After a couple of months of slowly sliding into a quasi winter-like condition, good old man winter stepped into his office this week with the resounding orchestral boom of thunder and strobing, pulsating flashes of lightening. The rest of the office staff: icy roads, windshield wipers that leave salt stained streaks and snow spilling over the top of boots everywhere, came brown-nosing along for the ride. A blurring whirlwind of activity culminating in frozen ear tips, cracked lips and cheeks stinging from the bite of ice pellets. Winter is here. Ta-daaa.

I grew up in great plains of central Canada. An area where the only thing stopping the wind was the occasional scraggly line of trees called, funny enough, a wind break and where we were taught that hills and mountains were bad because they block the view. Those flatlands experienced regular and spectacular winter snow storms; storms of fury that would dump 3 or 4 feet at a time accompanied by -30 or -40 degree temperature’s. The winds, back then, often took on pentecostal personalities of their own, groaning and howling with rousing power, shaking the house through the night. As a kid I put up with the manic whispers in the storm, knowing that the more tongues I heard spoken, the more likely there would be no school the next morning. Those were normal winter storms – the kind that everyone would talk about until the next one came along. I don’t, however, remember hearing the sound of thunder or seeing flashes of daylight in the middle of those whirling, churning blizzards. That’s the part that gets me. Winters here in southern Ontario are easy compared to back home. However, throw a good boomer into the mix and the freak factor begins to play with my mind, rivaling the haunting voices found in the middle of a good old prairie blizzard.

I still bury my head under the covers. I still squeeze my eyes tight till stars appear; twisted up in a cocoon of covers pretending I can’t hear the howls of the wind clamoring at the door. But now, like then, I still can’t quite escape the slight unease of repressed fear that grips my gut…

Is spring almost here?

Goodbye blue sky

"Goodbye Blue Sky" by was published on February 12th, 2008 and is listed in Weather, Winter.

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Comments on "Goodbye Blue Sky": 8 Comments

  1. 4T4RD wrote,

    I can remember that when the prairie thunderboomers began to flash and crash, two little sprouts would end up in the bedroom plaintively mewling ” I’m scared”, and so on up into bed with ma and pa. Yeah, it was cozy. And the house wasn’t even tilting or twisting at the end of it’s lines! You may soon find that your two little tads will want to climb in with you for protective custody.

  2. Jay wrote,

    “-30 or -40 degree temperature’s”

    Man I just couldn’t handle that! When it get’s down to just the 20s & 30s I start wishing for Spring!


  3. laura wrote,

    I live in a snow belt region here in PA so I know whereof you speak!!! I’m glad to see that living on a boat hasn’t robbed you of an imagination or a sense of humor. My boyfriend and I hope to close on a catamaran this month and by next year would like to be living on board. I hope to retain my sense of humor as I think I’m really going to need it!!BTW my boyfriend spent his teen years in Toronto.

  4. Helen wrote,

    Wonderful descriptive writing. You should do it more often!


  5. Henry wrote,

    I agree with Helen. You often have rich descriptive passages and a fluid narrative. I would only add there are times when your choice of words (ex: “Winter is here. Ta-daaa”) break with the the tone and detract from the quality of the majority of your post.
    This is a small matter of editing. You have introduced the reader to the enormity and power of storms on the plains and on the water. My sense is you could do much more with your writing if you were so inclined. Keep it coming.

  6. Vivian wrote,

    Wow, Todd. I have to agree that your writing, especially on this entry, is incredible. Throw in a dallop of emotion (in this case, fear) and great writing becomes even more wonderful. I disagree with Henry about the words “winter is her. Ta-daaa” breaking from the quality. It gives me the chance to absorb the beauty of what has been written before diving into the next juicy bit. I read it and I hear you talking. Well spoken, even eloquent, but with the ability to show humour and whimsy. If you take your own character away from your writing, you are left with the taste of the CBC’s Vinyl Cafe in your mouth. Eloquent, beautiful… but sometimes that guy can be downright longwinded and he begins to drone on. You wouldn’t want to be that guy would you? How’s that for long-winded???

  7. Nathan wrote,

    You’ve captured me. i enjoy reading what you have written. i find it to be very thought provoking and inspirational. Keep it up… hope to see you on the horizon one day.

  8. Peter wrote,

    The one thing that always appealed to me about living on a boat was the fact that when it gets cold you can pull up anchor and GO SOUTH! I never grasped why so many liveaboards endure miserable winters when they usually work temporary, non-career type jobs that can be had in warm climates just as well as in cold. I live in Southern CA and every time we have a ‘cold’ spell (yeah laugh…) it reminds how much better life is all round when it’s warm and sunny. I grew in miserable climates too.

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