Thursday, February 23, 2012

Snow: Embrace It or Fight It

       My last post was on the snow fall that we had the previous day. Some of the comments made me think about things again. I know that I have some valued southern followers. One comment went something like this..."I rarely see snow and never have enough for a shovel."

       The shovel got me off on a tangent(Whatever they are.) We have many things designed to fight snow starting with the shovel that I use to move snow out of places I don't want it. I have snow boots, snow tires, warm jacket and tuque. All of these things and more I use to fight snow. Our culture despises snow. We spend millions on snow removal. So there we are fighting snow.

      We should embrace it! Ski, snowshoe, walk ...just get outdoors in the snow. We should discover ways to use snow. Snow is great stuff for sculptures. Snow is easy to move and carve. Snow was used to lean against the outside of a house for wind protection and insulation. My parents melted snow for water to do all washing .Instead of moving snow out of the way do some research on how to make a safe road surface with snow.
My private ski trail
Neighbor Alf and his snowmen
Red and his wonderful skis
Skating at Bower Ponds
Sliding at Bower Ponds

     The Inuit for thousands of years have embraced show. They use snow to aid their survival. Snow is so important to them that they have many different words for snow...drifting snow, slushy snow, powdery snow, snow banks, snow drifts, snow suitable for building houses...the list goes on. As an aside there is some debate over the whether there are actually many different words for snow in Inuit languages. For igloos they looked around the area for some very hard snow that was fairly deep. They used a hand saw to cut blocks and a large knife to shape the blocks so that they had the correct bevel. Small chunks of snow were used to plug cracks or where the blocks didn't quite fit. In twenty minutes they had a nice snow house. The snow house completely stopped the wind and has insulation value as they would have the temperature just above freezing. Now they slept with no clothes on...just lots of skins above and below. Clothing was hung up to dry over night. I've been in snow houses and they were light and comfortable. Now that's embracing snow that I can admire.

      Now I know I could change snow for heat. I'm sure that in desert  or tropical areas people have learned to embrace the heat and use it to advantage for their life.

     For my choice I'll stick with the snow. I use a combination of fighting and embracing. I enjoy snow enough to to put up with the not so fun stuff.