Saturday, January 17, 2009

Yet Another Foot Of Snow


Well, we made it halfway through January.

So far, so good.

In Windsor it just keeps snowing. And the temperature has been sub-zero Fahrenheit for the last week.

I pulled an icicle off the Christmas lights on the garage (coincidentally the lights are shaped like icicles too), and the icicle was reaching down to the ground cave-like, like a stalagmite in a Kentucky tourist attraction.

This isn't Windsor weather?

We don't get snow?

We certainly don't get a foot at a time and have it stay around waiting for the next foot-at-a-time snow fall.

Something is wrong with this Global Warming theory.

Because it's freaking cold!

At work we have a smoking shed. All of us contemptible smokers stand in this shed together. By Ontario law, our little shed cannot be totally enclosed. So to ensure our shed meets this law, our company high-priests determined that both the walls at each end – the front and the back – be removed.

So what is left resembles a carport for a motorcycle. And not even big enough for a real bike like a Harley-Davidson. They should just put a bicycle rack at the far end to justify the structure.

It's a wind tunnel to test one's ability to withstand the most miserable weather conditions.

This is a law I have never personally seen and doubt really exists – but instead is a concoction of those anti-smoking fascists right left winged do-gooders who insists we must live healthier lifestyles that do not offend their personal sense of right and wrong.

The point is that it is very cold in our smoking shed. We all huddle together as we smoke to block the wind and to keep warm. A couple of romances have sprung from this practice, or so I have been told.

During one of our huddling exercises, as we looked at the ever increasing level of snow on the ground, we started talking about sledding. Sleds and toboggans. Amazingly the do-gooders I mentioned earlier have not yet banned sledding or tobogganing.

I started to reminisce about my brief childhood life in Apple Valley Minnesota.

I was about eleven or twelve then. We lived on the top of a large hill in a brand new subdivision. And directly across the street, the developers had put in a park. That park had a bicycle path that started right across from my house, went down a steep slope and leveled slightly to run down between the houses and into a little woodland area where the path became very curvy.

In the summer it was mildly fun to ride our bikes on this path.

But in the winter – as the snow hardened and slicked down – it became the perfect raceway for those sleds that have metal runner and you steer with your feet. I think mine was called a "Red Flyer". You could really get a good three minute run off this path – and go like stink.

But we didn't steer with our feet on our sleds. We laid down on our bellies and used our hands. And it seemed like we went ten times faster.

We had no helmets, only wool caps or tuques. We had no padding other than our snowmobile suites. In Minnesota – like Northern Ontario – cool people wear snowmobile suites.

You would start in the middle of the street, and you would run as fast as you could towards the start of the path – holding your sled up in front of you.

You can only run so fast in snowmobile boots.

When you got to the start of the path, you would start your dive – moving the sled under you as you came to the ground – landing on it with head at the front and hands on the steering handles.

The odd kid would miss, landing on his chin. They usually went home when that happened.

When you got down into the woodland stretch of the trail, you had to quickly weave around the trees. That was the fun part. But I don't ever remember any of us getting hurt by slamming into a tree. We were wearing tuques and snowmobile suites, remember?

That was probably the only part I remember liking about Minnesota winters.

The snow in Apple Valley wouldn't melt away until mid-May.

I wish I could show this kind of fun to my little girls. But I haven't seen a Red Flyer sled for many years. They are probably made out of plastic now. In China.

But all of Essex County is very flat. We would have to drive two hours up the 401 to London to actually find a hill we could really sled down.

As I was regaling my huddled smoking buddies with this tale, they looked at me. Only those not born and raised in Windsor knew what I was talking about.

Because Windsor has always been flat. And Windsor rarely gets snow.

Perhaps the world environmentalists are correct that our world is changing.

But it is confusing to see the icebergs melting in the Arctic Circle in the summertime, and stalagmite-style icicles growing down my garage in minus twenty degree temperatures in the Winter.

Right now - at minus twelve degrees Celsius – I am tempted to take two aerosol cans of Pam non-stick cooking spray – the butter tasting kind - and point them up to the ozone. And spray them until they are empty.

And all the while I would yell "Come on Global Warming!!".

Because it's freaking cold outside.

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