The Lighthouse

the lighthouse

16 August 2009

Of being Canadian and griping about the weather

Considering that where I live winter is really winter -- below-freezing temperatures, a perky little thing called windchill, enough snow to unman a Yeti, the need for a specialized wardrobe, a whole different set of tires, and occasionally to keep things interesting there is freezing rain -- it doesn't seem right that I now want to whine about summer. But I do!

Not summer in general, because summer is lovely. It's warm and blue-skied, full of glorious fruits of the forest, packed with possibility and potential for exploration and adventure or plain old beach-lazing and patios. It comes equipped with long hours of daylight. It allows for the wearing of really cute shoes. It brings such treasured events as the World Cup, the occasional wedding, and Hollywood blockbusters.

I usually have a more casual, relaxed attitude to life in the summer. I stay out later, indulge more frequently in fancy drinks (alcoholic and umbrellaed or caffeinated and frozen), stress less about big issues (probably because of the cute shoes), and feel more kindly toward my fellow man.

Summer where I live, however, has a nasty habit of creeping slowly out of a dull grey Spring, lingering long in the cool and wet, with only teasing glimpses of bucolic promise. It continues in this state until the middle of August when the fun begins: extreme heat, oppressive humidity, crazy storms and predictions of doom from the local farmers. To people in places where summer behaves properly, the temperatures we experience are laughable - but they are in a pot of consistently warm water. Our pot of water is cold for 10/12ths of the year, then suddenly boils with no transition.

Then there are wardrobe issues: not only do we need Fall/Winter/Spring/Summer clothes, but we need tepid Summer and blazing Summer options as well. Doesn't seem like a big concern, but it has deeper ramifications of pocketbook and storage space. Not to mention what we have to do to our homes, offices and cars to deal with the madness.

I know few Canadians who love both winter and summer equally (those who get the full brunt of both extremes anyway) I figure genetic adaptations have chosen to survive well one or the other, leaving us to misery the rest of the time.

I'm focused on getting by until Autumn: cool, crisp Autumn, which to me has always been the true New Year. September brings new beginnings, a fresh start, potential and resolve. I'll be moving on, this year, to a place where I'm assured Summer is decent and civilized. Sounds absolutely lovely, but what will we talk about?

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