Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The F Word - Oct 21

Naturally I'm referring to flurries here, not some other vulgar word. It happens every year. We see strange flakes falling around us and we look skyward, astonished at this white miracle. Raining at first in Brampton, it turned to snow as I was hitting Aurora on my way to Newmarket. 'Winter has arrived' I said to myself. Now apart from driving in really bad weather, I love the cool air that winter brings. I never sleep better at night than I do this season.

Giving Praise to God for Winter

Why not? To believe all the doomsayers we are headed for a climate catastrophe. While we humans love the summer for the good times we like to spend outdoors, think of what the world would be like if the polar regions didn't have their share of winter. The massive icesheets that cover Greenland and Antarctica would melt, flooding our coastal cities. Crops would likely fail, creating famine worldwide. Rain would fall unevenly, drowning some places while drought would create desertification elsewhere. Yet despite all the handwringing, winter arrives as it always does.

Canada: No Wimps Allowed!!

The snow gives the ski resorts a reason to celebrate too. A lot, and I mean A LOT, of tourist dollars flow into southern Ontario and Quebec as skiers and snowboarders flock to our gentle slopes. I think of the winter sports that Canadians love to play. While we still did rather well at the Beijing Olympics, I always look forward to the Winter Olympics to see our men and women strike fear into the hearts of the opposition. Without the snow and ice, hockey wouldn't be played outdoors either. While I myself was more a baseball fan, I did appreciate Canada's unofficial national sport (Lacrosse is our official national sport). Unlike bears, us humans don't have the luxury of hibernating. Yet I wouldn't trade this changing of the seasons for anything!

Speaking of No Wimps .....

Reminds me of my time spent in the army. If it was cold, damp, dark and windy, chances are we'd be out there doing our training. This weather always brings back the memories that I had while I was wearing the uniform. My first exposure was in basic training in Camp Borden before it became a cadet camp. Even though it was summer, crawling out of your sleeping bag in a tent at 5:30 in the morning to put on a t-shirt, shorts and running shoes was a wee bit traumatic. A second belly button followed by a cold shower is not what I had in mind when I joined at CFRC Hamilton. Now I did survive my basic training (it was only six weeks after all), but when I got to my unit it was more of the same. Army weekends. Oh how I dreaded that weekend every month. Now this might not have been so bad if I was in a service battalion (I was a supply technician), but I was in an infantry unit. This had mixed blessings of course. Firing a .50 cal machine gun, lobbing a live grenade, firing a mortar and other cool infantry weapons was something that very few individuals could boast of. But did they make you work! Not only did you have to qualify in your basic fieldcraft, you were tagged to do other support tasks such as meals or ammo pickup. Driving was a chore too. Fridays were bad enough after a long work week but Sundays were worse due to lack of sleep. Unloading the truck, cleaning equipment AND your weapon were chores that awaited us when we got back to Georgetown armouries. Do I have regrets? Thankfully not one. I'm proud of what I accomplished as a reservist over my twelve year tenure. However I'm just as equally glad I'm no longer doing it. So I've learned not to complain this time of year. After all, it could be worse. I could be in Meaford. HA!

Johnny Cash

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