One of the things that come with a weekly column is the notion of recurring themes. All stories can’t be about Donald Trump or Covid-19. Those are observations about what broadcaster John Nesbitt called The Passing Parade.
Catching a break
There are, on the other hand, story themes that keep coming back year after year. One of those is the weather and its remarkable unbelievable contrasts.
To wit; several years ago my regular golf foursome was out on The Willows golf course in Holyrood in early April. We have also played golf in early December. It is the luck of the weather draw. Sometimes you just catch a break like this year so far – touch wood.
I have, on the other hand, a very clear memory of being unable to get home with my son to Topsail from St. John’s because Topsail Hill was blocked with snow.
We went to NTV that night and slept on the floor of my office on coats. Son Michael thought it great fun. The month? It was mid October that year when Old Man Winter came calling.
Here is a test. Did you know that until recent years and storms like Snowmageddon, the day when the largest single day snow fall was recorded in St. John’s was April 8th?
I remember it because it was my birthday. I got stuck on the Ruby Line, which is always a nightmare in snow. Really! A record snow in April! That’s how it is in Newfoundland. There’s neither rhyme nor reason to the weather patterns.
Another day that stands out was a Sunday morning in early February about 20 years ago. It had rained for days and the snow was essentially gone. That Sunday morning the sun was out the wind was light and the temperature was about six degrees.
My friend Bruce and I played tennis in Bowring Park down by the river. The park people had left their metal tennis net up for the winter. There was some snow on the bank by the back of the court, but it was essentially dry. We had a great game.
A summer gone
All those extremes take me to last week. Wife and me and first born son Michael, who was home for Christmas, were sat on lawn chairs out in the sun in the back garden. It was about twelve degrees.
Out on the ground by the table and chairs were two empty beer cans, reminders of the revels of a summer now gone. Wife looked at me and asked “Do we want a beer?” Of course we did!
That’s the way it is in Newfoundland sometimes. You can sit on a January afternoon with the sun on your face and have a beer in the garden. There are of course some weather downsides.