Monday, January 6, 2014

Wet enough for you?

I'm Canadian.  An Air Force brat, I split my formative years between the Maritimes and Prairies (PEI, Manitoba, Nova Scotia, back to Manitoba - with a brief anomaly in California in '81 and '82 - until I finished high school and then I found myself an Ontarian).

I remember those winters in Nova Scotia and Manitoba where, as I child, I would pray for a Snow Day.  They happened infrequently - they held MIRACLE status in my mind.  Between the ages of 9 and 12, I lived in Nova Scotia's Annapolis Valley  - so many of the kids were bussed in from either the North or South 'Mountain,' that when it snowed, 3/4 of the school population would disappear.   In Winnipeg, heavy snowfall, combined with strong wind-chill, would shut 'er down perhaps twice over each winter.

I'd never had a wet winter until I moved to Ottawa.  November came and the locks froze on our car - we had to jackhammer sheets of ice off the windshield.  I was bone-chillingly cold - could never get warm.  I'd willingly take a cold sunny day in Manitoba over Ontario's damp overcast and icy.  Even with a crappy damp November, come December and straight through to the end of March it was winter - even in Southern Ontario.  There was snow.  It was cold.  Until there wasn't and it wasn't.

Sure, a 1.6 c raise in temperature over 50 years doesn't seem so bad - how can that affect anything?  It's January 6th folks, and it's raining in Southern Ontario.  We have a FLASH FREEZE WARNING.  Flash Freeze Warning?  It should already be frozen - we live in Canada!

"It's just slushy now," said David this morning, as he prepared to depart.  "Only wet.  It's raining.  The sidewalks are fine, the roads are fine."  And then he left.  To drive half an hour away.  And I let him, because I hadn't checked the morning's news yet.  And now I have read the morning's news - seen the warnings from Environment Canada and I've already left my first of what are sure to be several emails for him.

Yeah, sure, right now it hasn't frozen over. NOT YET.  You glance out your window and you see winter slush and actual puddles - nothing to worry about...  I'm not saying that it's a The Day After Tomorrow kind of storm,

I'm just worried about my spouse attempting to make his way back on the 401 at the end of his teaching day and whether or not I should try to drop off Rissa's skates at her school so that she can skate home.

Please be safe everyone.

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