Friday, March 25, 2016

The Five Ds

Nothing like being woken to the crash of ice falling from your roof. It actually sounds like part of the house is disconnecting which, given the reason for my upcoming reno, is off putting. (Note: the back of the house is in no imminent danger of falling down - but homeowners woken to crashing noise are apt to freak out for a second or two.)

The elephant in the post is that there's freakin' ice falling off my roof and it's practically April. I wish I could say this is unlikely. I wish I could say that we didn't just have a stupid fucking ice storm (not severe) wherein it was dangerous to walk to the streetcar, never mind to work. I wish I could say that the phone lines were up again - in only because we have IP television that totally doesn't work going into the weekend. I wish I could say that we've seen something other than dull grey and brown in the last week and a half. I wish I could say that when we saw sun a week and a half ago, it was for longer than a day.

I realize these posts are ubiquitous at this time of the year, but honestly, late winter weather in Toronto - alright, most of Southern Ontario - is hideous. It has all the detractors of English weather (trust me, I know, I lived there) - horrible damp that cuts to the bones, and encourages many kinds of pain. It has all the detractors of northern weather, if intermittently: snow, ice, consistently frozen temps. But it loves to hover at a temperature that combines the utter worst of both. Toronto sits at the nexus of several competing weather forces which results in weather patterns stalling overhead - the occluded front, as they say. The result is constant dull, dank, dark, damp and DEPRESSING. Sure, we're protected from many extremes, but the price we pay is weather "solitary".

If you live in Winnipeg, God help you in winter, but at least you have a lot of sun. If you live in Vancouver, you've never seen the sun so you don't know what you're missing - but you can wear your cute yoga outfits year round (and they're waterproof) - not to mention that it's freakin' urban-nature at its best. If you live in Montreal, you live in Montreal, so stop gloating and eat a bagel. If you live in NYC, you're bound to get a hurricane now and again but your spring starts a month before ours and you see the sun. If you live in North Carolina, it's been nice since late February.

Right about now I hate-envy everyone who doesn't have to go through this, which I realize makes me small.

So - peeps who also live in places where the weather sucks for long stretches: How do you handle this? Moreover, where do you live (cuz I want to stay the hell away)? How do you justify slogging through year after year. FYI, I never book winter vacations to warm places because the idea of returning to Toronto, only to go back into weather misery, is too wretched to consider. Let's talk!

PS: This isn't the time to tell me about your crocuses. :-)

20 comments:

  1. K, I look at it as an opportunity: makes me want to stay in my pjs and sew, or read blogs, which does not happen very often so today I'm all over it. And, things are warming up this weekend so I'm looking forward to a long walk with Paul and Jesse at our local winery (which allows you to bring your dog!!!). When are you coming for a visit?

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    1. I know - you have a very good attitude. Thing is, I've been staying home and reading blogs for months now. I'm done with it! I want to go to a winery that lets you bring your dog!!! Will email you soon. xo

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  2. Oh man, you know I feel your pain! We had hail about 3 times this week, snow falling but never collecting, and then the storm. Gotta believe it will improve!
    It did dawn on me recently though, that my Dad is hiking the Bruce Trail with the specific purpose of following spring northwards... and HE IS STARTING MAY3rd! That means a botanist and weather fanatic is expecting spring to start in May. I should really stop being delusional and expecting it in March!

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    1. As I was writing this, I flashed back to your post of a couple of weeks ago. In case you thought I wasn't truly empathetic :-) And your dad is nuts - in the best way. I know that spring doesn't start here till May, but every year I hope and my human clock starts believing it should occur when the light moves to a certain angle in the sky. And then I am so demoralized. But really, May isn't that far away. Right?

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  3. I hear what you're saying! We in Winnipeg have had a milder than normal winter but with it came grey skies. People have been a touch cranky and were seriously DONE with winter long before now because of it.
    We had a warm spell a couple of weeks ago when most of the snow melted -very early for here- and my tulips are venturing out too early.
    We had snow again last night, likely b/c I started bringing home the shoes I keep at work and because was thinking of riding my bike this morning to breakfast with friends, but that should all be melted again before Monday. I hope.

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    1. You see what I mean?? When the weather wanders towards -3C, the sky greys and nothing moves. It's like you get stuck in a vortex. Here's hoping your snow melts soon and you have some more sun!

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  4. South central Kansas can be a special kind of hell. We got freezing cold (average of ~20*F Jan&Feb) winters that are made worse by humidity and high winds* and summers that are blazing hot (90-100*F+ June through early September)--also with humidity and high winds. Spring and fall though, can either be windy or just plain gorgeous. This year, it's been windy, which is why the wildfires have been rampant these past few days.

    *Any Kansan who has been around any length of time learns quickly that anything below 25 MPH winds are considered a calm day. 20-30 is breezy, and gusts over 40 mph can be par for the course. Mostly, our weather sucks, even when the sun is shining, IMO. But then, I hate temperature extremes AND wind, so this really isn't my ideal climate, and there are tradeoffs no matter where you go. ;-)

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    1. Oh, I believe you! We get quite windy weather here (not like yours of course) and, strangely, I kind of like it (unless it's -20C). It makes me feel lively and it moves the clouds out. Having said this, winds that spread fires and bring tornadoes freak me out! Where would you move if you could choose??

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    2. Actually, I'd have to say Washington/Oregon or Ireland/UK. But then, I quite like rainy, overcast days. Plus, 50-80*F is like my ideal temperature range.

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  5. I have lived in Seattle for many years and the gray gets really old, but as you say about Vancouver, it is not that cold. I went to graduate school in Michigan and that about killed me. The winters were just as gray as Seattle, but I could never get used to the April blizzard. Hang in there.

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    1. I really couldn't survive in the Northwest, even though the landscape is spectacular and there are many wonderful urban and rural places to live. I'd take freezing and sunny any day - if only from a pain management perspective. Damp is my enemy and looking up at a dark sky makes me crazy. So strangely, Michigan would appeal to me more - but honestly, I'd take Spain over either of them any day :-)

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  6. So, does that mean I can gloat and snicker about the unseasonably warm weather we've been having in sunny Tucson? But payback for us comes in April and May when the heat kicks in. Hang in there.
    Theresa in Tucson

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    1. No gloating allowed!! I love that heat!

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  7. What a horrible way to wake up, punctuating months of depressing winter weather. I sympathize with you. I hope spring arrives in Toronto soon!

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    1. I know - to wake (at 6am, when it's still dark) to the sound of shards of glassy ice hitting the terrace below is really disturbing. One has no context! But it's melted today (and the sun appears to be coming out right now) so I should shut up and get outside. :-)

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  8. Grew up in chicago, used to cry on my way to school every day in the winter. Actually went to some short-term therapy there, because I used to get depressed in the winter.

    Live in Calif now - mostly sunny, a little fog in the mornings - average temps in Ventura 70 to 50, it seems. (However we're in a big time drought.)

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    1. I get that. I often wonder if Chicago is just like TO given that it too is on a Great Lake. But I've heard it's quite distinct in it's awfulness :-) Living in Cali is a very good idea from a sunshine perspective. But the drought sitch - and the floods and the earthquakes - give me pause for thought. But my parents used to live there so I know how compelling and gorgeous it is.

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  9. I'm in Juneau, Alaska, so, just over the mountains - & a glacier or two - from B.C. This is cool rainforest, to the extreme. Winter here is very dark, and very wet. People here actually head down to Seattle (a 2 hour flight) for a little sun. I found that funny when I lived in Bellingham, WA (across the border from Vancouver); when I moved here, I stopped laughing. It is usually 10F colder than whatever Seattle is, but far more rain and grey skies here. It is not uncommon for there to be a solid 3+ weeks in winter where there is no break in rain, and no sun. Most people on the island leave for a few weeks in Jan/Feb - the bleakest time - for Hawaii or CA. Personally, I really love the grey skies and cloud cover. I loved it in the UK, and in WA too. But here, it is more extreme than either of those places. Snow actually brightens things up and people get perky.

    I rarely leave in winter because of the iffy travel flying out then, and because it is my busiest time at work. I embrace the reading by the fire with Irish whiskey season, and look forward to my wild English garden which is barely starting to pop up now. I grew up in the Rocky Mtn desert country, & it seems to have saturated my need for sun. My BF is from Hawaii and really has to take care to use his SAD light, boost Vit D, and watch for the symptoms of depression during the sun-free short winter days.

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    1. I am always amazed to hear about people who live (or who have lived) in Alaska or northern Canada. That is hardcore - though I'm sure you don't need me to corroborate that :-) I'm impressed, though not surprised, to hear that you find a way to manage the winter - to discover the hygge and to enjoy the distinct phases (growth and suspension). I've tried to cultivate that attitude but I am too overcast-averse. I feel I could live in Northern Alberta, from a weather perspective, but I couldn't do the northern rain forest. That would be the worst of everything for me. I'm sure it is spectacular though...

      I need to move somewhere to saturate my need for sun, apparently :-)

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  10. Lips zipped. Except for muffled laughter because you crack me up.

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