Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Lamenting the end of summer

09-04-15 WPGvsAKL - CopyWell, it’s happened. Winnipeg has just become warmer than where we are right now.  Granted you were at your peak afternoon temperature while we were warming up to our high of 20, but still, the intersection point between our two temperatures is nearing!

We’ve chased summer for nearly a year now, having caught up to it here in the southern hemisphere and basking in it’s warmth. But now summer’s taken off north and left us with this mind-boggling experience called “cold”. I’m consoled by the fact that you folks in Winnipeg are still in world of whiteness and are getting side-swiped by massive ice jams (you made the news in NZ yesterday!) while everything’s still nice and green here and on nice days I can get away with shorts. Except for last Thursday when I was out for a run…

Allow me to set the scene: It was a rainy day, but around noon the sun came out and I reckoned I could sneak in a little jog by the harbour. I had a nice tailwind for the 3km out and noticed the dark clouds just over the hills on the horizon, thinking that they were from the day’s earlier showers. Turning back I faced a strong head wind but it was OK and the other joggers were out in force during their lunch hours. Then, about 1km from home a couple rain drops started to fall and it got real cool and windy. And then something peculiar happened. The rain was getting quite hard and was stinging as it hit my skin. About the time that I finally realized that the rain drops were not splashing on the ground but rather bouncing and rolling away was when a full-out storm broke loose. Pea-sized hail zooming in at a 45° angle pelted me in my shorts and tank top forcing me to seek shelter under a tree. Unfortunately due to the hail’s angle of trajectory the tree’s canopy didn’t provide any relief and I found myself contorting to the bends of the tree trunk in order to save myself from the onslaught. As the ground, and my hands, turned white I found myself thinking of that ever-popular quote from the Simpsons - “that’s it – back to Winnipeg!”. But then I thought, “no, I'm a Winnipegger and I can run through this dammit!” so I took off through the hail storm trying not to “do a Lipper” on the pebbly ground. A fellow jogger across the road was also making a go of it, making some comment that I could not hear over the din. The traffic had all pulled over and stopped during the few minutes of this hailstorm and as quickly as it came it left. At a light a cyclist pulled up and said that the hail was hammering his head through the vents in his helmet (sorta funny cuz he was bald under there). As I arrived home the signs of the hail were all gone except for the piles of white stuff at the bottoms of the eaves spouts.

Other signs of us being wimps in the cooler weather, I bought a toque (beanie, whatever it is) and Julie & I have caved in and nabbed ourselves a flash heated blanket that’s not so much a blanket but a mattress cover. Toasty as...

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