Well, it has been a couple of weeks since my last blog. Christmas and the winter vacation break are over ... it’s back to work. I returned to both jobs this past Monday, January 5th.
We had an unusual amount of snow this time around. We haven’t seen anything like this around here since 1971 and 1964. I vaguely remember both—Aurora borealis this far south on Christmas Eve 1971, viewed in awe by my siblings and myself out our bedroom window near Duncan, Vancouver Island, as we waited for the livingroom door to be unlocked, letting us in for the lit candles Christmas tree I talked about in an earlier blog, and all the special festivity around this wonder. And 1964 ... I was two months past my second birthday. This is the Christmas I raided my parent’s bedroom closet in Honeymoon Bay, Vancouver Island, devouring a whole brick of marzipan. Naturally, my parents were angry, I was scolded, and I soon threw up the entire thing. As a result, I can’t stand marzipan to this day, nor amaretto—not the taste, not the aroma. I love the German Christmas cake we call Stollen. But if it has some marzipan rolled into it, this I promptly remove. And I do like raw almonds.
At one point this winter, word was, Victoria—mild, mild Victoria on the southern tip of Vancouver Island—had more snowfall than the North Pole or any other Canadian city. Highly unusual, considering its generally mild climate on the northern shoreline of the Juan de Fuca Strait. And flowers are known to appear as early as late January, early February, some years!
So, I’m glad I had no plans to fly anywhere—flying was hell apparently, any city, any airport across Canada. Air Canada really fucked up—loads of unclaimed baggage still sitting in the baggage area at YVR (Vancouver International Airport), only one security guard keeping an eye on this pile of people’s personal effects. WestJet seemed to handle this a lot better—few complaints.
I also did not drive anywhere. I’m sure the reliable, feels-and-drives-like-a-tank 1985 Mercedes-Benz 300D Turbo Diesel can handle all conditions admirably—it’s the other drivers I don’t necessarily trust. Goldie was buried under a mound of snow on our side street. Walking in the beautiful winter wonderland and using buses and SkyTrain was a mostly stressless way to get around. I shovelled snow several times—front and back porches and steps, walkway and sidewalk, kept the street drains free, upper corner and back alley, at the later stages when the melt and rains started. Our basement stayed dry.
Christmas Eve was highly enjoyable, but it is nice to get back into a regular rhythm and routine after indulging in more-than-usual amounts of beer and wine, rich, savoury foods, some sweets (although I don’t like too much of the sugar stuff), getting up a little later than 6:30 am.
On Monday it was icy walking to the bus, from SkyTrain to school, then to my evening job, returning home late in the evening. Much as I like a good dose of snow—feels like a real Christmas for a change, weather-wise, the slow melt by heavy rains and rising temperatures are not to be scoffed at.