Quinte, On. real estate agent: Digging Out

Digging Out

I will admit that I'm not terribly enthusiastic about winter. I don't ski, I'm not a good skater, I don't like being cold, and the grey sky and lack of sunlight can be depressing. I tend not to spend a lot of time outside.

Yesterday was very pleasant though, it was sunny, there was no wind, and the temperature was only a couple of degrees below zero.

We had a lot of snow on Friday, apparently the biggest snowfall since 2008, so there was a lot of work to be done. First I had to retrieve my car which I had abandoned at work because of all the snow, so that was a two mile walk over unploughed sidewalks and roads. I actually enjoyed the trek, I dressed well, so it was a bit of an adventure.

By the time I made it home, my son had already cleared half the driveway, so I relieved him of his duties so he could go and enjoy his Saturday at a friend's house.

I felt great to be outside, and while there was so much snow that even the sidewalk plough was struggling, I didn't mind doing the work at all. I was dressed well, so I took my time.

We are well into February now, I think we have passed the halfway mark of winter and the days are getting a little longer, so things are looking up.

I had planned to take yesterday off anyway, but all that snow made it easier to do. Everybody would be digging out, and would have had little time to think about real estate, so I only had a couple of minor phone calls to deal with. It was a glorious day indeed. Winter wouldn't be so bad if there were more days like these.

It's 21 below this morning, but the sky is very sunny again, so if it just warms up a little, I think I will have another nice day in store for me. I won't have to shovel any snow either, which is a good thing because my back is a little sore.

Comment balloon 36 commentsMalcolm Johnston • February 10 2013 06:18AM


We agree with you 100% Malcolm. Think we got all winter has left in one swoop. It did feel great to be outside and breathe in some of that nice fresh air. Take care of that back, but maybe you should go out and build a snowman today, give him a shovel!

Posted by Al & Peggy Cunningham, Brokers, Our Family Wants To Help Your Family! (RE/MAX West Realty Inc., Brokerage) over 6 years ago

Good morning, Malcolm.... I feel like I'm living in your part of the world.... not use to below zero.... 30's is cold enough for me.... it was single digits this morning but will be 32 in a few hours.... can't wait for spring.

Posted by Barbara Todaro, Marketing Agent for The Todaro Team (RE/MAX Executive Realty ) over 6 years ago

Hi Malcolm, beautiful photos.  But that is why we left Buffalo 36 years ago!

Posted by Bob Miller, The Ocala Dream Team (Keller Williams Cornerstone Realty) over 6 years ago

Malcolm, really great information. Thank you for sharing!

Posted by Tom Priester, Paradise Sharks (Paradise Sharks ) over 6 years ago


It is sleeting here now.....snow is on the way!

Posted by Ron Marshall, Birdhouse Builder Extraordinaire (Marshall Enterprises) over 6 years ago

I'm speechless.

In my area, a daytime temperature below 25 degrees is quite unwelcomed.

Our average daytime winter temperature is 43 degrees.

Posted by Lenn Harley, Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland (Lenn Harley, Homefinders.com, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate) over 6 years ago

Hi Al and Peggy, yes it's good to be outside, but I don't think I'll be building a snowman today.

Barbara, it will soon be spring, it will warm up.

Hi Bob, that is why most people leave Buffalo I think.

Posted by Malcolm Johnston, Trenton Real Estate (Century 21 Lanthorn Real Estate LTD., Trenton, Ontario) over 6 years ago

Great info & you make lemonade out of lemons.

Posted by Jimmy Faulkner, The Best Of St. Augustine (Florida. Homes Realty & Mortgage) over 6 years ago

The Oregon coast had grey days but you don't have to shovel rain. We seldom cook and seldom freeze.

Posted by Rob D. Shepherd, Principal Broker GRI, SRES (Windermere/lane county) over 6 years ago

Malcolm, the snow storm that hit the New England States went right above us. We had some pretty severe winds, but that was all. Not too much in favor of all that snow.

Posted by Michael Setunsky, Your Commercial Real Estate Link to Northern VA over 6 years ago

You're welcome Tom

Good luck with the weather Ron, I hope you don't have to do too much driving.

Lenn, it's really not that bad here, I'm using the Celcius scale, zero is 32 Farenheit.

Thanks Jimmy, I suppose I did. :-)

Hi Rob, a moderate climate sounds nice, I'm not sure about all that grey though.

Posted by Malcolm Johnston, Trenton Real Estate (Century 21 Lanthorn Real Estate LTD., Trenton, Ontario) over 6 years ago

Hi Michael, no usually I don't like snow either, but it was O.K. yesterday.

Posted by Malcolm Johnston, Trenton Real Estate (Century 21 Lanthorn Real Estate LTD., Trenton, Ontario) over 6 years ago

I know what you mean about the sore back due to shoveling....we got pummeled last week Thursday and I had to show a home during a winter storm advisory and 7 plus inches!

Posted by Kristin Johnston - REALTORĀ®, Giving Back With Each Home Sold! (RE/MAX Realty Center ) over 6 years ago

Malcolm- thank you very much- 21 below?  Ouch.... I can't believe it.... I love your blog- it inspired me and made me appreciate life. ..Awesome blog....

Posted by Jon Kolsky, Licensed California Real Estate Broker (Kolsky Realty & Management) over 6 years ago

Malcom - I love the weather you describe. We just don't get enough of it in the Pacific Northwest, unless you live east of the Cascade Mountain range. That's why there is a move in my future - a little mountain town called Bend Oregon is where my hubby and I plan to retire.  I can hardly wait. 

Posted by Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD, REALTORSĀ® in Clark County, WA (ViewHomes of Clark County - Nature As Neighbors) over 6 years ago

Malcolm -   ok.... 21 below!!!   I've never experienced that.  We lived in Northern VA a few years ago and that was my first experience with snow and I loved it!  Your pics of the snow make me want to put on some boots, scarf and coat and go out and play in it. 

Posted by Kathy Streib, Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224 (Room Service Home Staging) over 6 years ago

Part of my childhood was spent in Minnesota and I do remember that type of snow.  I am living happily ever after in the Texas Gulf Coast region.  98 degrees and 98% humidity trump 21 below and digging cars out of snow banks every time. 

Posted by Jeanne Gregory, The most important home I sell is YOURS! (RE/MAX Southwest) over 6 years ago

Malcom, That makes me shiver just tinking about it!  Stay warm and enjoy your Sunday!

Posted by Christine O'Shea (Christine E O'Shea Broker-Associate) over 6 years ago

Malcolm, I enjoyed you photos and sunny outlook on the snow!  It looks beautiful in the photos. I remember walking to early morning classes in Iowa City when it was 20 below zero and thinking my face was going to freeze off!

Posted by Sharon Parisi, Dallas Homes (United Real Estate Dallas ) over 6 years ago


Sunny days even when there is snow always seem so much better.  In the Chicago suburbs where I live we have been extremely lucky and most of the snow has been up north or has missed us and headed tot he East Coast.  Yes, we are definitely halfway there and I totally agree with you regarding winter...  Great outlook...being prepared whether shoveling snow or doing anything in life is half the battle.

Thanks for the great pics!

Posted by Evelyn Santiago, Managing Broker Heart Realty Group, Inc., Passionate About Real Estate & Our Clients! (Heart Realty Group, Inc..) over 6 years ago

Malcolm: I was sorry to hear your story about the cold weather, over abundance of snow and lack of sunshine with all the accompanying physical and emotional concerns. I'm happy you had a good attitude and know you will have some nice days in store for you.

I have to admit that I love it. I've lived in Milwaukee, WI., western suburbs of Minneapolis, and Colorado for over 75 years and love the cold, snow, crisp air and four seasons of variety. I've sold real estate in the Twin Cities for over 34 years, raced and run sailboat races in humidity and horrible July heat, taught skiing in sub zero winter weather,  and I have known the pleasures and discomforts in all of them. 

On the other hand, I've lived for short periods in the Charleston, S.C. area, Pensacola, and Corpus Christy and hated the hot weather and humidity. I've lost all energy to even function and cope and can't stand being cooped up in air conditoned spaces in those climates.  

With all the extremes of terrible cold or hot weather, hurricains, tornadoes, flooding,earthquakes, drought, etc. it's tough not to have to put up with difficulties wherever we might be. Hopefully we all can adjust to where we are, where we've been brought up, or where we may be able to change our life styles depending on jobs, families, finances, etc. I know we will all be able to see the positive sides of our lives and surroundings and be grateful for every day we live.

This noon in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, it is 18 degrees and another fresh coating of 15" of snow on the mountain, so the powder hounds are out loving it, and I'm reading Active Rain posts. Crazy.

Posted by Nancy Middleton, Nancy Middleton, Counselor Realty, Minnetonka, MN (Counselor Realty, Inc.) over 6 years ago
I know that the other side of the coin is that it must be beautiful there on the spring...is a good time to catch up on reading in front of a toasty fireplace
Posted by Fernando Herboso - Broker for Maxus Realty Group, 301-246-0001 Serving Maryland, DC and Northern VA (Maxus Realty Group - Broker 301-246-0001) over 6 years ago

Hi Malcolm, Even though you got so much snow and winter is not your favorite time of year, it sounds like the sun really helped you embrace the day.  I always enjoy the quiet walks in the snow and if the sun is part of it, it is that much better.

Here south of Philadelphia we missed the heavy accumulations, luckily, very cold though, but the sun it out today!

Stay warm!  Hot chocolate....


Posted by Gloria Todor, & Doug Durren (484) 431-3686 in SE PA (Century 21 Absolute Realty ) over 6 years ago

Malcolm, since you love the snow so much, I'll send tonight's your way LOL. It does look pretty in the sunshine.

Posted by Janice Ankrett, Staging Professional (Janice Ankrett Home Staging) over 6 years ago

You made the best of it Malcolm............I love those crisp, sunny wintery days.

Posted by Roger D. Mucci, Lets shake things up at your home today! (Shaken...with a Twist 216.633.2092) over 6 years ago

Malcolm, there are some lucky people who do not see the snow - but we Northeners (I am in New England), we have to do what we have to do. Yes, it took few hours to clean up my driveway yesterday....and first time I felt, Nemo was not good!

Posted by Praful Thakkar, Andover, MA: Andover Luxury Homes For Sale (LAER Realty Partners) over 6 years ago

Appreciate your honesty about all things.  Why are you living in this climate?  I know some good agents in Florida I can refer you to!  ;-) 

Posted by Carla Muss-Jacobs, RETIRED (RETIRED / State License is Inactive) over 6 years ago

Oh come on down to Texas.  We we enjoyed temperatures in the 70's this weekend.  Hope you all warm up soon.

Posted by Paula McDonald, Granbury, TX 936-203-0279 (Beam & Branch Realty) over 6 years ago
Malcolm, one thing about storms, when they are over the sun does shine again. We can't control the weather but it seems you made the best of it and had some fun doing so!
Posted by Silvia Dukes PA, Broker Associate, CRS, CIPS, SRES, Florida Waterfront and Country Club Living (Tropic Shores Realty - Ich spreche Deutsch!) over 6 years ago

We got a lot of snow here in New Hampshire and I am not a snow person either.  To tell you the truth, I am so ready for spring!

Posted by Joan Whitebook, Consumer Focused Real Estate Services (BHG The Masiello Group) over 6 years ago

Malcolm - 21 below!  I had to read that twice to make sure I read it right.  I'm glad you enjoyed your day.

Posted by Christine Donovan, Broker/Attorney 714-319-9751 DRE01267479 - Costa M (Donovan Blatt Realty) over 6 years ago

Malcolm-sounds like your enjoying the snow. When you get that much it becomes fun for everyone...

Posted by Scott Fogleman, New Home Team (New Home Team 804-573-9592) over 6 years ago

Once the snow stops it starts to become a little more fun. Especially if you don't have to get to work. I remember as a kid growing up in New York that when a storm came through we were guaranteed plenty of snow to build forts and have snowball fights. As an adult it's a little different, especially if you have to drive to work you have to do it 5 miles an hour :)

Posted by Bryan Robertson over 6 years ago

Kristin, a sore back isn't much fun.

Thanks Jon, I'm sure the weather in California is something to appreciate.

Debb, that sounds like something to look forward to.

Kathy, its Celcius, it's really not that bad, I didn't mean to make it sound like I live in the Tundra or Edmonton.

Jeanne, digging out cars is such a great way to stay in shape.

Christine, I did manage to stay warm, thanks.

Sharon, I'm not fond of having a cold face either.

Thank you Evelyn, yes, having the sun out makes a huge difference.

Hi Nancy, wow, thanks for that reply. You are a veteran of battling the weather, and you are right, there really is something to be said for living through all four seasons (but, really, winter could be a tad shorter).

Fernando, yes, the spring is glorious here. I wouldn't miss that for anything.

Hi Gloria, I did enjoy my walk very much, I don't do enough of that in the winter at all.




Posted by Malcolm Johnston, Trenton Real Estate (Century 21 Lanthorn Real Estate LTD., Trenton, Ontario) over 6 years ago

Janice, snow, like many other things can better be appreciated in moderation. You can keep your share :-)

Praful, New Englanders do get a lot of snow and blustery weather, we're a bit more protected here.

Carla, I know I only have to get through the winter and it will be spring.

Paula, Texas is a bit far, and I'm unfamiliar with the language, but 70 degrees really sounds nice right about now.

Silvia, yeah, I did have some fun.

Erica, I think we must have your missing snow up here.

You and me both Joan, bring it on.

Christine, it was early morning, so the sun hadn't warmed up the sky yet.

Scott, I was in the mood for a snowball fight, but nobody else was around.

Bryan, the good old days of snowdays, my kids used to look forward to them so much.

Posted by Malcolm Johnston, Trenton Real Estate (Century 21 Lanthorn Real Estate LTD., Trenton, Ontario) over 6 years ago

Not me Valerie, I hammer through those things like there's no tomorrow. I'm a one man wrecking crew (with a sore back). If I leave it too long though, it becomes very tough.

Posted by Malcolm Johnston, Trenton Real Estate (Century 21 Lanthorn Real Estate LTD., Trenton, Ontario) over 6 years ago