Editorial: Clearing a way through the snow

Melissa Jenkins
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Residents all over this province have already experienced many snowstorms this season.

Melissa Jenkins is a reporter/photographer with The Compass community newspaper.

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.

- Melissa Jenkins is a reporter/photographer for The Compass community newspaper. She can be reached at Melissa.jenkins@tc.tc.

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