Our winter has been very un-snow-like. Granted, we have more snow than others, but that’s because we live in a snow-belt; besides, I like snow and have, from time to time, suggested that we should move further north. Because this winter, every promising snow-storm has been contaminated by bouts of freezing rain, piddly drizzle and then rain. It’s the pits, especially since I just bought new snowshoes.
For example, a few Sundays ago, we awakened to some very cold weather. It surprised us, as it had surprised our kitchen’s hot water pipe, now frozen. So, out came the heater, which we put on top of Buster’s treat stool. Don’t worry, we got his permission, and from Buster’s treat stool, our little heater blew hot air towards the pipe while I took off for a snowshoeing hike.
As I drove towards the Cape Breton Highlands National Park, I encountered blizzard conditions and very icy roads. However, the sun came out when I arrived at the Salmon Pools trail head, only a short distance from Cheticamp.
However, it was icy and I had stupidly not taken my boot spiky things. I had to tread carefully and I saw nobody during the hike. I didn’t want to fall and break a bone or something, and maybe find myself alone to convalesce on the ice and scantly snow-covered ground while possibly entertaining large coyotes after the world pulled down her shades.
It was still very cold when I drove home and the roads were treacherous. However, good news awaited me. The hot water tap was spewing away like a happy camper.
Looking out the window at the raging Middle River gave me my first clue along with nearly six years’ experience of observing the many moods of the river. At around ten am, I decided to sign off the computer and do a serious check of the river. At that moment the phone rang. I answered it by saying, and I quote, “Hello.”
It was a friend who was worried about us. He asked me how the river looked. I told him I was just going out to check it. I put him on hold, checked the river’s state of being, returned to the phone, told him it didn’t look good, thanked him for checking on us and for offering us a place to stay if we needed it, said good-bye, hung up and in less than thirty minutes we were three refugees heading through the mush, ice and water toward our vehicles which were parked at the end of our long lane. Three little immigrants looking for a way over ‘The Wall’. Poor Buster trying to stay out of the water, Sue getting a massive soaker, her boots still being dried out a week later, and me with no boot soaker, but everything else drenched.
We drove to a friend’s house. She has a basement apartment. We spent the night there.
Cape Breton is like that. It’s an island and people help each other. There were other places we could have stayed as well. Interestingly, we don’t feel like we’re imposing on these Cape Bretoners. And we don’t feel hard done by, inferior or silly, because most people on the island need help from time to time and those who don’t, well, some of them live rather bubbly and boring lives.
Anyway, we returned to our trailer the next day. It was a gorgeous, sunny day and the cold had returned. We could see where the river had gnawed its way towards the trailer and surrounded our home, and noticed where it had re-arranged some outdoor items. There were also a few this and thats missing.
And now, a week later, rain has followed yesterday’s big snow dump and freezing rain is forecast for this afternoon and then more rain and then more freezing rain and later on they called for more snow, but they’ve just changed the forecast to more drizzle instead.
“Mush, mush,” I say. Northward to a place where a man is a man, a woman is a woman, a dog is a dog, and a snowflake is a snowflake and not a pinch of anything else.
What climate change?