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Saturday, April 4, 2015

Putting an End to This Winter

It is Easter Weekend and the weather is right on the edge of being truly spring and I am so anxious, so eager to be able to wander to my porch, my deck, a patio and simply enjoy a coffee with the sun beaming down and a light breeze messaging that winter is truly done.

When I was young I never understood the annual migration of 'snow-birds'. The idea that one would travel simply to escape weather, as opposed to exploring, discovering  or experiencing the unknown seemed strange and indulgent. Well, as they say, times change and opinions evolve. Over the past 15 years I have learned that knocking the heart out of winter somewhere warm is good for me, and not just because walking in snow and ice is a struggle. My body feels better, my mind relaxes, my mood soars at the feel of warmth in icy January or freezing February.

About a decade ago, Debi and I travelled to Death Valley from Toronto in March. It was bitterly cold at home but about 80 degrees Fahrenheit in Las Vegas. We picked up our rental car and headed to a Traders' Joe for supplies before heading out to the desert. We saw a Starbucks and stopped for a coffee. We sat outside with no coats and sighed heavily as we drank our tall bolds. I was hooked. And it is an addiction I never want to escape. Ever since that coffee epiphany, we have tried to ensure that some of the winter is simply escaped, and it has been worth every penny to do so.

Last weekend, we were at a winery and one of the wine makers was talking about how brutal February had been on the vines. The temperature at one point at reached minus 29 and some vineyards lost nearly 60 % of their vines. He looked at us and said grape vines were never intended to experience minus 29...we looked at each other and we both knew that humans were never meant to either and these two humans would do everything in their power not to.

The Niagara Escarpment is starting to look fuzzy from a distance, a sure sign that the trees are starting to bud, most of the snow is gone, grass is greening and there is a sense of nature stirring. We are heavily into talk about trees to plant and plants to dig up. We try to live in the moment. We do. Revelling in the unfolding of spring and summer is the priority but I am no fool. The year is cyclical, winter will return and so, a few minutes at the end of each day are spent contemplating and planning where we will be next February.

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