Tuesday, 5 March 2019


Would I like a winter break feeling warm sun on my back and white Bajan sand between my toes or sitting in awe of a mighty saguaro silhouetted against a vibrant Arizona sunset? You betcha. This is the woman who fled winter to Barbados for thirty-six years and to Arizona for another six.

Two years of winter surgeries for Jim and then Mr. Drumpf’s presidency have found Jim and I remaining in Canada for the snowy season. My husband refuses to travel to the U.S. during its current presidency (After how he has treated Canada, he is not getting a cent of my travel money); I both honour and appreciate Jim’s decision. It is our private protest. While working, our fly and flop vacations in Barbados were just what the doctor ordered, but post retirement, such breaks were not enough; we wanted to be more active and Arizona, in all her stunning beauty, offered us just that. I miss both Barbados and Arizona so much so that Barbados has actually just been booked by us for a family holiday next March. All of us - Jim and I, Christopher and Stephanie, Matt and Michelle, Morgan and Zachary - will journey home, partially for a break from winter but more to witness Morgan and Zachary first experience their heritage, our island in the sun.

One of my fellow swimmers explained to me during our first full winter in Canada that because her husband hates air travel, she made a conscious decision to appreciate winter. What great advice, Connie. And so I decided to follow suit. Funny thing, with a bit of effort at first, it actually works.

As unrelenting cold and endless snowfalls descended in February, I made an effort to find beauty in each day and then frequently posted photos on Facebook. To my utter astonishment, a large number of friends have thanked me for finding the positive in our weather. The consensus appears to be that when you take time to find its beauty, you can actually enjoy winter.

And I have become so, so weary of hearing daily complaints about our winter weather. I want to scream, Suck it up, Princess. You are Canadian. Perhaps it is because my perspective has changed since entering my seventies, but I appreciate each and every time I wake up. Cold, warm or hot, I intend to enjoy every moment of my life, not grouse about it.

My biggest eye-opening lesson came from my Italian-Canadian hairdresser, Tony, who first-hand knows the sunshine and warmth of Calabria. Who should hate winter more? During my appointment this past Saturday, we watched snow swirling outside the salon. It was impossible to see across the street. A huge grin broke out on Tony’s face and he asked, Would you rather be the citizen of any other country? NO, we chorused. This, he smiled, is what it means to be Canadian. Thank you, Tony. I’ll take it!

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