Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Canadian Winter - OK Enough Already!!!


Well, here in Canada, we have been hit hard by Old Man Winter.  It just won't end.  Many Canadian's have just about had it.  We have had a winter like I remember as a child. The snow banks were huge.  Not sure if the size of the snow banks was a function of my size, but I really don't thing so.

Last week it rained, snowed and iced. Ice storms are not unusual in Canada and can be quite destructive. In 1998,  my family in Quebec was without power for almost 3 months, as they live just south of Montreal, in an area deemed "the black triangle".  My brother-in-law George and his family were also hit very hard near Ottawa, bathing their baby, Emily, in snow and ice warmed on the wood stove. He and pregnant Carole watched from their backyard as crews of people flew in to help. George, being Irish, had the wood stove fired up in case they "fancied a cup of tea".

In a short span of time, we had every type of weather known, sun, sleet and snow.  Adults were frustrated.  Children were confused.  My friend Sadie had been whizzing by on her 2-wheeler as fast as her 4 year old legs could carry her last weekend.  Now she and her bike are sad.

Sad Little Bike

 I am trying not to moan at all about the winter. I am keeping a low profile. I have forfeited a true Canadian's right to complain about snow in mid-April.  I do, though, want to join in and be one of the Canadian crowd, frustrated and fed up with a winter that started in November.  I just try to look solemn and nod in solidarity, hoping no one remembers I spent 6 weeks wearing flip flops  in Barbados earlier this year..

I have a dear friend who had a much needed and well-deserved holiday at March Break. When I suggested that her trip to Cuba must have provided a needed relief from winter, she replied that the break was a tease and she felt it made the rest of the winter tougher.  I just couldn't resist.  I took my life in my hands:  "think how I feel.  I was down south for 6 weeks.  Just imagine how difficult that was for me!!!".  It is no wonder no one really likes me anymore.

On Friday,  many Canadians were having a "snow day".  When the sticky kids were home, snow days were very exciting.  I tried to embrace them. I dressed them in full snow gear, which in Canada includes long underwear, turtle necks, snow pants, Balaclava's, scarves, mitts and jacket, thermal socks and snow boots.  It was so lovely when they were little and you could bundle them up.   There is definitely no concern over "your boots are on the wrong feet".  I mean really, if the child doesn't care, why should we?

It is a sad day when your 10 year old refuses to dress warmly. It starts slowly, with the balaclava and in no time they are out the door in with runners and a t-shirt  assuring you they are indeed "not going to catch their death of cold".  All have, in fact, lived.

A snow day without kids at home is really a day when you realize your nest is truly empty. It is, I admit, sad.  I wish I had embraced snow days more.  As a mother without children at home on a snow day there are no crafts, no baking, no family channel, no naps. Ok, there are still naps.

Over snow/rain/ice days, Canadian driving is challenging.  Derek and I did a lot of driving this weekend.   The driving was challenging, my car, Lateesha, seemed to have a mind of her own, rocking and pulling.

Well on our way home, after a lovely visit with our long time friends who make up our village, the source of the hydroplaning and rocking became apparent.  On the 402 just somewhere beyond in the middle of nowhere, we had a flat tire.  I immediately pulled out my iPhone and my CAA auto service card.  I love to use my CAA card.  I feel it shows my foresight and intuition, that in some way, I will need roadside assistance.  I often do.  They certainly make no money from me.   While I was wandering around the side of the highway trying to figure out and then explain where we were, Derek took his life into his own hands and he just up and changed the tire.  Who knew he had this secret skill.  I felt pretty sure that this would be the last time I would ever see him, as trucks flew by.  Now I was furious that he endangered himself and in so doing, negated the need for me CAA membership.  I have to admit though, I have never found him sexier.

The car is now running better with a cute little donut  but I think Lateesha is a bit embarrassed that her tires don't match.

My sister would say:  "It could have been worse.  It could have been raining".

This year in Canada though, I would say:
"It could have been worse.  It could have been blowing snow.  It could have been ice pellets.  It could have been hail.  It could have been snow squalls.  It could have been freezing rain.
 It could have been sleet...".

You get my point.

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