Friday, January 24, 2014

#183. To Weather the Weather.

  I believe that as a Canadian, something that has been ingrained into my genetic make-up, is an intensive desire to share my views, to whoever will listen, about the woes I have to face day to day regarding the weather. If you add to that, that I'm also a farmer, I have to make a concious effort to not babble on endlessly about what Mother Nature is choosing to subject me to, and how having to deal with the weather is making it more difficult to do what I do for a living.

  However, there's a small piece of me that relishes bundling up and going out into weather so cold that no one has any business trying to function in. And even though I'll complain about it, there's nothing that makes me feel more Canadian than walking across the yard to begin my chores in -40 degree temperatures, thinking "Ya, I got this!"

  It's a pretty safe bet, that winter in Canada is cold. But if you were going to put all of those eggs into that basket, you would be sadly mistaken.

  Earlier this winter, when I was trying to get my Christmas lights up in the bitter cold, I made the decision to scale back my yard lighting significantly. The thing that was going to save my ass was the spruce tree we have in our yard, that I leave the lights in all year around. It's gotten too tall and thick to have to bother with every year, and because I use clear bulbs in it, it's pretty convenient to just add it to the string when I have my Clark Griswold moment in the yard, plugging the cords together, as angels gather to sing hallelujah.

  The tree was heavy with snow, and looked like a Christmas card.  The bulbs were going to reflect off of all the snow, and it was going to look awesome. I burrowed through the snow to get under the tree without disturbing any branches to make the connections. Turning it all on the next day, even though it was less than usual, would still be magnificent. Because of the snow, and the cold, and the lights twinkling off the snow laden boughs. Except overnight it warmed up, and the wind blew, and when I looked out the window with my morning coffee in hand, the tree didn't have any snow left in it.

  It still looked nice, but I had counted on the weather, and it had let me down.

  Fast forward to today.

  One of the nice things about going on a winter vacation, is to be able to get on a plane and leave behind the cold and the snow, and the dark, that is my winter, for just a little while. Preferably, if it's so cold that the airline has to have a bit of a debate about the safety of taking off in it. That's what is required to get the maximum effect of a reprieve from the icy cold. Yet, while most of the USA, and Canada struggle through what has been a long string of cold snaps this winter, I'm sitting at about 4 degrees above freezing, in an uncharacteristic warm spell. It's certainly not something I'm going to cancel my vacation over, but a little bit of wind chill might have been nice.

  So, the only way to turn this all around is for the warm weather to stick around, until I return, boozed, bronzed and baked by a tropical paradise. To step of the plane, knowing that winters back has been broken, and the remainder of it is going to be a cake walk. It shouldn't be too difficult to achieve, as the long range forecast is looking quite positive.

  I'm pretty sure the weather is going to cooperate,

  ..........but I'm not counting on it.

23 comments:

  1. I think it was Mark Twain who said: Everyone complains about the weather but no one does anything about it. So true.

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    1. Hey Stephen,

      This Twain guy sounds like a pretty wise fellow. :)

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  2. There is a bit of happiness at the thought of leaving this behind to go to another world, isn't there? It is another world.
    I remember leaving leaving 16 inches of snow and 2 degrees in the Midwest to fly to Hawaii. I left mu Uggs and parka in the car at the St Louis airport to freeze for a few hours just so I could arrive in paradise unencumbered. The layover in Salt Lake airport was a teensy bit cold but it was 85 in Oahu. I remember seeing green and flowers and started crying.
    Have an amazing trip! Don't forget the sunblock!

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    1. Hi Funny!

      That's got to be one of my favourites as well, Getting in that metal tube and stepping off some place so radically different, that it's almost too much to take in. The worst is coming back and watching out the window of the plane as the ground slowly changes back to something recognizable. At least there's memories of the experience to carry you through.

      Thanks, I'm sure we'll have a great time, and the sunblock is already packed. :)

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  3. I definitely can understand this weather frustration that you speak of so well. It has been a very wicked winter. One day Bill started at 68*, and by the end of his day it was 4*. Trucking is that way. He has seen it all, and he fights the weather, too. Enjoy your well deserved vacation!

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    1. Thanks, McGuffy Ann!

      This winter certainly is going to one to share in the coffee shop, years from now when we look back. Wish Bill safe travels, and keep it between the ditches! :)

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  4. We basically shut down the city here in Houston today because it reached freezing. I thought of you.

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    1. Hey Katy!

      Not sure why, but that makes me feel all warm and tingly on the inside.

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    2. Lol. Yes, I heard rumors that a very small icicle was spotted there. Hehe.

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  5. "To step off the plane, knowing that winters back has been broken, and the remainder of it is going to be a cake walk." OH PLEASE! You know as well as I do that there will be plenty more cold weather and blizzards in March and April. You're not going to escape THAT easily!

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    1. Hi Debra,

      Don't go bursting my bubble here, I'm about to go on holidays! You can say, I told you so, a week from now!

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  6. Our are is pretty much shutdown because we don't put chains on our tires or care about going to work.

    Have fun in Cuba! You know us crazy Americans can't go, but hey they don't know what they are missing!

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    1. Hi Tracie!

      Sounds like a good enough excuse to me.

      One day I'm going to stop flying across your country, and take my holidays there. Hang out with you crazy Americans! :)

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  7. Oh wow. 4 degrees above freezing?! They cancelled schools here for that. *embarrassed*

    You are tough! :o)

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    1. Hi Minxy,

      Cancel the schools! That's almost t-shirt weather! :)

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  8. I love to read about your life, from a distance. This weather purely and utterly sucks. We, too, are warmish now. About 15 but headed to temperatures of -20 (actual temp without wind chill) on Monday. Stinks in Chi-town too but I'm not a farmer who has to be in it for work every day. Stay warm and enjoy that vacation. Then come back and tell us all about it. I'm typing this on an airplane getting ready to take off for the warmth. Thank God for that!!!

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    1. Hi Gina,

      As you would expect, we can home to tempts well into freezing. Oh well, it was an awesome trip regardless. Hopefully you have a good trip as well. :)

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  9. Dear Ken friend!
    You are likely in the air now, headed to warmer climates. Or you are already there, exiting the plane, squinting in amazement at the heat and sun. Either way, I can't wait to hear all about it and see pictures! I hope that you and your wife and son have a blast. Do me a favor - step your toes into the edge of the water for me, and breathe in some of that awesome ocean air!

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    1. Hello, my friend!

      Been there, and have returned. Can't wait to tell you all about it. Cuba was magnificent, and you can bet, I did indeed have my toes in the water! :)

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  10. Raised on a farm, I too obsess about the weather and live much too much in the future. Enjoy the vacation.

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    1. I think if you're born with into it, it's with you for life. Thanks so much!

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  11. Wait, is that -40 a real temp? Because I converted it, and it is actually -40 in Fahrenheit, too. Cool, huh? But I can tell you, I would be doing no chores at -40 F. When we had -15 recently, I barely tolerated letting the dog out!

    But I agree with you about wanting it to be the most freezing it can be when you are on your way out of it. We've had a brutal winter (for us!) and I was quite jealous when I recently took my friends to the airport for their trip to Puerto Rico! The jerks.

    It looks like you are back from your trip...am going to read...

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    1. Hey Kianwi!

      Yes, -40 is the temp I don't need to convert. We used to be Fahrenheit when I was a kid, the we changed to the metric system about grade 3 for me. So that was sort of the magic number for us.

      Unfortunately, it was -38C this morning with the wind chill, so back home to the cold!

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