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A Bit of Burgos by Dale Burgos

I miss the snow

by Dale Burgos

Being a born and bred Winnipegger, those are four words I thought I would never say in one sentence. But here I am, living in the middle of Vancouver Island, finding myself missing the glow of freshly fallen snow.

As a kid (and sometimes as an adult), I loved jumping off snow banks and making forts out of the giant ice blocks left after the graders clean up the streets. And who can deny building a snowman isn’t the best feeling ever! Actually, knocking snowmen over was the best feeling ever, especially when it’s your brother’s. On the flipside, I won’t miss the extreme cold. That I can do without. I also won’t miss the days and days of shovelling the driveway. My back will never be the same.

Winter also brings shorter daylight hours. I’ve never realized how the snow keeps it relatively bright at night. On the island, when it’s night time, it’s dark! Sure we have street lamps, but it doesn’t seem to help, as we don’t have snow to reflect the moonlight.

When I first moved to BC, I scoffed at people going for evening strolls wearing safety reflective vests. Boy did they look silly! It didn’t take me long to realize that wearing all black while taking the dogs for a walk was not a good idea; I may as well have been the invisible man. I’ve now invested in a bright orange jacket AND a safety vest. Now I look silly. But I’d rather live, so I’m good.

If ever I feel the need get my snow fix, I can easily hike up Mount Benson, or take a short drive to Mount Washington – that’s where you’ll find some of the best skiing in BC. Can’t wait to strap some skis on. Let’s see if I remember how to do it. I sure hope my old back can handle it.

Since I’m on the topic of age, I really feel my life in stuck in fast-forward. In my little brain, it seems like just last week I was wrapping presents for Xmas 2015. Now with 2016 festivities just around the corner, I’m starting to feel the pressure of finding the right gifts for the family. It doesn’t help that most of us say, “I don’t need anything.” But you all know that really means: “I don’t need anything mediocre, but rather find me the perfect present or else you’re the worst dad/husband ever.” For my wife, I can just buy her another Xmas tree; we already have seven of them, with no signs of letting up.

What is the preferred gift this year? A cellphone. What 10-year-old needs their own cell phone? Who do you have to call at all hours of the day? It sure isn’t mom and dad to let them know how much you love them. But again, I think that’s the old way of thinking. Plus, you can make calls over Wi-Fi these days, so maybe the kidlings are on to something here.

For me, I’d still really like a motorcycle or my little convertible. Will that ever happen? Who knows?

But in all seriousness, I’m just very glad to be able to spend time with family, especially at this time of the year. It’s difficult to be thousands of kilometers from my mom, but I’m happy to report that she’ll be flying out in the New Year to spend some time with us. Other than having her close by and going for our mother-son hikes, selfishly, I look forward to her sinigang and lumpia.

I hope that you too have a fabulous holiday season, enjoy the festivities, eat in abundance and, make New Year’s resolutions you don’t intend to keep. In the end, it’s all good.

Happy Holidays and see you in the New Year!

Dale is the director of communications for a school district in British Columbia and continues to write from afar.

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