I love Canada. I’ve always been thankful to have been born there and experienced the four seasons in all their glory. I’ll even confess that winter was once my favourite time of year. The harvest was over and safely stored. The woodshed was filled. With the labour of summer over, it was time to relax and enjoy what Canadian winters had to offer.
As such, I’ve skated on neighbourhood ponds, rinks and even the Rideau Canal in Canada’s capital. I played hockey on a travelling team and drank enough hot chocolate to keep Ecuadorians employed. With season tickets to my local Junior A team’s games, I hardly missed a match.
Weekends were made for strapping on skis, racing downhill on fresh powder, gliding through forests glistening with snow tipped trees, tubing (sometimes recklessly), tobogganing or strapping on snowshoes to get to a favourite fishing hole. Or perhaps, snowmobiling through the winter wonderland of bush and trails, zooming across a snow-covered lake, or stopping to watch the moose nesting close to the trails.
But not now. I’ve hung up my skates, given away my skies, and sold the snowmobile. Winter is no longer my friend. These old, arthritic bones seek warmth and comfort. I want sunshine to warm my face, not a balaclava.
Oh, I still like watching the snow, but preferably near a fireplace while drinking a mug of hot chocolate (still love the hot chocolate!). I guess I could watch hockey on the TV, but it’s just not the same as actually being there, is it?
No, now I seek a new way of living. No more long johns, toques, or -30-degree rated jackets for me. No sir! Give me sunscreen, floppy hats, and sandals.
Thus, thinking to achieve my heart’s desire, I headed to our neighbour of the south to escape the chilling hands of winter and embrace the arms of another season’s fare.
Did it work? Well…maybe. I’d travelled over a thousand kilometers to enjoy a haven from winter’s blast. It was great! The initial days were warm and wonderful. Twenty-five Celsius! Shirt shelves and shorts weather. Hallelujah!
Then…a cold front enveloped the whole area. Temperatures dipped below freezing and were forecast to say there for the foreseeable future. Winds picked up and the white stuff started falling. How cruel! Winter wasn’t done with me yet. Guess I’d better go buy some hot chocolate. And maybe a balaclava.