The “February blahs” are a very common occurrence almost every year in most of Canada, and this year those “blahs” are even stronger, thanks to ongoing lockdowns, ice rinks and ski hills closed, frequent cold snaps, and very little to do. One good thing about being hunkered down at home during a pandemic in the winter is that it feels like the season so far has flown by, noticeably faster than in previous years. Here’s hoping that the next four weeks or so also fly by!
March, however, is often the only part of the calendar year’s first quarter that I actually look forward to. Yes, weather in March and early April can be a bit unpredictable, but at least we usually start to see some signs of the winter-to-spring transition, typically right after Daylight Time kicks in (for most areas) in most of the country. One example of that unpredictability was around 2014, when my wife & I spent March Break in Kingston – my maternal aunt & uncle were “snowbirding” in Florida that winter, so we stayed at the city’s Holiday Inn Express, beside the 401, and for the first couple of days, the Limestone City had some beautiful weather, lots of sun, and temperatures sometimes reaching double digits by early afternoon. One day, when we woke up, it was overcast in K-Town, and a heavy snowstorm began – our room faced the 401, whose posted speed is 100 km/h, and the transport trucks that we could see in the eastbound lanes had slowed to maybe 60 or 70!
For me, when the spring thaw really begins and becomes mostly sustained, that’s when I start preparing for nicer weather and spending more time outside. More so when I see the ice on the Bonnechere River, behind our house, melting and breaking up as Renfrew Power Generation crews open the dam for a downstream deluge destined for the mighty Ottawa River. The early parts of spring bring back some good memories of that time of year in the past, notably my train trips in April 2006 and 2018 to visit family in Simcoe County, and in ’06, walking around Downtown Collingwood in shorts, in the sunshine and near-mid-teen temperatures.
My goal this year, while still unemployed, is to be outdoors as much as I can. Lots of backyard stuff, walks on Renfrew’s multiple recreation trails, and lots of e-bike rides. Likely around mid to late March, my scooter-style e-bike, which I bought new in January of last year, will get an all-around inspection, any necessary tune-ups and lubes, and a thorough recharge of the battery. Because of working from home and also the first lockdown in 2020, I didn’t get out on the bike nearly as much as I wanted to, so this year, my goal is to ride as much as possible and make up for last year.
With today being Groundhog Day, and my BIL’s birthday, which groundhog do you trust for their annual predictions? Wiarton Willie? Shubenacadie Sam? Log in with your BMacBroadcast.ca account and let us know!