Dear Mother Nature: what gives?

Paula Tessier
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Dear Mother Nature,
Me again, touching base for our annual correspondence.

I’d ask you how you’re doing, but if this winter is any indication, I’m thinking you’re either really ticked off with us, or you’re just feeling completely devious and want to toy with us. If the latter is the case, mission accomplished.

I awoke once more last week to brilliant sun streaming in through the window of our second-storey bedroom. For just a moment, I played a little mind trick, I looked up at the sun and pretended, just for a second, that the Earth below was brilliant with colours, with not a flake of snow to be seen. Then I got up.

Mother Nature, you started off with an early snowfall — no big deal, we’re used to that. Most of us of a certain age have memories of buying cheap plastic Halloween costumes, big enough to drag on over snow suits. The flimsy seam would inevitably still rip early on in the trick-or-treat process.

Eventually, all we’d be left with was the plastic mask with the eyes, nose, and tongue holes. The hole at the lips was actually meant for breathing, I suspect, but most of us would spend our time cramming the tips of our tongues through it.

This winter, true to form, we did indeed have our early snowfall, but not one person panicked because you always throw a few mild days at us shortly afterward and we get to enjoy bare land for a little longer. Not so this year. You, in all your meanness, let it fall and let it stay. Santa was happy at least.

But we’re used to weird winters on the east coast of our fair province. Snow falls, rain falls, more snow, throw in a heap of ice pellets, nose-hair freezing temperatures, days in the positive single digits where you’re tempted to go out in your shorts, and by this time of year, we’re winding down.

Well, this year particularly, we’ve seen it all. Early snow, but there was a small period of time after Christmas when you were kind enough to raise the thermometer enough that nearly every flake of snow melted.

It was awesome! In January we could walk outside in our shoes. Grass was clearly visible in the front and back yards, in fact the only bit of snow remaining was that big heap left on the front lawn by the snowblower. I could easily live with that.

But here’s where it got tangly; you clearly decided that we all looked far too happy and let it snow … every single day it seemed, for the next eight weeks.

And shall we chat about the wind chill? Yes, let’s go there. For many reasons this year, the power supply in our province needed to be spared when it was particularly cold. Talk about two things that don’t go together! Nothing makes one more crooked than -20 and rolling blackouts.

So here we are, nearly the middle of March and I need to look at last year’s pictures to remember what our poor, raggedy trees look like with leaves.

For the past nearly six months, all we’ve seen is white. Seriously, think about that: nearly half a year since we’ve been able to walk outside in anything less than a sweater. That’s a very long time, even by our standards.

Thankfully, snow is quite pretty when it first falls, and since it’s been snowing constantly since early November, we’re looking like a post card, all the time.

Yes, there was muck from snow clearing, but no fear, it would be covered up in 5.3 minutes with fresh white stuff! You’re good like that.

So, Mother Nature, we’re surrendering.

You win once again; you call the shots, and if grovelling gets us out of this season and into the next, consider us humbled.

The white flag is waving high … well, white with a splash of colour so you can actually see it.

Until next year,


Email Paula Tessier at

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