Sunday, January 7, 2018

ROBBBLOG #687 Wonderful Winter

Normally at this time of the year I would be sitting inside looking outside at the wonderful world of winter.

This year I am not.
Good thing.
I'd be going "nutsy-loo" like in previous Ontario winters.

Extremely cold winter days back in "old home" are still fresh in my mind. Days where I just didn't bother to venture out. The Mister would go on a flight to London or Frankfurt for 3 days and I'd still be inside when he returned. I couldn't walk the dogs- it was just too bloody cold. To get the girls outside for a piddle and a poo a was monstrous task. I'd put Vaseline on their pads but usually they'd spend the first few minutes sniffing and doing circles in the yard. By the time they had to do their business, they were standing holding up their paws prancing about the yard.

The furnace and fireplaces ran continuously. I wore sweaters and heavy socks. I hated to look out the window at the blowing snow and the dead, whitened landscape of our side yard.
Bitter, bitter cold.

I don't miss it.
This was an ideal year to make the westward trek to the West Coast and Vancouver Island. We were the hot spot in Canada at 10c on Saturday!

In places here on the Island, the snowdrops are out. The grass is green of course. Folks who like to golf are doing just that. I have a variegated English Laurel, an Oregon Grape and a Mexican Orange sitting in pots just outside the front door. Cam- the landscaper in this new development where we live, told me he's planting them this week.I am still deciding on whether to have him plant another palm or a Magnolia tree. Maybe a small palm and a larger Magnolia.

How's this for January on the Island.
We drove down to Langford on Sunday to shop at Costco. Langford is the most northerly of the handful of communities that make up Greater Victoria. It's about a 40 minute drive. There were plenty of folks in shorts and one stalwart gentleman in shorts and flip-flops. Well he could couldn't he- such lovely legs I must say.

Island folks are jetting off to Hawaii. Honolulu is only about five hours flight time away from either Victoria International or Nanaimo Airport. It's also in the same Ocean as Vancouver Island- the Pacific. Still wrapping my head around that. We'd like to get there this year but we still don't have a house/pet sitter so we may have to delay that trip. The right person is out there somewhere. We just haven't connected yet.

I am sure there are those of you back east who would love to get out of the cold- permanently. Yes Florida is a quick fix but not a forever fix. Six months at best. Even here in the Cowichan cool nights are still a part of life. One can wrap a scarf around one's neck and slip on a pair of gloves but this year I haven't had to pull on a pair of winter boots. A couple of degrees below can be the norm for part of our "winter". Winter so far this year lasted from the Wednesday before Christmas to this past Wednesday and by winter I mean cool overnight temps, some frozen fog and a few centimetres of snow. I still had shorts on one day last week when it was 8C and brilliant sunshine.

I love the smell of the air here.
Coming out of Home Depot a few evenings ago when the temperature was hovering around 10c, I told Tom to stop and take a deep breath. Smell the roses so to speak.
Moist, mild air from the Pacific Ocean just a few minutes away.
It felt invigorating.

I love looking up to Mount Prevost (pronounced Pree- Voh!) or Tsouhalem (Soo-Hay-Lemm) to see the patches of snow. It's pretty as a picture postcard as long as I don't have to shovel it daily- and I don't.

Right now when the cold, bitter, unrelenting north wind blows more extreme cold down from the Arctic, it would be a good time to fly west and experience a Vancouver Island "winter" for yourself.

You might just be sold on the prospect.
The "green" will hit you in the face like a frozen snowshovel.
A kind, gentle shovel.

2018 could be a year of change for you.