Friday, January 28, 2011

Waiting for Spring

I haven't been able to write as much here as I'd like lately - too many night meetings this week in addition to my day job. I was going to do this last night when I got home, but I came inches away from hitting a coyote on the highway last night on my way home from work and I had to destress by sewing for a couple of hours. The good news is that the coyote lived to tell about it and I got a good start on my next project. Here are some of the HSTs that resulted. Lots of blues for someone with an Aquarius Rising.

Several HSTs to choose from when making blocks
That's m biggest worry about driving at night - hitting an animal. It's not so bad in this part of the country - this is only the third wild animal I've had to slow down for on that highway in eight years (including a deer and a vole - yes, I slow down for voles. I can't intentionally run over any living thing). I'm more likely to have to brake in town for cats and dogs on the street. But I used to live up north in the BC Peace Country where deer and moose and the occasional bear on the highway used to be a real hazard. And once a very large cow that was running down the middle of the highway one night after being moved to another pasture earlier that morning. Out in the middle of nowhere, we were driving along under the stars, and suddenly a big white rump appeared in front of us, getting larger and larger in the headlights. We passed her safely and called the rancher once we got home.

We lived in the Peace (the Peace River Block, named for the Peace River) for just over 10 years, but we still have family and many friends there. It's too bad I didn't have a digital camera when we lived there. I have a few pictures, but not that many. It's a beautiful part of the country, with great spirited people but really long Winters. There's a saying there that goes: Eight months of Winter and four months of tough sleddin'. Now, I'm finding that I almost miss those Winters - and then I find a hammer and whack myself in the head. What I miss is the Spring that comes roaring in out of nowhere with the gale force winds that shake the poplars awake and cover everyone with roadspray while melting the last of the snow and ice. There's a distinct freshness in the smell of the air and you know that Spring is here and it's not just another crazy Chinook ("Shnook") wind that comes down from the Rockies, melts 12 inches of snow and leaves nothing but mud behind it and then let's Winter resume. Spring in the Peace only lasts about two weeks, then it's on to a short but glorious Summer.

The coming of Spring was never more well defined for me than on one trip I made years ago. I lived in Nova Scotia and I was getting ready to move back to Ontario, but first I wanted to visit some friends in Newfoundland. It was the middle of April and there was still a bit of snow piled here and there in Halifax. I caught the overnight ferry from Sydney to Port Aux Basques where I would catch a Greyhound bus that would drive all the way around the island (province) and end up in St. John's - my destination - several hours later. We finally took off after a short delay and travelled in some pretty awful road conditions through a blizzard. The weather behaved for the rest of my visit to St. John's until it came time to leave two weeks later when another blizzard on Apr. 27 closed down the airport that I was supposed to fly out of. So my friends got their 4x4s in gear and loaded up on beer, invited half the city over and we had one of the best parties I've ever been to. But, of course, that's Newfoundland! There was still a bit of snow in Halifax when I got back. The next day I got on the train to Ontario - a 26 hour trip that took me through Nova Scotia to New Brunswick, through Quebec and into eastern Ontario, with the snow disappearing as I travelled west. It was gone by the time I passed through Kingston, Ont. - all of this in a day. By the time I arrived home in Windsor - southern Ontario - on May 1, the leaves were all out on the trees and everyone was in t-shirts and shorts.

An immature Bald Eagle looking for lunch
All of these Spring time thoughts, and it's still Winter. Well, what better time to be thinking about Spring, I guess. We should be just a little thankful for Winter because it gives us time to work on our quilts. When the good weather comes, it's time to work out in the yard. It's either that or haul the sewing machine out on the deck because who wants to sit in the house when the sun is shining?

I was going to talk more about colour today, but my thoughts got a bit sidetracked by the sunshine, and local contingent of eagles who are starting their families. A sure sign that Spring is coming.

Until next time,


  1. Im not a fan of driving at dusk. Way to many deer and critters out! My husband always stops to help turtles cross the road. He keeps tally of how many turtles he saves in a season!

  2. Thanks Linda. And thank you to you and your husband for being kind-hearted and respectful. Why did the turtle cross the road? I once rescued a turtle, long time ago when I lived in Windsor, Ont. I came upon it one morning while riding my bike, making its way slooooooowly across a country road on its way back to the pond. What we used to generically refer to as a box turtle. Boy, those things are strong when they're trying to get away from you. And those claws are sharp. Thought I was going to drop it. But we made it back to her cozy ditch without incident. On my way back to my bicycle, a pickup truck roared down the road at typical breakneck speed. All the things you miss seeing (and almost miss seeing) when you're driving!