Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Spring, Glorious Spring!

Yeah, yeah. We still have snow. But not as much as last year at this time! According to my favourite weather man, Josh Classen, March 23 had a high of -2 and a low of -10 last year. We had temperatures in the -20's last March, with a record being set at the International Airport when it hit -41.5 one night! Yowch!!

So, here we are on March 23 with hardly any snow left because it has been so warm. We have even had a few "shirt sleeve" days here and there! And the barbecue has been dusted off and put to use on a couple of evenings. My garden looks hideous, but that will be taken care of when the ground warms up some more. There is still a lot of snow in the sheltered spots in the yard (both front and back) so it will be a while before I am ready to start planting anything.

I can always tell it is finally Spring when I see the first gopher. While on my way to mom's for tea on the weekend, a little brown blur raced across the road, fat little butt in the air and all fours working like mad to get him out of harms way! Then I saw four geese on my way home! They appeared to be flying south, hopefully just looking for a place to eat! But the A-number one, first class way to tell it is Spring is by the amount of mud the dogs track in the house after they go outside to do their business. The more mud there is, the more the snow has melted. At least that is my logic...

So we look forward to longer, warmer days, full of flies, mosquitoes, and wasps; to barbecuing steaks, burgers, chicken and pretty much whatever else we can put on the grill without it falling through; to the Edmonton Indy, Capital Ex and Heritage Days. Keep smiling! It will be here soon and gone far to fast!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Memories of Long Ago

I was helping mom with her word processing software last night and when we were done and having a cup of tea, mom reminded me that tomorrow, March 20, will be the anniversary of us leaving England. 53 years. Man! That makes me feel old!

Mom, Dad, Keith and I came to Canada aboard the Queen Mary, leaving Portsmouth on March 20, 1957. It was a month before I turned 5, so I don't remember too much about the trip, except being sea sick and throwing up all over the table in the dining room during supper one evening. I sort of remember the tea party on board in the First Class dining room and trying to walk down the corridor of the ship which was being tossed around pretty good on the mid-March Atlantic Ocean.

We arrived in New York on March 25, and had to wait all day for the train to Montreal so we could board the CN Super Continental (now Via Rail) to Edmonton. While waiting, dad wanted to visit the Empire State Building with another fellow who been on the ship, so mom stayed with Keith and I at the station. While Dad was off sight-seeing, mom was approached by an elderly man (and after hearing what mom told me, I hesitate to use the workd gentleman) who tried to come on to her. "I've been looking all my life for a young woman with two young children," he said, scaring the daylights out of mom. He kept on in this way until mom saw dad coming through the station and told him her husband was on his way back. Mom said the old guy took off like a shot! When she told dad about it, he laughed hysterically!

We finally got to Edmonton March 28 and settled in with some friends of mom and dad's, then moved to our own place on 85th Street and 93 Avenue. I started Grade one at Hollyrood School, where a boy in my class pushed me on the school steps and I fell and broke my arm. No one from the school called mom to tell her, and I eventually made my way home with my poor arm all swollen and sore. Mom took me to the hospital where it was x-rayed and a cast slapped on it. Nowadays, if the parents weren't notified of a child being injured as school, they would be sued from here to next year!

So, 53 years later, here we are. I moved away for a while but came back to the Edmonton area. Mom and dad spent time in Winnipeg, but they, too, came back. We have all been back to England for visits at some time, but Edmonton is home. I could do with a lot less snow in the winter, but for now, this is where I live.