Friday, January 21, 2005

after the storm, II

A good 30 cm fell last night, closing everything that was closeable in the city: schools, malls, roads, highways, busses, even taxis. It began to fall around noon yesterday, fell all over me as I walked home from school, and continued all afternoon. I happily puttered: put on Joni Mitchell albums and cleaned my room. Outside the snow piled up—5 cm, 10, then 20 on the shed rooftop. My back yard affords me a nice little view of a garden, trees, other people’s back yards, and it was a nice, peaceful night in, hearing on the radio reports of blowing snow, messy highways, and other people’s misfortunes when they came up against the weather. Neal MacMullin, my wonderful (90-year-old, active) landlord, came downstairs with an apple pie he’d baked for us girls, and told us we could take a squash from one of his shelves in the laundry room. “Some apple pie, some squash, that’s all you need,” he said. He’s right!

The temperature fell overnight, and some more snow did too, so this morning was a bitter minus 25 Celsius plus windchill, the sun shining down on the new piles of snow. Needless to say, I wore my “longjanes” for the walk to school, plus a hoodie under my wool coat. I felt like I was a good 30 pounds heavier than I am, simply for the added thickness. The paths cut through the snow by the snowblowers and the sidewalk plows made the new snow look like a long white slice of cake running the length of the streets, uniform and perfectly fallen, hardly disturbed. We took the bus downtown this afternoon (for the usual end-of-week girl’s coffee date) and all the houses on Waterloo Row looked like the kind of cakes you see in Good Housekeeping magazine at Christmas, with perfect icing jobs and edible snow on the rooftops.

In other news, the strike isn’t going to happen at St. Thomas after all, which is a bit of a bust, in my opinion. The tension was just so great, and we were all expecting it, what with the standoff that was developing between the administration and the faculty association. It would have been kind of fun, and probably wouldn’t have lasted that long, especially given the very cold weather we’ve been having. In any case, if anyone’s interested, here’s the official news release. Oh, well. At least campus and town are pretty with all the snow and the cold wind blowing it around, what with all the historical buildings, quaint shopfronts, and bundled, disgruntled people hurredly squeaking along the sidewalks to their warm destinations. I might complain but the truth is, I love how bitter cold it can get in the Maritimes (and in many parts of Canada, in general). It almost seems to make us tougher. Or is that more foolhardy?

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