And so here we are... the last day of winter. It didn't seem long enough. It never is.
I can't deny it anymore... spring is coming. Oh, sure, we can get snow in April and May. And even in June. And it's not that long before August comes, and the first chilly nights turn up...
I've seen the first shoots of garden plants coming through the soil, so when one sees them... the game is up. Old man winter is giving up the ghost and scampering off, waiting to come back with a full force in just a few months.
It really is my favourite season, by the way. The cold and the chill, and the wind so harsh that it feels like a knife cutting inside your throat... well, that's what's so good about it!
Now, now, before you go off and start calling for my head on a pike, think about it. Now you can tease me about the onset of spring, all you warm weather worshippers. Lord knows I've teased you about how wonderful the winter is.
This past winter, we've seen big storms hit various areas. As I recall, Al Roker was stranded halfway across America at one point. Rumors of his survival based on eating his cameraman remain unsubstantiated.
A few weeks ago, after Toronto had been hit by a storm, a columnist wrote about the overreaction city and school officials made to the storm. He described real winters. His mother, as a Prairie girl, lived on a farm, where one winter day, she found herself caught in a white out. Only by following cowbells into a barn did she survive. That, my friends, is a real winter.
He went on to describe living on Baffin Island in Canada's far north for several years. During one storm, the temperature went down to -35C. Add to that wind gusts well over 100 kilometres an hour, you can imagine the wind chill. During the night, he heard this ungodly roar. In the morning, he noticed his neighbour's roof had been torn off by the wind. That, my friends, is a real winter.
Weather forecasters seem to overreact, I think. These people (who incidentally get paid to be wrong 90% of the time) have in the last few years developed a habit of calling storms Snowmaggedon or Snowzilla or Dear God, We're All Going To Die! Eat Your Children! As to the storm itself? Well, it might dump 25 centimetres of snow on the ground, but it's nothing to get worked up about.
Not all of them do that, mind you. The forecasters here in the nation's capital tend to take things in stride. They might say, "We're getting twenty centimetres out of this system, so take care driving in tomorrow morning." Very calm, reasonable, and reassuring.
Contrast that with the spineless cowards at Global Television in Toronto (more on that in a future blog, tenatively called Why Canadians Hate Toronto), who, at the sign of ten centimetres of snow, proclaim it as a major snow emergency, and for thirty centimetres tell the audience they must consider taking a page from the Donner Party.
Goodbye, winter. I still love you. Hurry back just in time for the end of August.