Last night, waiting for my bus home, a kid asked me if I think it’s going to snow this year. Now, I know we’re all suffering pandemic time dilation, but we still have a month and a half left in 2021. Of course it’s going to snow.
At first, I thought they misspoke, in that way you sometimes stumble over your words with strangers. They clarified, is it going to snow real snow, not the slush to which it inevitably turns.
BC is having a helluva weather year (to go along with, you know, everything else). The “heat dome” this summer killed more than 500 people. If you asked Canadians my age, what is the deadliest weather event in the country’s history? my guess is they’d tell you about the 1998 ice storm across the northeast coast. 28 Canadians died in that storm. This year’s heat wave broke all the records.
Last weekend, I was stuck inside again. It’s barely stopped raining all month, but this was an “atmospheric river” dumping a month’s worth of rain in a single day and more for days after. Our backyard flooded. I spent the time watching Criminal Minds and monitoring the water level at my front door. We don’t yet know how many people have died.
Then a single bright sunny day this week had people out in shorts and washing their cars. They want to ignore what’s happening. They want to believe it will snow this year.
The kid I talked to last night isn’t so sure. I told them how I don’t try to predict our weather anymore. I told them how the snow is different than when I was a kid. We didn’t get snow days. It’s never lasted long here in our temperate climate, not like the snow I endured my one winter in Halifax. But it lasted long enough to build a decent snowman.
“I’m 17,” they told me. “I don’t think I’ve seen a normal winter in my lifetime.”
I think they’re right.
6 kids in winter clothes and boots posing with their snowman in a housing complex (The two boys flanking the snowman are my brothers. I’m standing behind them with my best friend, Breanne. We’re in our front yard in Birch Co-op, and it’s probably 1990.)
I tried to use my time stuck inside well. I roasted a squash my grandma gave me when we visited two months ago. Today, I turned that squash into a pasta sauce with basil pesto and peas. The tomatoes from her garden became another pesto, ground up with pumpkin seeds and the last of the good olive oil I bought for the farmers market focaccia.
I’ve resorted to feeding myself pasta and sandwiches recently. As easy as possible is the only way food happens now.
But then Megan asked me what I want at my birthday party, and a spark happened that I haven’t felt in a long time. I got excited to plan a menu, bake a cake. I turn 40 at the end of this year, and I’ll be in Los Angeles when I do because more than anything else, I want to see the people I love. It’s been too long, and I don’t want to wait.
I want to get out of the rain.