There have been a few headlines recently that have scared me. There was talk of an Arctic Vortex that was returning. I remember that monster from last year. Perhaps it is fitting that the threat comes the same week that finds Halloween on the calendar. I don’t think anyone has fond memories of the Arctic Vortex. It was brutal. It was long. It was ugly. It was scary.
Then I see a headline in the paper talking about old man winter making a return. Just a question. Why is it old man winter and not old woman winter? That, by the way, was a rhetorical question. Don’t answer that. I will get enough flak on that one as is. There is a threat of snow. Temperatures have plummeted. We are in for it.
On November 7th I saw a news story that brought back some strange memories. Perhaps it was fitting that I was involved in a workshop dealing with Trauma and PTSD. On November 7, 1986 Winnipeg received 35 centimeters of snow. That is significant. It was a blizzard not often experienced even in Manitoba. Interesting how I recall most of that day, that night and the following day. I recall being at my parents that evening for supper. I was going to be playing hockey that night but also knew I needed to venture home. There was livestock that needed caring for. As the snow fell my father asked what would happen if we did not make it home. In a facetious moment I made the comment that even if it took twenty four hours I would have to go home. Little did I know. The trip home was much more than I had bargained for.
Here we are years later. Feels like yesterday that last year’s winter ended. And now we are in for another one. There are all kinds of signs out there that it will be brutal again. Never mind what nature is telling us. Pine cones higher up in the trees than usual. More acorns. The warning from the Farmer’s Almanac. Climate change. El Nino or is it El Nina? Can’t remember which is worse. Even wood piles are higher (as if that has anything to do with it). All things point to a long and brutal affair. An affair I would just as soon avoid.
I suppose it could be worse. Just heard that Buffalo, NY has had 6 feet of snow and are expecting another 3 feet today. That is monumental, to say the least. Then their forecast calls for warm temperatures and rain on the weekend. They can have it.
Again, and I know I am singing a tired song, I feel a certain amount of dread. This week we have had more snow added to the skiff we had before. This morning the temperature dropped to a brisk -20. That means it has begun. When will it end? Perhaps not a question I should ask. In a sense I seem to be wishing away my life by hoping spring will soon arrive. I need to find some way to endure.
And endure I will. I will make it through another Manitoba winter. I have a grandson that helps me with a new perspective on life. As I write this I know another life has entered this world. A granddaughter. How can I not be enthused with what the world is offering me? I will survive. I will enjoy. As I circulated the news of this new arrival I lamented about the fact that being a grandpa the second time around aged me. One colleague responded that having grandkids at my young age, yes you heard right, gives me the opportunity to enjoy them for a long time. And enjoy them I will. They will help me survive. And, perhaps, a week in the sun will help. I will work towards that. Make it a good one.