I arrived in Vancouver, that first trip for school, in a snowstorm. I was starting in a ‘spring’ semester, which meant I arrived on New Year’s Eve. Within a few days I had a place in residence, and moved in. The snow kept coming.
The first week of classes the university was closed. For around a foot of snow on the ground. Maybe two. I found this hilarious, of course, coming from a city that had plenty of snowplows and was used to much more snow than this.
One of the first evenings I was there we grabbed cafeteria trays and flattened cardboard boxes in garbage bags and trekked through the snowy woods. I was with a blur of people I hardly new. If pressed I might’ve been able to match names to two people. Suddenly the city was spread out below us, and we joined a crowd of people sliding in makeshift sleds down the hillside. We returned, soggy and cold, for hot chocolate in the residence.
Today we went with our neighbours to that same park on Burnaby Mountain, almost eighteen years later. I still love the view of the city, and it still strikes me just how huge it is. The boys zoomed down the hill on Samuel’s sled, again and again, shrieking with laughter. It sadly ended in tears, when one bounce dumped them and Cameron got a face full of snow. So we headed into the fancy restaurant there for hot chocolate and crab cakes before heading home.