Two years ago a catastrophic ice storm brought Ontario to its knees during the Christmas season. Few who lived through it will ever forget the tree strewn roads and highways, the downed hydro lines that left thousands without power and in the dark for days, the streets closed due to the risk of falling ice from high rise buildings and offices, and the many frustrated stranded travellers.
Oh, and let us not forget last year's winter. Mother Nature treated us to ongoing snow storms from November until March. Commuting was often a nightmare; the rate of heart attacks experienced while shovelling almost daily snow falls, increased dramatically. Add to that the polar vortex that plunged us into record breaking, sub-zero temperatures. Ski hills experienced reduced attendance not due to lack of snow, but because of the bitterly cold, windy conditions. By the end of February, most Ontarians were afflicted with that bug-eyed will-this-ever-end look. I still haven't warmed up!
And now we enjoy the anomaly of this winter. Since November, the number of heavy snowfalls and days with frigid temperatures can be counted on one hand. Snow generally falls in the form of light flurries; rain is a more common forecast than snow. Travel on dry, clear roads is a pleasure. Remind me again why I put my snow tires on in November. Green lawns are visible almost everywhere in Southern Ontario. Wonder when my tulips are going to pop up? Sunny skies and temperatures hovering just around the freezing mark are the norm. My winter boots and hats remain lonely and rarely used in our hall closet. This past Wednesday, Jim and I headed downtown in the afternoon; the outdoor temperature reading on our dashboard was 16 degrees C. What? In early February?
So why the stress? you ask, head shaking.
You are kidding right? Mother Nature never gives us something for free. Like a gentle song building to an ear shattering crescendo, I cannot help but wonder to what snowy, icy, frigid crescendo is Mother Nature building? Winter is not yet over. What are we being set up for; what does she have in store?