  9. Minivan mohawk? That is a fantastic and funny and fitting image. And yet I find it almost overshadowed by the tiny, easily overlooked observation in this sentence, at once particular and universal “I swept my gloved hand along the seam of the top of the car door before I opened it so that none of the snow would fall on my seat.”

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  10. It’s amazing you make it to April before labeling it the cruelest month; I think January is the WORST. I keep reminding myself that by the time we return from March Break we’ll probably be able to see pavement at the school. It will be under puddles? But at least we’ll see it!

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  11. April is cruel indeed. Just when you think you’re out, it pulls you back in! But, um, never turn your back on a lion. Have you seen the forecast for the weekend? Might want to get that new scraper.

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  12. The scraping of the windows – the snow and ice seem to be the thickest on the busiest mornings. I liked reading about a mundane thing I can relate to.

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  13. It *is* nearly spring. However, if I were a betting woman, I think you’re going to have to get a new scraper!
    BTW: We’ve had about 3-4 inches of snow all winter. My kids are totally bummed. They wanted to build a huge snowman. No dice this year… unless you send some of the snow our way!

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  14. I love this post. I have never and hopefully never will, had to live through winters like this…I am truly in awe of what you have to go through on a daily basis just to get to work. I can absolutely feel your dismay that this weather should not be happening any longer. Your descriptions are priceless!

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  15. Oh, how you captured the feeling of March. I have never heard the minivan mohawk either and in my low rider car, I wouldn’t be able to see it either. You might have to buy another scraper when they start selling them again in July.

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