On this night, in this place, I am grateful for so many things. Like so many things lately, our plans this Christmas were complicated by forces out of our control. Vancouver got a dumping of winter like none we had seen. Canadians to the east of us laugh when we're forced to show how ill-equipped we are to deal with weather the rest of the country calls a season, and we are so ill-prepared. When it snows the city shuts down - when it snows a lot, we Vancouverites go a little crazy. We take our sports cars out and spend more time stuck than not1. We trudge three kilometres through mostly un-shovelled neighbourhoods, pushing a bored toddler in a weather-inappropriate stroller2. We spend hours being "good samaritans" and shovelling our neighbours' walks, our only reward being a full body workout and lots of wet pant legs3.
We do all that and we have a ball. I am so grateful to live a life where no amount of bullshit can keep us from looking out for one another.
Other things I am grateful for:
- BC Ferries and portable battery packs
- our neighbour shovelling us out this morning as we left to catch a ferry
- my amazingly tolerant and adorable children who have rolled with every change in direction with as much grace as I could ever hope for, despite both feeling less than great (two words: snot city)
- my incredibly determined father who wouldn't let a little thing like 50cm of snow stop him from bringing dinner and family (two of my younger sisters) to his much less determined daughter, son-in-law and grandchildren, even though it took two hours to make it 3.2km
- my three wonderful, beautiful younger sisters who get all the fallout (and benefit) of my missteps, mishaps and random acts of rebellion
- my patient, loving, amazing husband who spent his days off work keeping our neighbours' sidewalks as clear as our own
- my generous in-laws, who showered us in food, love and gifts and who kept the faith that we would make it here eventually
- my faith that there is nothing out there we can't handle
- my mother, who always told me that there was nothing out there I couldn't handle
- and finally figuring out that being able to handle things doesn't mean I handle them alone.
2. that was me after the first big dump - after we got home I unearthed our pull-behind baby sled. The only issue now is figuring out who gets to ride in it.