March 21, 2001


I knew I should have paid homage to the gods of spring.
I meant to. I even started to. It was one of those entries that went nowhere.

I knew there was to be divine (?) retribution for this sin of omission when I phoned my father this morning and asked him how he was.

Dad: My bones ache. It feels like it's going to snow.
Me: Is it?
Dad: Not NOW it isn't!
(Dad knows I might not have looked out the window yet - it was only 10 A.M.)
Me: Yeah I know, is it supposed to?
Dad: Tonight and tomorrow, snow, 10 to 15 cm (4 to 6 inches) blowing, windy, stormy...
Me: Nooooooooooooooooooo!!!
Dad: Hey, I'm sorry...

Checked with the weather department and sure enough:

Snow at times heavy. Total accumulation 10 to 15 centimetres. High near 2. Winds northeasterly 20 to 40 km/h increasing to 40 to 60 by midday.

I still have the remains of that aborted entry, and offer it up here in the hope that the aforementioned gods will relent a little:

According to the news reports, SPRING begins at 8:31 AM EST Tuesday March 20!!!
(In the Southern Hemisphere, it's "fall", thus called because it's the season when 40 tons of burning satellite debris of varying sizes falls from the sky.)

Spring is especially sweet in Montreal for two reasons:

It releases us from the interminable, dreary, cold, obstacle-ridden winter.

It's short.

There have been times when we used the furnace and the air conditioning on the same day.

Spring carries with it its own unique odours here, not the least of which is the effect of a winter's worth of dog poop all thawing at the same time. Other debris may be uncovered as well - I remember one year, piles of abandoned newspapers were found bearing the date of a particularly big storm. The roads have a special feel to them too, as the ice and snow disappears but not the layers of salt and sand that were repeatedly spread on them. Crunch!

There's also a cacophony of gurgling and dripping sounds as the snow melts. That's when you find out how good your drainage system really is (or isn't). Puddles, though, are better than ice in my book. They're a bit more cushioning when you fall into them. Around here, watching the snow melt is much more exciting than watching the grass grow. (Although the appearance of the first few blades of real new grass are worthy of a squeal or two of delight!)

OK and? There's still about a foot of snow cover on the ground, and that's on a flat field; if you walk through shovelled paths the piled-up snow is at least three feet high. Even my lawn penguin is still totally immersed! This isn't unusual but it is exasperating to see when the calendar says I should be frolicking through the fields scattering cherry blossom petals as I go.

The forum has been quiet lately... I started a new thread about changing seasons - what's happening where you live?

New Occasional Feature: French Word of the Day

(or "mot du jour" in French..)

Still within the Spring theme, today's word is the French term for "pothole", those craters in the asphalt that form as a result of repeated freezing and thawing. The French call them

(Prounounced "knee-de-pool".)

(that's the plural; singular would be nid-de-poule)

Literally translated back into English it means "chicken nest".

The French are nothing if not colourful.

If you think I'm making it up, check out this recent newspaper article from the Montreal Gazette.

Linque Du Jour:   Bizarre Stuff You Can Make in Your Kitchen

Bizarre indeed!

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