What's up with the weather?By Norah Wilson
I live in Atlantic Canada, and we’ve had the mildest winter I can remember, and very little snow. Heck, it’s the end of March and the only remnant of snow I could find on my ramble with my geriatric dog was a small patch of ice in the woods. Those of you further south are no doubt enjoying full-blown spring, but we’re accustomed to long, hard winters and cold, wet—and yes, snowy—springs. This year, I’ve already raked my lawn, for goodness sake. Granted, my grass is still brown, but what a novelty!
But even as I enjoy our good fortune, I worry about weather changes. A friend from Alabama told me they had a Jubilee this winter. A jubilee is a phenomenon where crabs, shrimp and fish swim out of the depths to beach themselves in shallow tidepools. The locals, of course, help themselves to the bounty. What’s wrong with that, you ask? Well, these things are supposed to occur only in summer. What does that suggest about the ocean's temperature? And what will that mean for the coming hurricane season? It's scary stuff to ponder, especially when I have so many writer friends in Florida and the Gulf States.
But enough about that. It’s too gorgeous a spring morning to get depressed.
Here’s something funny: I work for a hospital association. When we convene our board of directors five times a year, we have a dinner on the eve of the meeting. Often we invite representatives from other health stakeholder groups to join us for an informal dialogue. Well, we had one of those board dinners last week, and the guests were representatives from the provincial Medical Society. When we all got seated and went around the table with introductions, one of our board members realized that the president-elect of the medical society was his cousin! They hadn’t seen each other for 26 years, and on that one occasion when they got together, our guy spoke only French and his cousin spoke only English. A surprise reunion! ("Patrice!" "Gerald!")
And if that doesn’t reinforce what a small province I come from (less than 750,000 people), maybe this will. Several months before that, at another board function in the same hotel ballroom, my boss discovered that he and our guest speaker (the special assistant to the President of the University of New Brunswick) were double cousins. Henceforth, I’m taking a leaf from my boss’s book, and beginning every conversation with a stranger with, “So, where is your family from?” Who knows? We might be related.